The lights were left on in the van again last night and the inevitable happened: the battery died. D called me just as I was leaving the school from dropping the kids off and asked me to come home to jump the van.
I realized on my way home that wasn't going to happen as by the time I got home, she'd have to leave for rehab (she had an 830a rehab appointment this morning). So, with that in mind, I drove her there and then came back home to jump the van.
Now, for those not in the know, D parks the van in the right bay of the garage; the left bay is used for the kids toys and bikes and trash cans and lawn equipment and such (since the HOA won't allow us to put sheds in our yards). So, in order to jump the van, the left bay needs to be cleared out in order to pull the Altima in. Fortunately, the battery of the van is on the left side of the engine compartment, otherwise I'd have to drive across the lawn and run the cables through the side garage door since the batter in the Altima is also on the left (either that or I'd have to get longer cables). Although now that I mention it, maybe I should drive across the yard, it would alleviate the need to clear out the garage!
Anyway, after jumping D, I went back to pick her up, dropped her off at home and then went in to work.
Upon my arrival, I explained to my colleagues why I was late when one of them asked, "Why don't you just put the van in neutral and roll it out of the garage?"
And therein lies the rub: you can't shift out of park in the Odyssey unless the engine is running.
I found that out the first time the lights were left on in the van and the battery died. I thought we learned the lesson to double-check the interior lights have been turned off when exiting the vehicle, but sometimes it's hard to tell.
Maybe I'll just invest in one of these (if only for the picture on the target page!); it'd make it much easier the next time!