Jack and I have been looking for new cars and just bought a brand new 1976 bright orange Honda Civic with a sunroof and everything. It was almost $5000! Can you believe it? My little Fiat was less than half that and it was only three years old when I got it. But I love it. I love the smell of a new car! The weekend that we bought it, we drove it to to the glider port and we both went up and ended up staying in a little motel near there so Jack could go up again the next day. It has been really good between Jack and me lately.
Jack has a friend at his work Bob, who is going through a custody battle with his kids. A boy and a girl. It is so sad. I never saw such a good dad. He really loves his kids and his wife is not very nice. We took them soaring one weekend right after we got the car and Bob and his kids met us there. The kids got bored pretty fast and complained because their dad’s car didn’t have air conditioning and it was really hot that day. Of course our new car did, so while Bob and I were up flying in different planes, Jack was in charge of the kids and let them sit in our car with the air on while their dad finished flying with Glen, my old instructor. After we said goodbye to Bob who had to get the kids back by a certain time, we got back in the car to drive home and noticed the front passenger seat had a burn mark where it looked as if the kids had been playing with the car lighter.
I have to admit that I was really surprised that Jack was so calm about it. I think that he realized that it could have been a lot worse. Though the kids were older and should have known better, it is never smart to leave kids in a running car, period. But I didn’t need to say anything. I knew he “GOT” it when he saw the damaged seat. And I mean it was right in the middle of the seat! We tried to get an upholstry and carpet mending glue but it only made it worse. That is when Jack had an idea, for “me” to re-upholster the seats with my new sewing machine that he’d gotten me last Christmas!
I have been making weighted sand bags out of canvas with my sewing machine for the sail planes to trade for tows, but that has been the extent of my recent sewing. Jack said that whatever happened, we’d have to get the seats fixed anyway so that I couldn’t really hurt anything. And so I told him that if he could get the seats out, I would try. We never really liked the checker board insert in the upholstry so we went shopping and found this great faux white leather and he pulled apart the seats. (Which… I know, I know, could have been quite a disaster!) But we actually worked really well together!
I measured the inserts and actually re-upholstered the two front seats with it. And if I do say so myself, it looks way better than the checkerboard. Especially without the burn mark!
Jack was so impressed and said that he was proud of me. It gives me hope. Something that could have been a huge blow up, became a positive project for both of us. It felt so good to accomplish something together without one fight!
I think that just maybe, he is learning that we can get through a lot without it becoming a huge blow up everytime something doesn’t go exactly right. And that the way that his parents handled the hard stuff doesn’t have to be the way that he does or we do. We can break the cycle and have a grown up relationship without always breaking up everytime we have a disagreement. I just hope that those kids and all of Bob’s problems don’t influence Jack’s thought on getting married!