Not Until the Stars Come Out

After our wonderful vacation last week, we were driving home on Sunday, when Lex stalled at one of those wonderful turnpike toll booths. Papa started him up, and gave me the look. The battery wasn’t charging.

At the next service area, Papa put one of the house batteries in the engine position. For the uninitiated, most motor homes have “house” batteries and an engine battery. The two house batteries were in great condition, since we were plugged in at the campground. The engine battery is isolated from the house (so you don’t use all the power you have to run your lights or whatever) and doesn’t benefit from charging when plugged in.

It was 9:30 a.m. or so, and we were several hours from home. We gave each other uneasy looks. I turned off the refrigerator so it wouldn’t drain power from the remaining house battery and off we went. The diagnosis was failed alternator, since no charging was taking place as we drove along. No radio, no new CD’s played, nothing but the engine and our uneasy sighs and glances.

The problem was that we needed to get home, and fast. We had left early, and with good reason. Daughter two had an job interview and I had agreed to pick up grandson Three and granddaughters One and Two in the early afternoon in a town 1-1/2 hours north of our home. I called daughter two, no answer. I called the rendezvous point, daughter’s mother-in-law. She said OK and good luck. When daughter Two called us back at 10:30 we were still chugging along.

At the next service area, Papa filled up with gas and turned on the generator. The idea was that that would charge up the battery which was put in the house position when he made the swap. If we needed to, we would have two charged batteries to switch to the engine to get us home. The battery we were running on hung in there, and after we paid our toll and left the toll road in Ohio and headed up I-75 north toward home, I turned off the generator.

A little after 1:00 p.m. we pulled into our drive, what a relief. We plugged Lex in, took showers, ate, and headed out to get the kids.

So what is the point of the title? We were privileged to have our “little” grandchildren here for two nights, the second daughter Two was here also. That second evening we were making every attempt to get the kids ready for bed. Daughter told granddaughter One that it was almost time for bed. That lovely girl is almost 4, and sometimes can make us laugh. She said about 4 or 5 sentences, rant like, and ended with “Not until the stars come out”. The message us very clear, she wouldn’t go to bed or sleep when it’s “blue”, it needs to be dark.

So, we had fun, went to bed late, and got a good laugh. We are awaiting the estimate on the alternator for Lex, and daughter Two got the job. So, if you want to buy a 4 bedroom house on a very large lot just north of Reed City, Michigan for a reasonable price, e-mail us now!

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