Spring break adventure #3: I learn something everyday.

After stalling on the ferry… twice, and realizing that my son is heading towards shoplifting as a profession, I thought that I was done with the misfortunate spring break adventures.  Actually, I went a whole day without trouble.  Well, until just before bedtime. 

We stayed at my parents, and my Dad had a conference to go to the next day.  It was his turn to drive a buddy to Portland for their all-day event that started early in the morning.  He looked ahead and insisted that we did a little bit of car shuffling the night before so that he could zip away quickly and quietly without waking anyone to move a car (namely me) early the next morning.  Understanding his logic, I was eager to sleep in without worry that my van was in the way. 

As we assessed our tricky manuevers in such a small space in the driveway,  my dad suggested that I move up into a space between vehicles, and in front of a tractor-mower.  Then I was to wait for Dad to pull out of his spot, move behind another of his vehicles, giving me room to move to his original spot.  Then, he could park behind me, and we would be done.  Simple.  I agreed that was the best way to do it.  I did my thing, but it didn’t look like there still was enough room for Dad to navigate around the long minivan’s body.  So, I pulled up just a bit more, creeping towards the little tractor-mower.  There was a mower attachment in front of the little tractor, but I was pretty confident that the underside of the van would clear it as I drove over it to make just a bit more room.

Everything worked well.  My Dad moved behind his other vehicle, and it was my turn to move out.  That’s when I heard the terrible screeching and grinding.  Oh crap!  I was dragging that mower thing!  Me, being bright and invincible, with my “I am woman, I can fix anything” attitude, I jumped out of that van thinking that I could just slide that sucker out from under the van and I will be on my way.  I tugged and pulled, I tipped and turned it.  It was stuck.  Really stuck.  I even stood on the rear bumper as my Dad tried to pull the thing out.  Nothing worked.  All I could imagine at this point that the mower thing was stuck forever, on the underside of my van and all I could use that newish van for, was to mow my parent’s yard!  Dang! what a freakishly fancy, and expensive mower that would be!

It was dark, and we really couldn’t figure out what the heck was going on, so Dad went into the house to find a flashlight.  I stood outside waiting, stewing about my stupidity.  Finally, he brought out the flashlight and we could see what had happened.  There was a bar of sorts, that stood up out of the mower attachment.  The underside of the van had an angled floor with a lip at the back, which was just about 2 or so feet from the front bumper.  The bar slipped under the van just fine, and got stuck on the lip, making it impossible to go back the way it came from.  So, now what.  There was no room to completely drive over the thing.  Dad had the solution though.  The jack.  We had to jack the van up just enough to get it above the little bar and drag the thing back out.

This “I am woman” acted as if I knew what I was doing.  I found the thing in the back of the vehicle right away– which was pure intuition.  I unfolded it as if I had done it before, but I really had no idea.  Dad had to show me where to put the jack, but I figured out how to pump the vehicle up, by turning the crank.  I tell you, it is so much fun to pick up a whole van!  This wasn’t a car, this was a heavier vehicle, a VAN! (well, mini-van) and I was doing all by myself…ehem, okay, with a little bit of help; but what power!  It’s hard for me to comprehend that such a small bit of metal can pick up such a huge chunk of metal, and with such ease!

Once the van was off the ground about an inch or two, the mower attachment moved right out, like buttuh.  I stood there, humbled, and relieved that my van wasn’t going to become Oregon’s fanciest lawn mower.  I was pretty dumb for driving over that thing, but anyway, that event gave me a chance to learn something.  Now I know how to use a car jack…”HaHa! I am woman!”.

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