Yesterday afternoon I was driving to drop off a check at Allen’s on my way to various chores in town when I noticed the truck was making a strange noise. There was a grinding, whirring sound coming from the driver’s side front wheel. As I pulled into Allen’s driveway the clatter intensified. It now sounded like a cage of canaries shrieking over an ominous grinding rattle.
Even I sensed this was not good.
I hopped out. Allen was outside walking his dog. It is always a relief on those very rare occasions when problems occur in the vicinity of problem-solvers.
“Allen! Something strange is going on with my truck!”
Allen took my keys, drove the truck around his driveway circle, and diagnosed a bad wheel bearing. He warned me not to try to continue my errands or even drive home. “Dangerous.”
Wheel bearing? I didn’t even know what it was, much less what problem it might cause.
Being a man of few words, Allen acted out the scenario of a wheel locking up and skidding. It definitely appeared unsafe at any speed.
I decided to drive the truck to Mike.
I crept along back roads and coasted into Mike’s driveway, the wheel screeching. Mike was still at work and since he has no cell phone, there was no way to reach him. I tore off a piece of an old grain bag and scratched out a note. ALLEN SAYS IT HAS A BAD WHEEL BEARING. I slipped this under the windshield wiper. I left the key over the visor and gathered up my drill and my cordless saw and batteries.
DH is in New York City and now I had no vehicle. Luckily my friend Chip was passing through town and gave me a ride the seven miles home. I rode Jon’s bike to the farm to do barn chores.
Mike was laughing when he called me last night. “Sis!” Very few days have gone by this summer without me needing Mike’s help to fix something I have broken. Just yesterday I shredded the belt on the new, recently repaired mower. He is too kind to needle me, but I could hear him controlling himself.
Mike thinks he should have the truck fixed in a couple of days. Today I am packing a backpack of food, water, and tools and will hike down to spend the day working at the farm.
Knock wood — I don’t think there is too much left for me to break.