A few days ago, I went into a territory where I hadn’t been for years — a closet stacked with boxes full of diary-like entries that I had stored there years ago. In the midst of it all, I found a box with past theme-type entries that I had completely forgotten that I had written. One that particularly intrigued me was one about my lack of skills in making repairs. In fact, it took me into a side of me that I have rarely shared that I decided to reveal in this column. So, it themed out something like this.

“To many people, it would appear that I’m stranded, once again because of a broken down vehicle. The repairman told me that it is some kind of, ‘damper thing,’ and will take a couple of hours to repair

Damper thing? Yeah, that’s how much I know about cars. However, I do know some things about cars, mainly because I’ve learned through experience. I’ve had enough water pumps, broken belts, exhaust holes and sundry other things ail my cars over the years that after several times of failure, I’ve learned to recognize some of the symptoms.

But this ‘damper pulley’ thing, that is a new one for me. After all, I’m the guy that tried to give his car one oil change in his lifetime. I got under the car and pulled the oil plug, but no one told me that it was going to shoot sideways, hit me in the face, forcing me to leap into the bottom of the chassis, cut my forehead and scamper from underneath the car with a bruised head and half-finished job.

That was when I realized why I had been paying $20 for an oil change all of those years. It was a practice I deemed wisest in my case and it has been my recourse ever since.

I will never forget the time we took the car through a carwash. Pressure from the water pushed the windshield wipers beneath the hood. When we drove out of the wash, we drove into a blinding rainstorm.

I didn’t know what to do. The wipers were stuck and it was pouring rain. I took out a tire iron and tried to pry the wipers from beneath the hood. Suddenly, Joyce said, “I have an idea.”

That was a little hard on my pride but I managed to say, “what do you suggest?’

She said, “open the hood.”

I said, “what?”

Again she said, “open the hood.”

I tried her suggestion and in amazement the wipers were released to run and everything was working as it should, including the “stuck wipers.”

Thankfully, I was raised in a heritage where we were taught to face each crisis with a “day at a time philosophy.” It doesn’t always bring a new car or money on trees, but it teaches a simple faith that is worth more than all of the material blessing in the world.

It has also given the opportunity to role model such a faith to our children, who seem to get the point more each day as they get older. But we can’t take full credit for that. Lots of it goes to a set of parents who happen to be my hero to this for demonstrating that simple trust and faith in God can help overcome the feeblest attempt t trying to change one’s oil.

At that point someone tapped on my shoulder. It was the auto repairman to inform me that the ‘damper pulley’ was repaired and it was time to move on in life.