Recent Events: The Car and Christmas

So I’ve been rather quiet for a few days (more like a week!). I’ve wanted to post, but didn’t want to talk about certain things until I was sure one way or another of how they would turn out. So, firstly….

Our car.

For anyone who’s been reading the blog long enough, you know I have a really crappy old car. Reliable (most of the time) but always needing work for one reason or another.

Well, for the first time ever, it wasn’t wear and tear. It was completely driver error, and I wasn’t driving (for once). Long story short, there’s a manhole cover near where my mother-in-law used to live. Sometimes we drive by there just to have a look at the place. The house was left in really bad shape, so we like to look and see if they’re getting it fixed up and stuff. Curiosity and the cat… as they say.

Well on Thursday, my mom and I went out to Rome to the company office of her job to pick up her Christmas bonus. Wasn’t much, just $30 or so, but it was nice to get out of the house for a while. It was raining all morning, and when we got back to Cartersville, it was pouring again. Well, instead of going straight to the library, we took the long route through town, and I said “I wonder if I can see the old house from here.” So unexpectedly, my mom turned to go down the road with the house. There’s a culdesac right next to it, and so my mom turned in there to turn around afterwards. She’s done this on more than one occasion, so I thought she remembered about the manhole cover. She did not. And water was pooled around it to where she couldn’t tell that it was raised up super high from the cement.

Well, it caught on our exhaust pipe under the car, yanked it so hard it cracked the manifold all the way around where it meets the converter. So, we got it home and parked it, I looked up under the car. Mom’s freaking out because she thinks she just totaled the car in such a way we don’t have enough to pay our mechanic to fix it. And I’m on my belly in the mud outside by the car trying to get a good look at what happened so I can tell the mechanic on the phone, and the tow truck guy, and look it up online to see if it’s even fixable.

So, yeah. Thursday sucked. AFTER I get it towed to the mechanic, he takes a good look at it and he’s like “yeah, it’s fixable. Probably lookin at around $220 for the part, and $60 labor.” So he called around to find the part. Found one from a Hyundai dealer (we drive a 2000 Elantra) but it wouldn’t be there till Monday at 11AM. I had to be there between 9 and 10AM with cash in hand because he had to pay for the part when it arrived. So, there I was, waiting with him Monday morning. It was cold, a bit damp, and he was like “yeah, now that my assistant’s here, I’ll take you home. Give you a call when it’s here, and then come get you in your car when it’s done.”

So he had me give him enough to cover the part, and took me home. Now, most people are sitting here reading this right now like “omg you did what? That’s soooooo stupid! You don’t just blindly hand over a wad of cash like that!” – In most cases, yes this would be true. However, with this guy, he’s been a family friend for over 20 years. The few times that something has happened to cause issues in regards to money, he’s done right by all of us and covered it himself when necessary. His prices are also very reasonable, and even if a part isn’t under warranty, he guarantees his work for 1 year. So if he puts in a part, and it fails 364 days later, he fixes it for free, because that should never have happened and was his or his assistant’s fault. So yeah, with this guy in particular, I know he’s not gonna rip me off. He goes out of his way to make sure people don’t get ripped off, and when the parts dealers rip him off, he doesn’t pass the rip off on to the customer. He eats it and sticks by his estimates and words. And you just don’t find quality and devotion to good customer service in mechanics these days. Honesty is a rare trait these days, and I reward it with honesty and respect where I can.

So, anyway, he gives me a call later in the day to tell me that the part never arrived. He gave them an extra 2 hours to get it to him before calling to find out what the hell happened. So as soon as he got off the phone with them, he turned right around and called me to let me know. He said he was sorry, and that I’d been there when he’d first called and ordered the part (he also puts his phone on speaker when he orders parts for people, that way everyone knows what’s going on and is on the same page from parts dealers to his assistant, and straight on to customer. LOVE THIS GUY!) and yeah, they’d said it would be there Monday at 11AM. What happened was it didn’t get put on the delivery truck Monday morning. But it would be put on the truck Tuesday. He chewed out the dealer on my behalf.

So, yesterday, Tuesday, I called him up around 1PM, giving a few extra hours for the part to arrive. He said it still hadn’t arrived. He was about to call them when I called because he’s fucking furious at this point. I thank him and ask him to call me with whatever he finds out. We hang up. No sooner had he got off the phone with me than the guy shows up with the part! So my mechanic turns right around, calls me back, and lets me know that after he takes out the manifold he’s gonna inspect it so he can give me an accurate explanation of the problem more than just “it’s broken” and then it’ll be a few hours. He’ll give me a call when it’s done, since it’s super busy yesterday and he won’t be able to get away long enough to come pick me up.

