Assessing the Damage

We did it. We survived. 2,500 miles and two blizzards later, Missy and I have successfully made it back to our home in Urbandale, where we can finally unload, unwind, and catch up on some much needed rest. Counting our blessings as we may, this roadie has taken quite a toll on the ol’ sled. The roads have not been kind, and my front wheel drive ’07 Altima deserves a much needed wash, wax, and detail…as well as a few other things.

Windshield Wiper Blades. Though not directly related to this trip in particular, the original blades finally gave up the ghost during blizzard #1. I should have gotten them replaced before the journey, as my line-of-sight was greatly hampered by the smeared snow and ice and frustrated us all the way to Maryland. Lesson learned.

* * *

Windshield. A previously unseen major chip (it was hidden by the rear-view mirror) has now propagated into a gnarly crack. Unseen no more, it now threatens to overtake the passenger side of the windshield. Although I don’t know if the original chip occurred before we left Iowa or during the road trip east, I’m blaming this on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

* * *

Tires. The snow removal crews on the east coast must use the motto “one and done”, as the plows hit the street with just one pass after the storm and then let the sun take care of the rest. This leaves a layer of compacted snow and ice, rutted with potholes, which drivers must helplessly navigate. New tires (since the originals have over 54,000 miles) and a realignment are now a priority.

* * *

Exterior. Layers upon layers of salt, melted snow, chemical solutions, and ice have adorned the sleek black paint job for the past ten days. As mentioned, a wash and wax are in order. Unfortunately snow is still covering the ground in Iowa, so it’s just going to get filthy again. However, it needs to be cleaned and given a respite from the muck, no matter how brief that may be.

* * *

And as for the interior, there is no significant damage to report. Just a leaky Dr. Pepper bottle and some miscellaneous kernels of spilled popcorn…nothing that a good cleaning won’t take care of.

At any rate, windshields can be repaired and tires can be replaced. Although schedules were rearranged (no Terra Cotta Warriors & no National Tree) due to the weather, we didn’t miss out on the friends, family, and festivities of Christmas in Hagerstown, Greencastle, Manassas, and Fairfax…or even any work on Monday after…so we are truly thankful!

A full report of our east coast Christmas will be given soon, so keep checking back for updates!

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About Tom Hardinge

Loving husband to my wife Missy, loving father to my four daughters Sienna, Rowan, Jovie, and Lola. I'm a chronic over-packer who loves good coffee, good music, running, waffle tee's, fleece pants, and Jesus Christ!

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