car problems, life, parenting, single mom, single mother, single parent, uses for duct tape, women's issues, working mom, working mother

How to Duct Tape Your Wiper Blades…? In the Middle of a Snowstorm?

Snow was falling swiftly as I cautiously made my way to drive my teenage daughter to her doctor appointment. Just as we were  pulling up to the traffic light at the last turn, the windshield wiper blade broke. I said a few words my daughter does not usually hear me say…D$amn Sh*&^t ,,,

She asked why it was bad and I explained to her that it is not possible to drive without a wiper (on the driver’s side, no less) because the snow will fill up and cover the windshield, making it impossible to see what is front of you.

She asked what we would do and I told her that this was the time for creative ingenuity and “thinking outside the box” which luckily I am good at.

I am not so good with fitting in with the  crowd of figuring out the social norms, etc, but I can think outside the box and work with whatever resources are available to me, that other people might not see.

I told her we would go into the doctor appt because the wiper blade would not get any worse and it was already broken. An hour of it sitting just the way it is, should be fine.

I failed however to google the weather report. I should have actually cancelled the appt and taken care of the wiper blade ASAP.

So, as I was sitting in the waiting room, I formulated my plan. I was aware that there is a dollar store, walking distance from where the doctor office is. We could go there and buy supplies and rig that thing on. We only had to drive about 2 miles up the hill, to get to the auto parts store and there we could get assistance.

Not to brag but usually if I smile at the guy in the store nicely they fix things for me. (pretty good for 48 years old ❤ ) I was pleasantly surprised the last time I went to Home Depot that the 2 of the men were wanting to assist me. One of them was saying it was his section. I heard the other one say that he had seen me first, so he had first dibs.

It was really cute for guys in their 50’s to be arguing over who would wait on the blonde 48 year old lady in jeans and a sweater. So, that was nice. I rarely get an ego boost like that. But I digress…

Since I was inside the building, I was unaware of what was occurring outside. About a half an hour into my daughter’s appointment, the receptionist got a call from the supervisor that the office was going to close and to call the patients at home and tell them to reschedule their appointments. The snow weather was taking a turn for the worse.

I had to wait another 15 minutes and they sent my daughter out to me. Time to get moving.

We got outside and it was obvious that the roads were getting bad. We wrapped up our heads with scarves and began walking to make our way to the dollar store. Once inside the store, we shook the snow off our shoes and asked the lady at the counter if they carried duct tape.

She told me to turn around and low and behold there was an entire shelf, piled high with rolls of duct tape. Halleluja ! Score ! I grabbed the duct tape, a pair of scissors and a cheep shower curtain. Why, you ask?

We walked back to the car and got to work. I cleaned the snow off the car, while Delenn worked on opening the packages and removing our tools.

I said to her “We have the technology. We have the tools. We have the duct tape !” 

By this point there was another problem. Because I have raynaud’s syndrome, my hands cannot tolerate the cold and the wet cold is the worse kind!

They first become numb at the extremities and useless to do anything, since I cannot feel my fingertips. Then is they are not brought to heat quickly, they will become extremely painful! So, I ran back into the car and warmed them on the heating vents.

Then we went out together. My daughter, the duct tape, the scissors and the shower curtain ! We got to work. I slid the wiper blade onto the arm and balanced it there. The clip was broken so it was just kind of hanging there. I held the shower curtain over top of my daughter’s work area.

I instructed her to dry the place where we were going to tape it. We had a towel for that. I held the curtain overtop so that it would not get wet and interfere with the tape.

She wrapped the tape once and then one more piece.  It had to done exactly at the joint where the screw was supposed to be. To tape too far over would force the blade not to move, where it was supposed to be loose and possible cause the wiper motor to overheat.

We were done. It was taped together and it looked like it might possible hold together for a few miles.

It was the moment of truth! We got into the car and I sat for a minute and said a prayer. Then I slid the lever that works the wipers. It worked ! It held and it cleaned the window. There was no time to waste; the snow was turning into ice.

We drove very slowly, in second gear up the road to the auto parts store. I turned into the driveway. It was a tire store. It used to be an auto parts store and now it had changed. The ice got louder and I could here it making noises on the car roof. We were running out of time.

The guy in the tire store tried to put the wiper blade on for me, after he pried off all the duct tape. He thought it was “inventive” and laughed a little.

The blade was not going to go back on. as hard as he tried to do it. He instructed me to go right away. across the street to where the auto parts store had moved.

Finally we got the blade replaced and we were on our way. The guy in the auto parts store was amazed when I told him that the duct taped blade worked for me, for 2 miles up the road to get there. Mama had saved the day, but now we still had to get home.

Crawling in 2nd gear, even 1st gear a few times, we made our way the 4 miles to our house. I was so glad to arrive home safely.

That is my story and I’m sticking to it!