Weather, visitors, graduation, and auto repair | Life in Ludlow

Ned Luce

The weather has been great, right? 

What does it really mean around here? The answer is provided by your out-of-town friends and family as they come to visit. 

Sure, they are welcome and they usually bring a respite from our normal day’s routine. Even more evident is their happiness as they visit us. 

Hmmm, maybe they are happy to escape their own normal day’s routines. 

BJ’s two sisters will be visiting in a couple of weeks and during their recent bi-weekly “Zoom” calls one of them always wants to know if I am “getting excited” about their looming visit. Well, of course I am. 

Although she lives in Florida, she is vectoring through her son’s U.S. Army posting in Anchorage on her way here so we are anxiously anticipating getting some fresh salmon. 

By the way, before the pandemic, BJ and her sisters may have talked on the phone every couple of months and actually saw each other once a year. Now they “Zoom” every two weeks. Explain that one to me.

This week our daughter and her family are visiting from Seattle providing us an opportunity to further develop our relationship with their dog, Winnie, as well as enjoy two of our four delightful grandsons. 

In years past they would have spent an incredible amount of time at the pool but not this year due to Washington state’s pandemic protocols and the Beach Club minimal-reopening. It appears they will have to be happy with Kehele Park and Olympic Peninsula hiking trails! 

Our son has the other two of our grandsons and his oldest graduated from Ballard High in Seattle last week at Memorial Stadium. Seating was limited so we could not attend but we saw at least one incredible picture. 

All the grads had on red gowns and were seated on the field on a gorgeous late afternoon with the Space Needle in the background. I thought it was an iconic Seattle picture. 

This past Sunday there was a party for the graduate at our son’s home in Seattle and BJ was asked to bring dessert for 45 folks. Our house was full of the aromas of brownies and lemon bars all day Saturday. 

Back in the summers of the mid-1960s I worked at a Sohio gas station in Hudson, Ohio whilst home from college. The experience gave me some skills in light mechanical work which I have used occasionally over the years changing oil, tires, etc. 

Some of the easy things to change back then were light bulbs. I am talking headlights, tail lights, turn signals, etc. 

I recently experienced a failing turn signal and I contacted the usual sources for help and was either told to call back in two weeks or I was scheduled about a month out. 

With little to do but write this column or take a nap, I embarked on a mission to figure out the problem with the turn signal. I concluded it was a burned-out bulb and embarked on a mission to replace it. 

Sixty years ago one went into the engine compartment, pulled the bulb plug out, removed and replaced the bulb. End of job. Bulb cost about $2. 

Last Saturday I spent about an hour wrestling the bulb out and dropping a socket into the bowels of the engine compartment. After moving the car around the driveway, the socket fell to the ground. Then I ordered a bulb from the “A” folks on the internet. 

With luck the bulb will have arrived and I will have fixed the turn signal. 

Here are the “takeaways” from this story. 

Firstly, this sort of simple repair is no longer simple. Secondly, you may lose tools. 

The good news is that if you are successful, you will be euphoric over your accomplishment as you actually used some of the great tools you have in your garage. 

This will also surprise your partner since they have wondered for years why you keep getting more tools. This nostalgic trip into car repair has also reminded me that back in the ’60s our cars didn’t have cupholders. We had to hold our beer between our legs to drive. 

Love a curmudgeon and have a great week. 

(Ned Luce is a retired IBM executive and Port Ludlow resident. If the driver in front of you has his arm out the window and is gesturing wildly, that’s Ned and the bulb has not arrived. Reach Ned at [email protected])

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