Does My Car Run on Steam, Maybe?

I was on my way to work today when I noticed a gage trying to get my attention.
Oh, not you. Come away from that H
It was still dark and the pre-dawn fog was intense this morning. I didn’t want anyone to think I was someone to follow and slam into me while I was parked alongside the highway looking into things, so I found the first street in town and pulled off to the side. Steam was escaping from part of my engine. I added more coolant, all I had in the trunk, and made it six more blocks to a gas station. More steam. More coolant. A call to work. Let it cool down. Limp home and to the garage a mile away. More steam.

They’re looking at it now and I should hear later this morning if my car runs on steam and I’ll need to start buying coolant (at $8 /gallon), or if it really runs on gasoline and this morning’s fill-up at $2.79 will do me a while. 😉 $2.79 seems cheap compared to $8.00, you know? I bet it costs me quite a bit to find out, though. In the meantime I’m thankful for an allotment of sick-days to use when things like this go wrong, and for the quiet of home while I wait for that dreaded phone call.

Ahh-yes. My mother-in-law’s little cross-stitched plaque was right: “It’s ALL on the way to the dump.”

My dad used to tell the joke about some country chaps comparing what they considered to be the worst sound in all the world.

One said it’s that sound you hear when you fall off your horse and know you just broke a bone or something. Another said it’s jumping across a ditch or stepping through a barbed wire fence and hearing a rattle-snake tell you to get off his property. The third said, “No, fellas, the worst sound in the world is when your mechanic stares at your engine, takes off his cap, runs his fingers through his hair and whistles. Just whistles. Long and slow.”

Today I’m inclined to agree with him.

It could have been worse, though; much worse. This could have happened half-way between home and somewhere. I could have been in three or four-lanes of stop-and-go traffic in Chicago or something. Nope, even though it’s probably going to be expensive, it could have been worse.

8 Replies to “Does My Car Run on Steam, Maybe?”

  1. Jonell

    Thanks Dave … for that reminder … I love that outlook on life. Knowing and remembering that God has everything in control and his finger on the pulse of every living being, makes me trust Him all the more!

    Thanks again for the reminder! 🙂


  2. Jonell

    Phil –

    So, what did you find out? Does your car run on steam? Or is your car still in the garage being worked on?

    Let us know how to pray! Okay?


  3. Phil

    hehehe 😀 it runs on gas.

    I’d read somewhere that electrical equipment and appliances run on smoke. Cuz if you ever let the smoke out it stops working. So I was wondering.

    It was the water/coolant pump, as I thought. I’d been babying it for a couple thousand miles. While they had it they found a tie-rod end badly worn and not safe so I had them repair that part of the front end, and of course when you do that, alignment is necessary. I got the car back late in the afternoon, worked hard to catch up yesterday – almost succeeded.

    Today I start in Milwaukee, then head to Baraboo – two hours away and lots of open-country driving. It’ll be nice to do that with peace of mind. I’m meeting with a church there about a full presentation and video recording system. Great people, some challenging aspects to the worship space that are making us think and tweak. I seldom need to go twice, but this one’s needed.

    To pray? Thank the Lord there were no mishaps or on-the-road breakdowns before repairs, and ask for continued safety in the miles ahead of me.


  4. Phil

    Hey Dave…

    I do wonder that sometimes. I think maybe you were the first I heard mention that perspective.

    Maybe someday when we’re sitting around in Heaven with nothing to do (Yeah-right) the Lord will say “oh-hey, I wanted to show you what happened the morning you blew a water pump on the way to work” Would perhaps be one more opportunity to praise and thank Him.

    Great to hear from you!

  5. Jonell

    Maybe because the water pump had a gauge, it was the car part the Lord allowed to fail, in order for the mechanic to find the badly worn tie rod end, thus preventing an accident later down the road.

    Yes, someday in heaven we can ask the Lord what “might have been.”

    My sister in law says, “Sometimes when we think we are in the worst case scenario, God makes it the best case scenario in His plan. I am so glad His ways are higher then mine! I have often thought of all the things I will ask the Lord when I get to heaven, like ‘you know the time when….’ and then I realize when I get there I probably won’t care about that time or even remember it!!”

    Once again we thank God for your safety this last week. God is good!


  6. Phil

    Good words, Jonell—

    By the way, the church in Baraboo said “Let’s!”

    I’ll be there again before long, next time to help them install their media system.

    God is good.
    Phil —

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