If any of you have ideas about how to make a gray Ford Tempo look like a nativity scene or some other winter wonderland prop, I would appreciate hearing it.

Over the past three weeks or so, I have had all three of the Krause modes of transportation in the shop for one reason or another, and, quite honestly, the news on all of them has not been all that great.
It started with our Tempo – the car I drove to work for much of the year, which was later taken over by my oldest.
I had actually hoped to get that car fixed up enough that she could take it to school, but the work necessary to get that car in good enough shape to be confident in its reliability became more expensive than the car is worth.
That philosophy has become a pattern in the Krause garage.
The Tempo now sits being driven very little, and that means it may just be the world’s largest winter decoration. (If any of you have ideas about how to make a gray Ford Tempo look like a nativity scene or some other winter wonderland prop, I would appreciate hearing it.)
A couple of weeks ago while on a brief vacation (remember when the snow fell), I knew I had to do some work on the vehicles – the kind of work I thought I could do myself.
Before you laugh yourself from your favorite reading position, know I do have a few skills, or at least I thought I did.
As I changed the oil in the Oldsmobile, I noticed the oil plug was turning much easier than I recalled it turning the last time I changed the oil.
What I discovered is the socket wrench was not turning the oil plug at all. It was just turning.
Yes, folks, I had stripped the plug so badly there was no way I was getting that off.
So, a second visit to the mechanic followed, and what began as a simple oil change led to nearly $200 in repairs.
The very next day I opted to just forget the oil changing on my own thing and took the van to the shop as well.
Another stripped plug was discovered, and another call from the mechanic meant I had a choice to make.
Would I go to the bank for a loan to fix everything that was wrong, or would I accept the fact that my 1997 Chrysler Town and Country with 300,000 miles may have served its purpose.
So, now the Krause clan has what I would consider about one-and-a-half vehicles it can drive, and after Christmas the serious work of finding something new is going to commence – that is if we can hold out that long.
So, if any of you were looking for a nice gift to give to your favorite newspaper editor, a vehicle that can seat seven, gets good gas mileage and won’t break down every five minutes is certainly at the top of the list.
Having a heavy duty oil plug is likely a necessity as well.

The school music season kicked off in the local school district this past week, and I was glad to be at the middle school band concert this past Thursday night. The bands certainly kicked off the season well, and I am looking forward to hearing even more great music in the weeks to come. I want to encourage you to come out and support your school’s music program by attending other upcoming concerts. The next one is Dec. 4 when the middle school choirs perform. Check out your school’s Web site to find out when students are going to be performing.
This is one of my favorite times of the year.
I hope to see you at an upcoming concert.