Today’s events, which definitely could’ve turned out really bad, gave me thoughts to when my wife and I owned a Ford Explorer during our time living in Maryland. If you are not up to date of which event I am referring to, I am speaking of my truck’s driver side tire coming completely off, and rolling across three lanes. It was bad enough that this happened while I was driving, but it occurred while I was on the highway driving between 55-60mph!! I tell you, something like your wheel coming completely off on the interstate will scare you shitless; regardless of who you are! I am just thankful that my tire, as it sped rolled across the traveling lanes, didn’t strike the other vehicles coming from behind me and causing the situation to turn much worse. However, being thankful that I didn’t lose control of the truck as I was coasting towards the right shoulder. Out of the entire situation, as scary and nerve wrecking as it was, I know exactly who is responsible! Update on that will come in time.

Back to what I was referring to earlier of what this situation reminded me of is when my wife and I owned a 2002 Ford Explorer while we lived in a decent area called Frederick, Maryland. Living in Frederick was the best area we lived in, but the huge drawback was when we had to travel to work, which would at times take my wife nearly two hours to D.C. For me, it would take about 45-60 minutes to get to work, depending how fast you drive, and on how the traffic flowed. With ‘Rush Hour’ traffic, it was a freakin’ nightmare as it could be bumper to bumper the whole time and take me nearly two hours at times. Our money went much further living there, but a good chunk of our earnings went to keeping our vehicles gassed up. We lived there for about three years, and besides the Ford Explorer, we also owned a Grand Prix GTP!! I loved this thing and it was by far one of the most fun cars I’ve ever owned. It was a great car until I started having a lot of electrical issues, which then made the car a hazard when the headlights would just go off by themselves; at night!

Our Explorer didn’t stay with us without her having quirks as well. For example, my wife drove the Explorer more than I did and it was unofficially her vehicle, but drove her nerves crazy at times. At any given time, without warning, the Explorer wouldn’t start. Yep! It would get my wife to work in the morning just fine, but in the evenings it seemed like the Explorer didn’t want to cooperate. It is not a good feeling when your wife calls you to let you know that she is in the parking lot of her job by herself and the truck won’t start at all! At this particular time and incident, she worked in Howard County, which is east of Frederick and only took her thirty to forty minutes to and from work. Unfortunately, at times I wasn’t in the position to help her right away, but with persistence and prayers she would get the truck started. After going through this start, not start issue, we were finally able to get an answer that the ‘Neutral Safety Switch’ was the main issue. Great! But now we need to find time to have this repaired or replaced, but until then we had to use prayer each and every time we needed to use it. The good news to this unreliable transportation monster was that if it didn’t start while in ‘Park’, then we had to shift into Neutral and then start.

Oh, but that is not all with the ‘Black Monster’! The incident that I really want to share with you is when we went to the car wash. Just like any other vehicle we own, we took them to the car wash regularly, especially in the winter. On this particular day, not sure the time, my wife was driving her truck to the car wash and I sat in the passenger seat, which is very strange for me. As we are entering the car wash machine, we just relaxed and started up a conversation to pass the time. Well, our conversation was completely interrupted as we heard a sudden “ding” and saw the dome light on. Now, all of this happened within a matter of a few seconds, but I’m slowing it down for you. As we are trying to make sense of why the dome light is on, suddenly water begins to spray inside the truck! My wife’s door came flying open just enough for water to begin soaking inside the truck with us in it!! Although I didn’t get much of it because my wife was in the way, my wife screamed as she struggled to close the door.

Within an instant I knew I couldn’t help her and that she had to battle the spraying water and open door by herself. The whole situation felt like it lasted for several minutes before she was able to close the door and save herself from being completely soaked. Almost immediately, we started to laugh about it as it became a running joke for us. Still this day we speak about the incident and laugh it off! Just prior to us moving back closer to D.C., we discovered one morning that our truck was gone! Of course, we thought it was stolen, but I decided to call the dealership just in case. It was confirmed that the dealership had taken the vehicle’s back, but it became a huge fight, verbally, to retrieve them back, but dealing with fucked up accounting numbers, and disagreements we basically gave up!! After that we started looking around for other modes of transportation, but ended up having to use rental vehicles to get around. That got expensive really quick!!

I’m pretty sure my wife will have her own response to this story as she can definitely relate, and can tell you more about the ‘Black Monster’ than I can. She was with us as long as she was meant to be, but quickly our time ended. Currently, we both have trucks and love them dearly! I can only hope that my truck, NINA, is okay and can be worked on to fix the problem caused by Mieneke. I suppose we will find out and know soon enough of what damages have been done, if any. Only time will tell!!

Henry Scott

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