SO! he calls me around 3:30pm, told me to call a cab and that he’d pay for it to compensate me for the inconvenience all this has put me through.  He’s such a sweetie. Well, I get there, he takes me out to show me the old manifold he pulled and picks it up to show me what was wrong, and some additional problems it had that nobody saw till it was pulled out. Apparently it had a crack in it that appeared old enough his best guess was that it had first cropped up a few years ago, before mom and I got the car. It was hidden in a hard to see spot, which is why he nor his assistant could see it in the first place. He was surprised it hadn’t started acting up prior to when we broke it at the converter. We suspect we know how that crack got there, but in the spirit of the season I’m not gonna point fingers at who, but given the best guess of when, there’s only ONE person it could have possibly been, and given the way she drives…. yeah. So in the end, the manifold was going to have to be replaced ANYWAY. So we essentially broke it prematurely at a time that was more financially convenient to deal with it. Which is ALWAYS the case with this car since we got it. So, that’s nice. Makes bill time a bit of a crunch, but not impossible. And when parts are failing or routine maintenance needs doing, it all keeps falling around the time when my husband or my mom’s money hits the bank so I’m just grateful that whatever’s looking out for me and mine has a decent sense of timing and humor. So that ended with me getting the car and going straight to the store to buy dish soap and laundry detergent… because during this time, my son puked all over his bed and the floor, and we don’t have a dryer, just a washer. This wouldn’t have been much of a problem…. but he nailed ALL of his stuffed animals. So my husband had to scrap all the muck off of them, clean them up as best as he could, and set them near a heater to dry so they don’t mildew before I can get them properly washed and dried today.

This latest car snafu also prevented my mom and I from going to her fancy work party (we heard it was super fun!) and kept me from being able to buy our monthly groceries so I’ve got to brave the pre-Christmas shoppers today AND TOMORROW (and Tomorrow is Wall-Mart day…. ugh… I’ll probably just go in the middle of the night tonight to be honest.)

I still have to get some food based stocking stuffers, milk, eggs, coffee. Y’know, the essentials.

Due to the car going down, and NOT being ready Monday, husband and I were forced to put off our toddler-free date day because no car to get to the movie theatre. And today, I have to spend running errands that I couldn’t do while the car was in the shop. SO that means we won’t get to go see the new Star Wars movie until next week, when my mom has a few days off.

And now, Christmas! Who’s ready for that? I’m not. I’ve got last minute shopping that was supposed to get done on Saturday (stupid car!) and some gifts that are assembly required. And I still have a crap ton of baking left to do! And I’ve gotta make some special sugar-free cookies to take over to my mechanic (his assistant is diabetic and loves cookies) as a thank you for essentially saving Christmas for me and my family.

So yeah, it’s gonna be a busy as hell 2 days!

New Years Eve I’ll be doing another Year in Preview reading for 2016. I’ll be posting it up for anyone that wants it, and will have a PDF version if anyone wants that, too. I’ll be going through the 2015 version and highlighting the hits and misses for me with it the first week of 2016, to see how close I was able to “predict” events lol.

I’ll also be launching my business and it’s website in January, so more news on that when it’s available. I’m still working out the kinks with Paypal, and setting up certain sections of the site itself (my bio/profile, explanations for the types of readings, setting up the payment scale and what’s offered per reading type. Nitpicky stuff, really.)

So, it’s a busy time of year for me all the way around!

Also, just before publishing this post, I realized that I’d been so busy and stressed out since Thursday that I completely forgot I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday evening! So I just called, but the office is closed. I left a message explaining what happened, and gave my name and number, wished everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and that I hope to hear back from them at their earliest convenience.

So yeah, it’s been a week lol.

Also, I hope everyone had a lovely Solstice. Mine was spent de-stressing after we got the car back.

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2 responses to “Recent Events: The Car and Christmas

    • Christmas itself was a blast. Unfortunately, events surrounding it, not so much. Going to do a post later today about what happened to the car (yet again with that old thing) and what happened after I made my last post. 2015 sure is trying to go out with a bang. Just wish it was some nice fireworks instead.

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