Thursday, June 16, 2005


My amazing grandmother married my "biological" grandfather just after WWII. Two years after their daughter (my mom) was born, "Biological Grandfather" contracted polio. The after effects where pretty miserable, he was unable to stand and sometimes had to be in an iron lung.

So, few years into her marriage, my Amazing Grandmother had a 2 year old daughter, and a very sick (crippled) husband who could not work. AND, a mother that was dying of cancer and staying with them.

Grandma doesn't tell these stories - but other people do.
Once the organizers of a church picnic thought it would be fun to have a ladies nail pounding contest. They kindly started a row of nails in a 2x4, put the ladies in front of the wood with hammers, and said that the first woman to have her nail all way down would win. They signaled to start and the women started tapping their nails.
Except my Grandma. She hit it twice and won the contest seconds after it started!

If you look at photographs of her from this era, you'll notice that she's always wearing sleeveless dresses. I'm told it's because her arm muscles were too big to fit into the standard femininely small sleeves of the time period.

Once her brother-in-law saw her changing the oil in her car. Uncle Al was embarrassed that she was doing it, and told her to stop. He even offered to do it for her.
But Grandma said, "No."
Not because she was an aspiring and bitter feminist that refused any manly help. She told him, "If I don't do it this time, I'll forget how it's done, and won't be able to do it the next time."

I've already written about my aversion to automotive maintenance. The daughter of a mechanic can not be expected to do these things.

On top of that, the Mechanic's Daughter has not been a responsible car owner.
I'll spare you the shocking details -
But if the mechanic knew how lax I've been . . . [shudder]
BUT after a certain dealer tried to scam me, I'm not anxious to go back there.

YES, I could go to a local independent shop.
In fact, my former neighbor just opened his own garage.
And I'm told there's a nice place right next to where I work.
But . . . I've been busy . . . lazy . . . and avoiding it.
Change is bad.
Ignoring the problem might make it go away . . . right???
Besides the mechanic's daughter is bad at taking automotive initiative.
She just doesn't do car stuff - - - Until today!
Brother Jon is going to teach me to change my own oil!

After work I'm going to go buy a filter (Jon told me where to look and what to do - not that it's necessary because a cute blonde can't walk 10 feet into an auto supply store without being accosted by a salesman offering help!) Then (while my car's still hot) Jon and I are going to change the oil!

I already feel Empowered!

UPDATE #1 (So much for empowerment)
I overdrove the ramp.
It was rather scary to hear my car fall (THUMP!)
I'm freaked out
Ramp driving is too much - baby steps.
I'm waiting for Dear 'ole Dad to come over and help with getting the car on the ramp.
THEN . . . then Jon will teach me to change the oil
(and maybe I'll stop shaking - it's really scarey to drive a car off a ramp!)

UPDATE #2 - I did it! I did it! I did it!
I'm never ever going to try to get up on those ramps again - but the actual oil change was rather enjoyable!! Jon is a good teacher. Horray for Jon and Horray me!