When I signed up for the World Parkinson Congress Buddy program back in 2016, I requested a male buddy; single or married, since my Wonderful Husband would also be attending. I got paired up with a lady from Israel, with 5 children and 6 grandchildren. (I have no children of my own.) She was into crafts, makeovers and fashion. As far as I could tell from our emails to each other, the only things we had in common, besides Parkinson's disease, was our age, DBS and a good sense of humor. We never got to meet in person, because she went shopping every chance she could.
My parents had three boys and two girls, but my Dad would tell everyone that I was his favorite son. He taught me to use all his tools, manual and power. He made sure I could change a flat tire, change my own oil and put new belts on my first car, a VW Bug.
I always hung out with the motor-heads in High School. I didn't mind getting greasy, if I could learn how to fix my car. I learned how to drive out of a skid, what to do if you hydroplaned and how to do burnouts and donuts. I was a little daredevil in my teens. I got stopped doing 110 mph on a toll road in Orlando in my buddy Jim's souped up VW Bug. The officer couldn't believe a Bug could go that fast (the speedometer only went to 90.) I think he was shocked to find a 5-foot two, 87-pound blonde teenage girl behind the wheel. I got a scolding, but no ticket (Whew!)
When I married my first husband, it was ME who had to remind HIM to check the oil level in the car. And it was ME who had to find a replacement engine when he did not add oil when visiting his grandmother and the engine seized up on his way back home.
When I married my Wonderful Husband, he was aware of my tom-boy mentality and was glad to have a helper when we decided to re-do the back yard of our first house. Here's a before and after.
|Before we started|
|After we were done!|
I never shied away from doing the "men's" stuff all the years we were traveling around in the RV. I helped with sewer hoses and hooking up to the truck. I wriggled my way into a kitchen cabinet to put in a new fuse when the old one blew. If one of the other campers was working on his truck, I was right there with the guys learning.
Even now, I am a pretty decent mechanics mate. I know the difference between a crescent wrench and a box wrench. When my bright yellow Sonic was making a groaning noise whenever I slowed down or turned, I went online and figured out what the problem was; front sway bar links. The mechanics at the local Chevy dealer thought otherwise and ended up replacing the strut bearings and then the steering assembly (under warranty) before they finally listened to me and fixed it correctly.
Parkinson's has really affected my dexterity, so I can no longer fix things myself. However, that doesn't stop me from still wanting to learn.
This explains why, every Saturday morning, I am at the Coffee Bean with a bunch of men, including my Wonderful Husband. This eclectic group of Corvette owners have been meeting here every Saturday morning for over 10 years.
|Can you find me?|
Today there is a large number of guys and an equally large number of Corvettes parked out front. Some Saturday's there are only a few, it all depends on the weather or what chores they have to do after coffee. There are older cars and brand new cars and lots of in betweens. They talk about cars, guns, home improvement jobs and other interesting things. Even though I am usually the only female there, I don't feel out of place and the fellas don't seem to mind.
Uh, oh. What's that noise coming from outside? Sounds like a drill or some other power tool!
Sorry, I gotta go. It might be interesting.