Friday, September 01, 2006

Problems Solved

It seemed like after the long trip here, everything was starting to fall apart. Our car had a weird propane-like smell; part of the tent where you would stake it down had ripped; the air mattress wouldn’t stay inflated; the coffee tasted terrible yesterday and I don’t know why; the garbage leaked on the floor and the yogurt leaked in the fridge. I wondered what kind of impression we were giving Jim. I asked Chloe to validate that we had good systems in place until that point and she did and then Jim said that we were just trying to make him feel needed. This was my first honest glimpse into something I had suspected for a long time. Men like to feel needed. To me, problems feel like nothing but stress.

To solve these matters, Jim offered to bring the Highlander to a dealer in the morning to have the smell checked out. While he was gone, Chloe helped me with the laundry. The Highlander’s problem was that its altimeter was confused and it wasn’t mixing the fuel properly. Wow, I didn’t even know it had an altimeter. The mechanic at the dealer said not to worry about it; it was just a result of riding up and down all those mountains.

The tent and air mattress problems were handled at REI. Jim bought a new tent and Thermarest-type mattresses for the kids. This new tent shouldn’t leak at all, because the fly covers the whole tent and even with high winds and rain they should stay dry. The new air mattresses are a lot easier to set up and store. Thanks Jim!

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