How I Met the Love of My Life Part 7

7 Oct

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Did I mention it was the middle of the night on New Year’s Eve, and we were on Route 66 somewhere in the Chihuahuan Desert?  Have I mentioned recently that it was freezing cold outside, and that the only thing we had passed for miles, was an occasional car going the other way?  They weren’t going to be any help.  Every time the temperature gage came off of the “Cold” peg, and started creeping toward the “Normal” peg, I would hold my breath.  That would mean the engine water level was getting low and we better start looking for another one of those “Stations.”  God was watching over these foolish young people that night, and we were able to limp from one station to the next, or use our water bags, and actually made it into Albuquerque around 4:00 pm on New Year’s Eve.  I didn’t have to worry about falling asleep at the wheel that night. Whew!  Was that ever a stressful trip!

Wouldn’t you know it, our friend Leon, thinking we would get into Albuquerque in plenty of time for some rest, had set us up to attend a New Year’s Eve party that evening.  Remember, we had not had any sleep for over 30 hours.  But, we got cleaned up, left the Mercury dripping in DiVoran’s folks’ driveway and went to the party in Leon’s car.  DiVoran’s aunt commented as we walked out the door to our last party for a long time, “Oh, I’m so glad I’m not young anymore.”  We managed to stay awake until the stroke of midnight, and had a great time, but then we slept until almost noon before DiVoran’s dad, Ivan, woke us. 

I had guessed right, the water leak was coming from one of the two water pumps.  That afternoon, after a diligent search for an open auto parts store, we found one, and Ivan helped me replace the leaking water pump.  Then we added antifreeze to the cooling system, since night time temperatures were going to be near or below freezing in Albuquerque for a while.  After I drove the Mercury around several blocks to make sure everything was working right, we discovered the antifreeze had eaten thru the old seals in the second water pump, and we had to drain the system and replace that pump too.  That finally took care of the leaking water pump problem, and we installed the proper thermostats, so DiVoran would have a working heater during the winter.

The rest of my leave was spent having a great visit with my folks, my aunt Jessie and Granny.  DiVoran and I had a T-bone steak dinner, with all the trimmings, at our favorite Mom & Pop restaurant in downtown Albuquerque.  On another evening, we had a superb lobster dinner at our favorite seafood restaurant uptown, in the Nob Hill area.  When my leave was up, it was really hard to say goodbye to friends and family.  Finally, on the last day, DiVoran and I said our long and tearful goodbyes, and I left her with her folks.  I took the Santa Fe, El Capitan, train back to San Diego, to join the crew of the USS Hector for its voyage to Japan for duty.  That was a lonely train trip, but as usual the U.S. Navy found lots of things to keep me busy, for the next eight months, before I would once again see my lovely wife.

When I look back at some of the things we did as Young Adults, it’s hard to believe we had the nerve to strike out on adventures like those.  It seems as though we were thinking nothing of the possible dangers and challenges we might come up against.   I thank God for watching over us back then, when we were young and thought we were indestructible.  And that’s the short version of the story of “How I Met the Love of My Life.”  I remember those times (63 years ago) like they were just yesterday, and I will never forget them.

—–The End—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 63 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

2 Responses to “How I Met the Love of My Life Part 7”

  1. Onisha Ellis October 10, 2020 at 7:18 pm #

    Oh the things we do when we are young!


  2. divoran09 October 7, 2020 at 10:37 am #

    We were “indestrucable.


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