Late last night I got Mr. Karen back after he’d spent almost two weeks away on a trip to our place in Idaho. (I couldn’t join him as I don’t have as much holiday time over Christmas as he does and also don’t have enough vacation to make up the difference.) What I didn’t get back was our truck, which he and a friend of ours drove out there (with the friend’s cat as a passenger—he was a late addition to the plan but fortunately is an adaptable and mellow feline). A couple days before the guys were scheduled to head home, they started having trouble with the clutch in the truck. We’ve driven stick shifts for about twenty-five years now, putting a lot of miles on each of those vehicles, and have never had to replace a clutch. This truck is the first one of those vehicles that we’ve bought used—coincidence? I think not. The dealership in the little town where the condo is didn’t have the right part to fix the truck, and the one they ordered didn’t arrive in time for them to install it before the New Year’s holiday and before Mr. Karen and Eli had to start back east. Several calls to rental agencies later, a car with unlimited mileage and no state restrictions was procured (they couldn’t do this in the town where the condo is but had to arrange in it the city to the south—fortunately the other friend who is staying in our condo this winter was able to drive them down there). Between the clutch repair and the rental car cost, the trip is going to cost rather more than planned, but I’m just glad to have my Mr. home.
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