It actually all started last Friday when we headed off to the Farmer's Market and I cranked up the A/C--only to have nothing but hot air blown in our faces. A statement similar to this fell from my lips: "I will have to put Freon in this next week..."
Next week came and it got to be Wednesday--I ran into town to mail an Etsy package and stop in at NAPA for coolant. I tripped out gaily with my coolant and then didn't get around to attempting "the deed" til late afternoon as I was busy doing other things.
Plain and simple, I couldn't get the Freon hose hooked up to the adapter-thingy (I have put coolant in a vehicle once or twice before in my life, just never in Annabelle). After a number of diagnostic phone calls with Daddy we determined that it was probably just a shortness/strength issue so he told me to take it over to NAPA in the morning and get them to help me. So that is what I did.
The kind-hearted men tried--two of them--and informed me that they thought the adapter must be the wrong size. Looking at a service-sticker under the hood, they suggested that I take Annabelle back out Eagles and see if they couldn't fix me up. Okay sure. So I called Daddy--he gave me the green light; called home to explain the extra length on my out-and-about and headed up the road a bit to Eagles.
Well--it was lunch hour--so I decided since I was getting hungry myself that I'd go on home rather than wait and get myself some lunch. I got back, Mr. Steve looked at things...and as it turns out, he ended up pulling Annabelle into a bay to run a UV light on her and see if he could locate where/if there was a leak before he even went about trying to put any Freon it. The end diagnosis was something along these lines--he couldn't see ANY Freon or oil in it at all. No apparent leaks. The condenser is kind of clogged up and he wants to clean it (suspects the leak may be there), but it was more than an afternoon job and we needed Annabelle the very next day. So...the consensus was: Go. Be hot. (Have a good time.) Bring her back in Monday morning for the job to be done.
And that, y'all was the start of the Turkeyville Adventure.
I finished loading (minus last minute things like the cooler and pillows) that evening and the next day we got out--at least an hour later than I intended:
Josh showed up for breakfast and before eating, he tried on his new pants...and I most definitely needed to hem them up!
Speaking of Hawk--we were camped right next to Hawk and Jill. They had even saved the space for us, so that was great! :)
After the battle I don't remember exactly what went on...until all of a sudden I realized that the band was setting up for the dance and that we probably should start tidying ourselves up a little. (My watch was an entire hour slow...I set it wrong that morning entirely by accident.)
Josh escorted us to the ball along with another of his friends, Lydia. She seems like a real nice girl--I talked to her some at Coldwater. Four wide we "wheeled left" then "wheeled right" on our way into the dance tent.
While a little "small" (though certainly not the smallest reenactment ball I've ever been to--Fort Pierce in 2014 gets that honour) it was an enjoyable dance and I had plenty of partners--KT and I only danced with each other once! The band that has played the dances I have been to up here is really very good--though I still don't think anyone can beat 7 LB.S of Bacon as a dance band and Mr. Doug as caller... :)
The gents from the 9th KY invited us to come back to the big-tent after a bit and jam with them some, so we collected our instruments and a candle holder and joined the fun. I don't know how long we played but it was over an hour for sure! I think this was probably one of the BEST jam sessions I have ever been party too. While these guys are really, really good, they were also easy to jam with because they were encouraging and kind. Put it this way, one wasn't left feeling stupid because they didn't know the song, or even the exact chords. My fingers got sore and I started using my guitar as a drum more than I was strumming or finger-picking, but it went on until nigh on midnight. I heard the next day that the 11th Miss (the ones camped behind us) had really enjoyed the music. I was glad because I had started to worry we were being a nuisance to those who might be trying to sleep. Though we were just "right there" from the big tent, a couple of them escorted us "home" after the jam and we said our good-nights.
I slept terrible. Not because I was wound up but because of those things go "buzz" in the night. Them skeeters were NASTY. I felt like I was awake half the night knocking my head around slapping at those Insekten. I was trying to keep covered, but I felt like I was boiling (it was humid and not really all that cool). In the end, I may have managed to actually sleep for three hours. So I was a little flat the next day.
