Money out the door in still life, 2012
It could have been worse.
If your car's transmission is going to go, what better place than in a parking lot just 2 miles from your home?
Last Thursday, I was heading over to my daughter's school to pick her and a friend up to drive them to the Nobel Peace Prize Forum—an event they'd been selected to attend last week—and when we got into the car to go, the car decided it didn't really feel like going.
I put it into gear and…nothing. Then, it lurched ahead a few feet. Then nothing. Lurch. Nothing. Lurch—you get the picture.
I managed to pull out into the street only to realize pretty quickly, "Um, Cathy, you'd best get off this street," and pulled safely into a parking lot where another parent came to the rescue of the girls, driving them to the forum.
Dan showed up. Jim the Towing Guy showed up. I figured it was the transmission and knew this wasn't a good thing, but during the whole thing, I remained pretty calm.
In fact, I asked Cole, who was in the backseat, "Cole, how do you think I handled this today?" And he replied, "Oh, pretty good, Mom."
The therapy is working!
Here's the thing about my car. It's a 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe that I bought new in early 2003 and it has been just about the most reliable, comfy vehicle I have ever had the privilege to drive. It is clean, rust-free, just sporty enough and best of all, it is now paid for.
We had it towed to our local mechanic who confirmed that yes, it was the transmission and that we'd have to send it to another shop because he told me, and I quote: "I'm not a tranny guy." Tommy, please tell me you got that!
When the final estimate came in ($2,300, plus a few parts that may still be needed) I didn't flinch. "Do it," I said. Right now, it's worth it to me to fix this car as opposed to getting out there and taking on a car payment.
Sure, in a year from now, we'll probably start looking, but this week, hopefully in the next few days, I'll get my curvy, grey SUV back for many more hours of glitch-free driving.
It really did surprise me was how little I freaked out. I mean, what happens happens, right? And you just deal with what's real, as they say.
I can't tell you how much this concept used to be completely foreign to me. I mean, if you don't freak out, how do people know how you really feel?
Again I say: the therapy is working.
Afterall, it could have been worse. The day before we were hit with snow and sleet and it would have sucked a great deal more to have broken down then.
It would have sucked even more to break down on the freeway at night when I drive the kids to their play rehearsals.
And I am fortunate that I have a credit card and the ability to get something like this fixed.
So you see, there is always going to be a sunnier side of the street for a lot of the glitchy, pain in the ass, why'd this have to happen today kinds of things.
Life's always trying to teach me something.