Tuesday, July 8, 2014

40 = The New Blah

I knew my 40s wouldn't be able to keep up with how amazing my 30s were. I don't want to belabor the point too long, but a lot of awesome stuff happened to me in my 30s: got married; bought a house; learned how to fix it up; graduated from college; had an amazingly easy-to-handle baby; then another; then the Little One was born, proving to us that not all babies are amazingly easy-to-handle; published several articles in national magazines; started this blog; blog won an award; bought another house; and so on and so on. It was about the most amazing decade any goofball like myself could ever hope to have.

Then, yesterday, I turned 40, and things have gone downhill quickly. First of all, the entire family spent the first half of the day at a funeral. The Wife's great aunt died last week while we were camping, and the funeral was yesterday morning. She lived a spunky 97-and-a-half years, but even though it was fun to celebrate her life, I don't do very well at funerals, so it was a little emotional for me.

Then, after going in to work for a couple hours in the afternoon, the van started making weird rattling noises on my way home. I checked under the hood, thinking it might be a belt that was going bad. Everything looked OK. I checked the tires to see if one was low or flat; they all looked fine. I checked underneath to make sure nothing was loose and dragging on the ground. Everything looked secure.

So the Wife, our two youngest kiddos, and I piled back in to drive the couple of miles to the in-laws' house for dinner. The noise seemed to be getting worse on our way there, and on our way home after dinner it was really bad. I was just making a mental note to call our mechanic for an appointment to have it checked out, when a loud "kerplang" happened, and the van lurched violently. I was able to get the van stopped, and the Wife and I jumped out to find that our front wheel had fallen off. Something happened to all five of the lug nuts...they were nowhere to be found. How could that have happened? Did they fall off? Did somebody take them? Whatever the reason, I'm glad the wheel didn't fall off while I was on the freeway a couple of hours earlier. That could have been bad!

After a lot of jacking around with the wheel (literally, there was a lot of jacking around, because the van fell off the jack twice while my neighbor and I were trying to get the wheel back on!), it's back on, and there's no noticeable damage to the wheel or the van, which is pretty amazing.

Today, on my second day in my 40s, I had to change a flat tire on the car. It actually went flat some time while we were on vacation last week, but I hadn't had a chance, or a reason, to change it until today. Putting the spare on took way longer than I expected, but thankfully the nice guys at Discount Tire were able to get me in quickly and repaired the tire free of charge. It still wasn't fun, though.

And, I just remembered that on Sunday night, just a couple of hours before I turned 40, the heating element on our oven blew up, as we were trying to cook a frozen pizza! Is there a worse time that could happen?!?! I don't think so. I should have considered it an omen...So, so far my 40s have left a lot to be desired. I just hope all these car problems and funerals and uncooked pizzas aren't a trend. Perhaps the third day of my 40s will be better...let's hope so.

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