I did get a kick of energy about half-way through my second cup of coffee and that, plus adrenaline, got me through the day. Church was at 10, so we showed up a little early and played a few tunes--then we would play again during the alter call. Josh joined us with his gorgeous 12-string. I would give you the basic outline of Hawk's sermon, but due to the state of my mind, I think I would butcher it. All in all--the Ten Commandments. These are the rule of life and we break them ALL when we break one (which we all do). Jesus is the way of salvation because He paid for our sins. (I will add that He also perfectly fulfilled the law and through in that lofty-sounding "double imputation" phrase.)
Real shortly after the service, Jill and a smallish number of ladies gathered 'round to discuss the lack of women "doing it right" and how to graciously help and encourage them to make the extra effort to do so. Not sure anything conclusive was landed upon, but in my personal opinion, I think it really comes down to the mind-set of the person reenacting. If they don't care, nothing we can say will make them care and if they do care, they will be already be trying to make headway.
Pres. Davis was there on hand to give a talk and while Katherine went to prepare lunch (it was her week to cook so she was landed the cooking duties for the weekend) Jill and I stayed. Apparently, Mr. Lincoln was supposed to be there as well, but the poor man fell and hurt both of his wrists the day before (I believe he even went to the hospital) so he wasn't there. So, Pres. Davis spoke of Mr. Lincoln. While I am definitely not a big Lincoln fan, I was able to appreciate the kindness and attempt at level dealing in the way Pres. Davis spoke. (Of course, in real life, these presenters are friends, so I'm sure that helps.)
The battle was quite early (1 o'clock) and so lunch was pushed off until after the battle since it wasn't done yet. Katherine stayed in camp and I went to watch the battle, camera in hand. So, this next collection of photos were taken by me (so...they loaded up kinda of random like...):
After this battle, both sides lined up to salute the crowd with their musket volley:
As Josh and I were finishing the packing, Katherine took a couple of tent ropes over to Hawk so he could teach her how to splice. I showed up just as he was really getting underway--and even though I haven't done it yet, I think I can say that I too learned how to splice. Grandpa would be proud. :) (Kt is currently sitting in the other room splicing the tent ropes, by the way.)
We did make it to the K's with hardly a minute to spare...I tried very hard to pay attention though I was tired enough that I won't say that my attention was at it's peak.
When I cranked Annabelle up in the driveway, I noticed she was a little sluggish, but didn't think anything really about it. We stopped a few miles away in town to get gasoline before going on--and Annabelle wouldn't crank. It was the battery. I could tell by the way the engine faded. I just about panicked. I told Katherine to call Abigail because I knew one of the boys or Mr. K would come and give us a jump. Well, Abigail didn't answer...and the house phone didn't answer...and God works miracles.
I tried one more time and Annabelle roared to life. That my friends, is nothing short of the gracious mercy of God.
I was on the phone with Mom at the time and she told me "Do NOT turn the truck off until you get home." I didn't.
To continue, I went to crank Annabelle this morning once I had most of the stuff unloaded, so that I could take the rest of it out and unload it directly into the barn...and she wouldn't crank. Each attempt got weaker. So I called Daddy. Battery or alternator he said...or both. After a few minutes, I followed the advice he gave me, put her in neutral and rolled down the slight driveway incline far enough to get the Red Car out of the garage and turned around. Thankful that I know the proper use of jumper cables, I got the two vehicles battery's hooked up and in a few minutes, Annabelle was purring.
I didn't turn her off either until Mr. F at NAPA told me to...she needed a new battery as the old was six years old.
From there, I took her on out to Eagles. Far later than my "first thing in the morning" appointment. It was after 1 pm.
The word on the A/C though, to conclude the tale is this:
The R134 conversion of this make and model vehicle only lasts 1-2 years before the compressor tears up. It is the wrong type of compressor for R134 to effectively lubricate and it gets all trashed after awhile and the internal gets all plugged up with metal shavings (from the compressor guts). So, while he could fix it for a hunk of money, we'd still have to do it again in 2 years (or so), etc. Daddy told him to put things back together and he will try to find one he can strip off another vehicle and retrofit to Annabelle.
Well...I'm now sufficiently tired and it's dark so I think bed calls my name.