Jim left on a business trip early this morning…so of course today was the day our battery, which we’ve been limping along for the past few weeks, finally decided to call it quits. The battery to which I’m referring is our only source of electricity. It is charged by our generator every morning and used to power our little refrigerator, two lamps (which have been converted to run on DC rather than AC), and other electronic necessities throughout the day. Without the battery, there are two choices: run the generator all day (whose growling motor would quickly burn through all of our gasoline and, of equal importance, any semblance of peace), or go without electric.
Had my loving husband not generously stocked our refrigerator with groceries immediately prior to leaving me alone in the cabin (after far too many occasions of returning home from a business trip to learn I’d subsided on a steady diet of ramen noodles and tea during his absence), I likely would have chosen to forgo electric. However, I couldn’t bear to see the kale, spinach, and other recent co-op purchases go to waste. Also, I’m nearly out of ramen. Briefly, I considered making a run to the local market to pick up a block of ice as a stand-in refrigeration system. Why not? They were once called ice boxes for a reason. However, after considering the cost of continuous purchasing of ice over the summer months, and the reality that I cannot power lights or other electronics off of said ice, I realized that the purchase of a new battery was in my very near future.
If I haven’t made it abundantly clear thus far, thinking things through is not my strong suit. In contrast, my actions are typically fueled by impulse. I’m actually pretty impressed with myself for having taken the time to think through and reject the ice block idea. And so, with the decision to purchase a new battery freshly set in my mind, I grabbed my wallet and keys, and took off for the store.
Entering the store with the recognition that I would be unable to independently transport my new battery to the car, I commandeered a cart and made my way to the rows (that’s right, ROWS, plural) of batteries. Shoot. What do all of these numbers mean? Hmmmm….
Had I thought to make a note of the model (?) of my recently deceased battery, selecting a replacement would have been simple. Also, bringing my phone with me might have helped. As Jim would certainly have mocked me for my lack of preparedness, he would also have known which battery to purchase. On a whim, I made my selection and with both hands and all of my might, hoisted the thing into my cart.
On the way out, I also decided to purchase a pair of needle nose pliers with which to loosen the nuts from the existing battery. I knew Jim would have the tools somewhere, but was equally confident in my inability to locate them. Ooh, and a box of cookies on my way out (to reward myself for my efforts!). After purchasing my supplies and being thoroughly snarked by the cashier for the absurdity of my selections, I escorted my cart toward my car. En route through the parking lot, it occurred to me that lifting the battery out of the cart and into my car would be a challenge. Fortunately, a helpful store employee seemed to read my mind and offered to load the battery into my car. It would have been rude to reject the offer…
Upon arriving home, I made the smart decision to leave the pliers and cookies in the car, rather than attempting to carry them in along with the battery. The distance from the end of our driveway to the cabin is a muddy, rocky, rooted 200-feet (at least!). After the first 10 steps, it occurred to me that I would likely be unable to lift the battery if I set it on the ground to rest. The trip was slow-going, and required a conjuring of all of the imagery and positive self-talk strategies I possess, but ultimately successful.
Gleefully, I dragged the new battery over to the old and set to work at loosening the first nut. I was shocked to discover that needle nose pliers are not the appropriate tool selection for removal of nut-tightened-by-husband from battery bolt. Shoot once again. Struck by a flash of resourcefulness, I recalled that Jim had left a plier-like item atop a storage bin under the cabin. Venturing outside to retrieve the tool, I noted the name on the handle: RoboGrip. Perfect! Having not the slightest idea of where Jim’s wrench set might be located, I decided that RoboGrip would have to live up to its name and set to work…
I am happy to report that I am now back on the grid…or at least the cabin version of the grid. Woohoo! I’m off to enjoy some chilled veggies (and celebratory cookies for dessert!) while basking in the glow of my once again functional DC lamps. A little bit of electric current is a beautiful thing!