Sunday, July 10, 2011

How to have good luck in a bad situation

Did you know that there are 4 types of luck?

The first type of luck is just plain good luck.  That's always nice to have.

The second type of luck is just plain bad luck. Usually stinks, but it keeps us all humble.

The third type of luck is bad good luck. For example: Mom K "won" a Honda Hybrid for signing up with AAA, but she didn't technically qualify to win because she signed up a couple weeks outside of the contest period.  She ended up convincing the contest people to give the Honda Hybrid to one of the Runners-Up in exchange for his prize, an iPad2.  She didn't get a Honda Hybrid, but she does have an iPad2!

The fourth type of luck is good bad luck.  That's what we had over the 4th of July weekend.

We were heading down to St. George with some friends, we'll call them Teeroy, his wife, The Bod, and their 9 month old daughter.  We planned this little getaway to hang out with our good friends, Blue Steel and his wife, Maple.

As we caravanned, Lee and I stopped at our usual rest area--the first exit in Beaver, Utah.  Lee topped off the gas, checked the oil, went to the restroom and got a drink.  We called Teeroy and The Bod and told them to meet us there so they could rest also.

However, they missed the stop and decided to stop off at the second exit in Beaver, Utah. I know...two exits in Beaver!  Who knew?!

We joined them and hung out. We had lunch. We walked around with the baby. We took our time--about an hour.  It was nice.  I have to admit that my type A personality was a little antsy to get going, but I had to remind myself we were on vacation.

As we gathered to leave, Lee and I got in our car, Zoom, and drove over to their car.

That's when Lee noticed that the oil light was on.

That's never a good sign.

He checked the oil--there was no oil.


The oil was full 2 miles ago at Beaver exit number 1!

So that's when Lee walked back to where our car was originally parked and this is what he saw:

Our huge oil puddle near the Eager Beaver Car Wash in Beaver, Utah

And then he noticed that he could see exactly where we had driven.

Look at our trail of oil!

Then, Lee put the car in neutral and pushed the the car back from where it sat and saw this puddle.

That's still a bit of oil

Lee quickly got Zoom to the garage attached to the Chevron.

As the garage assistant guided Lee in and saw the dripping oil, he said that they had seen something like this last week and it ended up being a cracked head because the oil filter was screwed on too tightly. 

(Cue sound of our sinking hearts here.)

As you can see on the right side of the car, that shiny spot was a nice trail of oil that one of the other nice garage assistants wiped up. It was still dripping when the car was lifted.

Click click click--we held our breaths while the car slowly lifted in the air.

And when it was finally high enough, we could see what happened.

We had no oil plug.

No oil plug...?

Now, I would like to point out that we had an oil plug a couple miles ago.

Where the heck did our oil plug go?!?  In two miles!  We concluded that when we had our oil changed the day before, they must have not screwed on the oil plug tight enough and it eventually loosened until it popped out right before (thankfully!) we stopped the second time.

We were counting our lucky starts at that point.

Fortunately, the mechanic was in today.

Unfortunately, the mechanic was towing a car to St. George. He probably wouldn't be back for another 2 to 3 hours.

We hung out at our booth in the Chevron--it was a good booth.

We found out that since it was the holiday weekend, most everyone was closed or was only staffing a skeleton staff that didn't know anything, including Napa Auto and the Mazda dealership in St. George.  No one could figure out what size our oil plug was including the Chevron mechanic while he was in St. George. We were basically told we would have to wait and hope that when he returned, he could find something at the shop that might work. 

Instead of sitting around twiddling our thumbs in our booth, we started googling about our oil plug and calling our car contacts and figured out what size we needed.

When Rick, the mechanic, came back, he used our specifications and found a plug that was "good enough for government work", filled it up with oil, and asked us to start it up.

It started up. No oil light.


But then Rick warned us that there could have been still damage done to our engine and it may seize up within 25 miles.

Oh great.

We got in the car, said a prayer, and started driving.

10 miles.

20 miles.

30 miles. 

No issues.

We made it to St. George with no issues, no oil light on. 

What luck.  What good luck! Someone must be watching over us.

Anyway, here's a few of our tips on how to have good luck (especially in a bad situation):
  1. Slow down a little. You may not notice good luck if you're going too fast. If we didn't hang out for a while at the second exit, we probably would have lost our oil plug somewhere more desolate than Beaver.  And killed our engine. Hence, killing our vacation.
  2. Pick up on signals and act on them. If Lee hadn't heeded the lit-up oil light, things would have gotten worse.
  3. Try to create a little of your own luck. We used our resources to find the right size of oil plug and thankfully we were able to get home without any more problems.

Are you lucky person?  We'd love to hear your advice on how you increase your luck!

1 comment:

  1. I think a good attitude leads to good luck. Maybe if I have a good attitude I'll have some good luck and ya'll come and visit us in St. Louis!


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