Wednesday, October 8, 2014

During a rainstorm, Wilbo Fixes Small Problems During a Visit to Marshall, @PureMichigan.

I knew my Subaru had gone a little low on oil. I had Gene's Garage check the level when I stopped in for full service gas. The attendant was happy to check it, and I tipped a bit extra. He reported I was a quart low, not a big concern, and I made a mental note to pull up at an oil change soon. I had changed the oil last when my garage, A2Z on Broadway in Muskegon Heights, replaced a set of gaskets for a second time. I think the month was July, and I was pleased to see an independent garage back up their repairs without any prompting. So I got a fresh change of oil after a fresh change of oil at a small garage in Holland called the Gusher. That sticker from Gusher forecasted the need for a change on Halloween 2014. I'm more than three weeks early although the sticker nailed the month. How spooky!

So that's how I find myself on the way home, near Battle Creek, enjoying the sound of rain on the roof as two men drain my crankcase and top off my windshield wiper fluid and brake fluid. One charming attendant has sold me a new air filter, at eight dollars, and found me unwilling to change the power steering fluid, at 40 dollars. I'm good for about fifty dollars at an oil change place. The man with the beard had the sale drill down. He put the old dirty filter side by side with the new clean filter and held them with clean closest to my eyes. He paused to let me look and announced the price. Who wouldn't want a clean filter keeping the engine quieter?

The top of the line oil change, 35.99 out the door, included a windshield washing and a front seat vacuuming. The mats still could use replacing, sullied by fifteen years of oily boots and sharp stilettos. The mats look shabby clean, making me feel pleased that I had stopped at the right place. I stayed two nights in the Lamp Post Inn, Stadium and Ann Arbor. Sunday night, I had arrived tired and strung out by driving and immediately fumbled the real brass key & fob into the dark regions of the front cab. The clerk granted me a new one with a single question, "Did you get locked out of your room?" Nope, and I had a new key. The next morning, the newly arrived clerked chirped "Don't worry about it", relieving my mind of a key charge or a locksmith bill. The good salesman who changed my oil was also an attentive person with a vacuum and left the hotel key on my dash. I'll have to drop key into next mailbox. Classy places won't charge key deposits and charge for a full night.

I'm due for a new gas cap. The cap has to be tightened aggressively or the CHECK ENGINE light turns yellow. The oil change place didn't have a reader and a nearby auto parts store did. Hooked up to the diagnostic port, the reader read "fuel emissions error". So I tightened up the cap and said, "That usually turns the yellow light out after ten miles or so". He laughed, pushed a few extra buttons that he shouldn't have pressed, and I started the engine. No light greeted my glance at the dashboard. I'm due for a fuel up by Kalamazoo so I'll remember to turn cap rightee-tightee until a few clicks sound out.

Saturday, I enjoyed a breakfast with Kentucky Breakfast Stout at Hennessy's Pub. Despite offerings of unlimited bacon & gallons of gravy for powdermilk biscuits, I filled up my fresh plate with strawberries and melon slices. That morning, my legs had stiffened with retained water, my knees less than flexible. By Ten, my knees had improved after an hour of light housework. After eating the strawberries, my legs loosened up so quickly that I had to walk out of the restaurant and out into the parking lot when my leg muscles began cramping. I told my two adorable dining companions that I would explain later. One doesn't walk away and explain what seems to be miracle healing at the same time.

The charley horses stopped after a few minutes of walking and I began to think about the curative power of strawberries. This thinking has led me to purchase a big package of red berries, factory farmed and a bit styrofoam in texture, but still juicy. I also picked up a bunch of bananas for sodium and potassium, at least self-medicating only with fruit. While inside the store, a man and a woman were loading a shopping cart with jugs of a good bulk Chardonnay. I had to ask, and he asked me to go to a purse party for men only, proceeds to fight against domestic violence. I thanked him for the invite as I only had taken my evening at this business district near the crossing of I-96 & I-69. I explained that my car was ready to go home, with fruit and bottled water to keep me company.


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