There was really nothing to say about our flight home except for having to leave for the airport by 3 am. Yes, am. No polar vortex cancelling flights. No big snowstorm stranding us on the tarmac for hours unknown.
It wasn’t until we landed in Tucson that a series of events transpired that led us to want to fly back. Okay, that’s a bit of an overstatement.
When we landed I got a text message from the friend who was going to pick us up. It simply read: Call me!
So I did. Apparently our van, which she was going to us to pick us up, wouldn’t start. She was running late because she borrowed another friend’s van. You need a van when you have 4 kids who use booster seats or a car seat.
The fun was only beginning.
Everyone said it sounded like the starter, not the battery. The battery is less than 2 years old. So, instead of calling AAA Battery service we waited for friends to show up and look at it. They showed up around 7 pm. Keep in mind I’d been awake since 12:30 am local time. Now it sounded to them like a battery. Since we couldn’t pull my CRV into the garage, we rolled the van out onto the driveway. We jump started the van, and I had a choice. Do I let it charge (run it for 30 minutes) or just call AAA in the morning. I decided to call AAA in the morning.
The next morning I did, and the guy said everything was good. The starter and alternator were working well. There was no heavy draw when not on. The battery probably drained while we were away (guess I should have run it after they left when I was home alone). But it held the charge overnight.
By the evening it wouldn’t start. This time the AAA check revealed a bad cell. The battery needed to be replaced.
While waiting for the AAA guy to show up in the morning, I had the bagels in the oven. We buy 2 dozen at a time from Brueggers’ and freeze most of them. Thursday is bagel day. I thought they were in there long enough, but lost track. When I took them out, they didn’t seem sufficiently thawed. So I put them back in and took a shower. After my shower I smelled that good blueberry bagel smell while coming down the stairs.
While at the office I got the text that the heating element in the “builders’ special” oven was shot. There was a break in the coil, and it had to be replaced. Heavy sigh.
CavWife found a YouTube video on how to do it. Easy. 5 minutes.
She found the part at a local appliance store. Amazon would not get the part to us until next week, which doesn’t quite work with a family of 6, and when you are hosting community group on Sunday.
I resigned myself to the reality that I would be performing the repair. My back was experiencing Braxton-Hicks contractions in anticipation. This is the kind of task my back hates, leaning forward like this.
Friday morning I drove the van with the new battery filled with the 4 kids to the parts store 15-20 minutes away. It was quick and easy since she had them set it aside for me.
When I got home after an interminable errand at PetSmart it was lunch time. I wanted to make sure she didn’t need the stove to make lunch before starting this task. She was home from teaching her exercise class and showering.
After she came down we began the process. She loaded the YouTube video to show me. After he removed the 2 screws, the video had an error. This was a foreshadowing of what was to come.
I went outside to the fuse box and shut off the range. Didn’t want to die doing this.
They all use 1/4 inch screws, so I could just use my racheting screwdriver with nothing in it to remove them. Perfect. Worked great! Maybe this would be a 5 minute task.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha!
I pulled on the coil and could see the connection with the wires when the one on the right slipped off and disappeared into the insulation. Yeah, 5 minutes.
I could feel the wire in there, but couldn’t get a hold of it. I got the Gerber Diesel and couldn’t get a hold on it. It was too high, and the slot was too narrow and near the bottom of the oven.
CavWife tried to get it. Nope. CavDaughter has narrower fingers, and tried. Nope. I was afraid I’d have to call the repair man. There had to be a way. Think, Cavman, think!
We called CavWife’s other husband, her brother-in-law. The handy husband. He wasn’t sure what to do.
I wondered if I could get at it from behind. There was only one way to check. So I pulled out the stove. This is never fun. It’s easy to do, but then you see all the greasy dust, the stuff that spilled down the side and the toys the kids lost under there.
5 more of those screws later I had the center metal plate removed. Yes! There were the wires. I was able to push the wire through (the other one was duct-taped inside. CavWife used the duct tape to anchor the restored wire inside the oven.
I took out the new part, attached the wires and realized …
the screw holes are in the wrong place. They were not above the coil but more to the side. Not good.
It was now 1 pm. I had promised CavSon that I’d bring him to finally see The Force Awakens matinee at 2:30 that afternoon.
CavWife called the parts store. One of the signs I noticed while there, which was copied on the receipt was “No Returns on Electrical Parts”. Was this an “electrical part”? They went through the process of identifying the oven model. Yeah, wrong part. The one we needed is actually about $5 cheaper (really??? This doesn’t usually happen to me).
It is now 1:05. I have to drive back down to the store, exchange the part, get home, install the part and eat lunch in time to leave for the show (I estimated that I could leave as late as 2:15 thanks to the 45 trailers I don’t need CavSon to see).
So I hit the road. You know what happened. It always happens when you are in a rush and God decides this is the time to reveal the utter wretchedness of your heart to you. Every. Red. Light. And on the highway I kept getting stuck behind slow drivers kicking up stones that ping off my windshield so I wonder which one will crack it.
Amazingly I made good time. Amazingly the guy handled the exchange quickly. I double checked the part to make sure the holes were in the right place.
I returned to the car and experienced most of the same frustrations on the ride home. I feel so unsanctified.
Back at home she’d been cleaning the stove. I connected the wires, and put the screws back in. I re-attached the plate on the back. It really would have been 5 minutes if not for the wire disappearing, and the part being wrong.
It was all done, and I could shove a sandwich down my throat by 2 pm. We would make the move.
Here’s hoping that this is the last thing to break/fail/malfunction for awhile.
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