We had some steady rain on Monday compared to other areas with really heavy duty storms. That was fine with us, because we need the rain, and we were supposed to go to Sarasota (home away from home) to work on the house on Tuesday. The plan was to meet Mr. Renter for the first time, and as we pulled up there they were washing their cars. Hugs and handshakes all around, and we started work. We fixed the door lock and put on a screen door. The bathroom pocket door needed a very thin wrench and both guys dug around in their tool kits to come up with one. Next we had to replace two window sills, but all during this, Mr. Renter was cooking up a storm for us!
Before we could get to the windows, lunch was ready: jerk chicken, rice with pineapple and pigeon peas, plantains two different ways and hot ketchup. Yummy. And then the caramel flan for dessert. Here we are – and they have lived there almost a year, and we were their first dinner guests.
Imagine that! We really had to say no to more wine, but Gary ended up working on the windows while I sat on the porch talking with Mrs. Renter (with another glass). She loves shoe shopping, and modeled her newest acquisition – these snappy sandals.
Wow! They had a zipper down the back of the shoe, too!
Before we knew it, it was 3:30 and I needed to get over to my old hair salon for a haircut and catch up with my hairdresser. She made it quick as Gary had run to the hardware store and was picking me up right after his purchases. It was fun seeing her and the crew again, and of course feeling beautiful once more.
Gary finished caulking the window but we need to go back one day to sand and paint. Mrs. Renter suggested coming on Mr. Renter’s next day off so he can cook us another meal! Don’t need to convince us too much.
We needed to go to Michelle’s in St. Pete on our way home to pick up some car seats we were borrowing for Donna and Ron’s grandkids who are visiting next weekend. I love the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. The water makes me remember why it was that we moved to Florida. And tonight the moonrise was magical.
It was great to see the kidlets again, and a college friend of Michelle’s and her family were visiting from Rhode Island. We hung around for an hour or so, and then packed the car seats in the Jeep and kissed her goodbye. Normally I am not superstitious, but just before we left, Michelle said, and I quote: “I worry about you driving that Jeep all over the place”. Well, we had just had her serviced the week before, and the tech said everything looked good, so I felt very confident driving her. About 15 miles from home, a warning light came on: Check Gauges. Ugh oh. The temp gauge was in the red zone. Gary slowed down, prepared to pull over, but the temp gauge went back to normal and the alert light went off. I, being the novice car mechanic that I am, figured she was thirsty. Well, duh, yes she was, but the question was why? Gary was praying that it was just the thermostat that had broken. The other possibility was the water pump. We limped to the next exit, a Love’s truck stop, and took a look under the hood. We saw a little smoke and a burned looking area of something, but no water was leaking. Of course, that’s because there WAS no water left. Gary waited till she cooled down and filled her with water, and we saw a big leak under her as we left. We hoped we’d make it home: me with my eye on the gauge and Gary with his eye on the speedometer keeping it at 60. Highway 4 in the dark can be scary. The big signs of the RV Park never looked so good. We pulled in at 9:30 and Gary immediately researched how to change a water pump and thermostat online.
Amazingly we slept well and only woke to a heavy shower that came out of nowhere. Every RVer knows all you have to do is go out, look at something and scratch your head and a dozen guys show up to see what’s wrong. Well, it works! The consensus was that the thermostat could be changed by anyone, but it was most likely the water pump because they could see a leak and smelled antifreeze (a slightly sweet smell - I asked). Great. Our neighbors kindly offered to drive us to the Jeep dealer and then we would go to Walmart. Donna is cooking dinner for us tonight, so they needed groceries, but tomorrow is my birthday, so Gary is taking us all out. He gave me a choice: Bonefish Grill (to use a giftcard we have) or Golden Corral with Donna and Ron. I’d rather have friends at my birthday dinner, so Golden Corral it will be! I will be thinking of all my friends and relatives as I lift a glass of iced tea in celebration. Thank you for being in my life.
Just remember: getting older is better than the alternative. I’m just glad wrinkles don’t hurt.