[ This post contains narrative along with 11 photos with captions. ]
SUNDAY 12 March
We got back to our house on Sunday the 12th, but not without some minor issues. Our daughter picked us up from DTW and drove us back to her house where we left our F-150 while we were away. As soon as I turned the ignition switch ‘on’ I got a message on the info screen indicating that there was an electrical problem. The engine started normally, but the battery icon remained on. Linda Googled the issue and found information that indicated we might have an alternator failure along with some vague information about how far we might be able to drive before all of the electrical stuff stopped working. We started for home anyway, but only a mile into the trip, decided it was an unwise decision, and returned to our daughter’s house. She let us borrow her car to get home, and we transferred our suitcases to her vehicle, with the promise to return it in next couple of days.
When we got home we brought our suitcases into the house, but didn’t do much else. I was still obviously ill, so we each took CoVID-19 tests. Mine was positive, which was not a surprise given my symptoms, but Linda’s was negative, which was a relief. Forthwith, all of my interactions with people outside the house included a face mask. Paul and Nancy also eventually tested positive.
MONDAY 13 March
I returned to our daughter’s house the next day with my tools and multi-meter and tried again to resolve the issue, but the fault had not cleared on its own. Okay then, something was definitely wrong. I checked the voltage level on the battery, which was still okay, but decided to replace it and see if that was the problem. The battery was original to the vehicle, which we bought in May 2019 (and was built some months prior to that), so the battery was approaching 4-years old, if not there already. I drove to Varsity Ford in Ann Arbor, only 10 minutes from our daughter’s house, and got the correct replacement battery. It was easy enough to do the swap, but it didn’t fix the problem. Still, it never hurts to have a new battery. I returned the old one for the core charge credit, and made an appointment to bring the car in the next day, figuring (hoping) it could at least make it that far. I was not in the humor to have it towed.
TUESDAY 14 March
Linda drove our daughter’s car and I drove Linda’s Honda HR-V back to our daughter’s house. I then drove the F-150 to Varsity Ford and Linda followed me in her car to pick me up and take us home. I figured it might be several days before they could get to it, but I got a call back a couple of hours. The service writer indicated that the alternator was okay, but an electrical cable had failed and needed to be replaced. I approved the work, of course. I got another call mid-afternoon that the repair was finished and I could pick up the truck. Rather than wait until the next day, Linda drove us back down, I paid the bill, and we were on our way back home yet again.
WEDNESDAY 15 – SUNDAY 19 March
Given my positive CoVID-19 test, I didn’t do much else the rest of the week other than work at my desk. My big accomplishment was the final preparation of the application for the electrical permit for wiring the barn. By the 19th I finally tested negative and was free to move about (Lowes and Home Depot) and get back to work on the barn.
MONDAY 20 – THURSDAY 23 March
Today was a big day for me and the barn project; I went to the Livingston County Building Department and submitted my application for an electrical permit for wiring of the barn. The application was processed and the permit issued while I was there, which was very convenient.
Tuesday the 21st was also a big day for us as we drove to Woodland Airstream in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to retrieve our 2020 Flying Cloud travel trailer, something we were originally scheduled to do last week. The trailer had been there since October 22 for a long list of minor repair and maintenance issues, and one big repair issue (the ridge that had developed across the kitchen floor from side-to-side).
We had a pleasant drive over. The trailer looked great, with no indication that there had ever been a problem, and we were pleased with the work. We settled our bill (the ridge was a massive job done under warranty) and hooked up the trailer to the F-150. The drive home was equally pleasant and uneventful, and it was nice to finally have our travel trailer back on our property.
FRIDAY 24 – MONDAY 27 March
Billie Teneau, a long-time family friend in St. Louis, Missouri had passed away back in late February. She was in her late 90’s and was a bicyclist and successful Senior Olympian. Her memorial service was this Saturday at the St. Louis Ethical Society.
We drove down on Friday and stayed in a hotel that was conveniently located relative to the Society as well as my sister and niece, and Linda’s sister. We drove home on Monday.
My mother was a life-long member of the Society, her parents having been members when she was born, and my father joined when they married. My sister and I were also born into the Society and grew up there. When I moved away from home to go to college I never again lived anywhere that had a Society. Once we had children our Sunday morning ritual became tent camping.
The service was well-attended and very nice. There were people there that that I knew, or knew of, but many more that I did not. Billie, and her late husband Richard (Dick), had varied interests, each with its own associated circles of colleagues and friends, but I knew them mainly as two of my parents’ best friends over most of their adult lives.
My sister (Patty) and her daughter (Amanda) attended the service as well. After the service, we went to a Mellow Mushroom restaurant convenient to where Amanda and her family live. We visited with Linda’s sister (Sister Marilyn) on Sunday and returned home on Monday.
TUESDAY 28 – FRIDAY 31 March
Linda was busy the rest of this week babysitting the Ann Arbor grand-daughters and doing accounting work for the bakery. In her absence, I turned my attention to the barn. I continued trying to fill in the trench for the conduit from the utility pole to the barn, and started purchasing Sch 40 PVC conduit and various fittings that I would need to wire the barn.