Daddy Mechanic

IMG_3282Once our kiddos started leaving the nest in their own vehicles, we thought there would be fewer cars for us to keep running.

Silly us.

Now, my husband not only keeps them running – he does it from a distance.

In the last few months he has fielded a bevy of interesting phone calls and texts.

“Hey Dad – my truck is making funny noises.”

“Should there be a puddle of pink stuff under my car?”

“My tailgate is falling off!”

“Why don’t I have heat?”

“My brakes went out on the way home.”

“The car died.”

And every time he has patiently listened to symptoms, asked critical questions, and given advice.

He has replaced water pumps,  fixed tailgates, changed numerous tires, driven a truck with no brakes to the mechanic and calmed a panicked daughter – more than once.

His bedside reading shelf now holds the manuals for each of their vehicles.

As he was studying one of those manuals the other night, I commented, “It’s almost a full time job keeping those cars running.”

He just smiled and said, “But at least they need me.”

Smart man.


Break Downs and Collisions

Having teenagers driving older vehicles inevitably means break downs. So it was no surprise when Dagmar’s Ford Escape broke down on the way to church a few weeks ago.

But to add insult to injury – that same night Pedro hit a deer on the way home from youth group.

Now we had one car down for the count, one car with a missing headlight, the family van, the Suburban (which burns a ten dollar bill every time you start the engine)  and – of course –  the Geo.


I guess you could call it a compact car.

I would call it a tin can on wheels.

Top speed is 60 miles an hour – but only downhill and with a tail wind. If you go much faster than that parts start flying off. We have proven this to be a true fact.

It has a cracked windshield and some funky engine sounds – but boy does it get good mileage!

But it’s definitely not the first choice of teenagers.

Nor is the Suburban – because on their wages they can barely afford to open the door.

This has made for a few very interesting weeks, especially on the days that I needed wheels.

Things got really crazy though, after Dagmar got pulled over while driving Pedro’s car after dark  for missing a headlight.

Every night Jan and Pedro would concoct the elaborate vehicle schedule for the next day – putting the right people in the right vehicle to get them where they need to go – which often including switching cars in town so that nobody had to drive Pedro’s car after dark or burn through their night’s wages driving the Suburban.

Pedro’s car was a cheap and easy fix – it just took time to get in the body shop (we weren’t the only ones to hit a deer!)

Dagmar’s – on the other hand – proved to be more serious.  It’s a tough fix and would cost her a pretty penny at the local mechanic. More than she could spend – or the vehicle was worth.

So – Jan and Pedro are once again moving Pedro’s truck and it’s engine parts out of the shop and moving Dagmar’s wheels in. Because of course – Jan’s going to fix it for her.

So she can save her money for a replacement.

Because that’s what Daddy’s do for the daughters.

He’s a keeper that man of mine.