Thursday, November 18, 2010

Under the Hood and Outta Luck

I'm a former trooper. And I know just enough about cars to be dangerous. With four cars in our family (none of them new) it seems like one is always in the garage. So, it wasn't that big of a deal when the water pump went out on my daughter's car. Even with daily medical appointments scheduled, I figured we could still make it work. What I didn't bank on was pulling out of my garage yesterday afternoon, putting my Jimmy in drive, and hearing an ominous cracking, popping sound followed by an ungodly vibration that almost loosened my fillings.

"This is not good," I said to my daughter. I slow-moed the vehicle to the repair shop two blocks away and popped the hood, and looked inside. Even for an amateur, I knew it wasn't good. Maybe it was the large crack in the plastic that covers the cooling fan that clued me in. Perhaps it was the fact that several fan blades were missing. Or the anti-freeze pooling beneath the car. Or it could be the 'oh geez' that came out of the mechanic's mouth when he walked over and looked in that told me I wasn't gonna be driving my Jimmy that day--or any time soon.

"Water pump," the mechanic said.

I pointed to the mayhem beneath my hood. "A water pump did that?"

He shrugged. "It happens."

With car number three away at college, that left only my other daughter's car. My brother (he's a saint, honest to god) picked us up and dropped us off at her work place. I grabbed the key to her car and ran to the car. And then I checked the gas tank.

"I've told you kids a thousand times not to let your fuel go below half a tank!" I railed to the daughter who didn't belong to the car. Which, of course, she pointed out.

I won't say I broke any traffic laws, but I will tell you I pulled into the medical center parking lot a mere three minutes after our designated appointment time.

And I get to do it all over again today. And tomorrow. And Monday. And Tuesday. And Wednesday.

And next Thursday? I'll be down on my knee giving thanks for a day without driving.

Have you had a day when everything seems to go wrong? What do you do to pull yourself out of a funk? Oh. And does anyone know of a good reliable 4 Wheel Drive vehicle for sale at a reasonable price? ;)

To you and yours, please have a super, safe, warm and wonderful Thanksgiving. And may you get over the river and through the woods to Grandma's house without needing AAA, a tow truck or Mr. Goodwrench.

~Bullet Hole~


Robin Kaye said...

Oh, Poor Baby! I've found the only way to get through it is to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving. There's no secret. You do what you have to do and fall apart when it's all over. A bath, a bottle of Shiraz and a box of dark chocolate truffles always help after a good cry.

I'm keeping you and yours in my thoughts and prayers. May you have a very Happy Thanksgiving, Kathy

krisgils33 said...

sorry for your lousy day! i find that just hanging on until the day is done (going to bed real early helps too!) and hoping for a better tomorrow. sounds lame, but nothing else ever works for me, because, as you know, once it starts that downhill slide, the day usually never improves!!

Saranna DeWylde said...

Aww, that sucks. I've had days like that.

Back when I was working corrections my mother went through cancer treatment. It was something to spend the morning trying to help her and then going to work where the dirtbags were lighting things on fire and throwing their own waste. It was one of those days my car blew up.

It after work and we were all hanging in the parking lot chatting, blowing off steam, literally in my case, I guess. And my car started smoking. I thought it wasn't a big deal, we all smelled like smoke. Then flames shot out from under my hood.

All in all, I found something to be thankful for. The fire department shared a parking lot with us. :)

I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving and NEVER have to go through such a tangled pain in the butt again. *g*

Saranna DeWylde said...

OOps. That read like I didn't care my car was smoking. I meant to say, I couldn't tell it was my car because we were all so smoky and stinky from putting out fires all night. :)

Tori Lennox said...

Yikes!!! You seriously deserve some good car karma!!!

Kathy Bacus said...

Hmmm. I've already been through enough dark chocolate to put me on the exercise bike an extra three miles, Robin. And yeah. I'm really good at keeping in perpetual motion.

And my juggling skills aren't half bad either.

You have a terrific Turkey Day, too!

Kathy Bacus said...

You're so right, Kris. About the downhill slide, that is. I got a phone call at work that the problem wasn't the water pump after all. The motor mounts broke and the motor actually dropped and started rotating! Hence, my busted fan blades plus a hole in my brand new radiator. I'm up to $500 on the repair.

I think I'm ready for Robin's bottle of Shiraz.

Kathy Bacus said...

Jeesch, Saranna. Good thing the Fire Station was close.

I can relate to your corrections story. When I was a trooper, I had to enter a state penitentiary during a prison riot complete with fires, assaults, and even a stabbing murder. Surreal is a good way to describe that experience. I was very, very glad to be wearing full riot gear--including full-face helmet--so none of the inmates could tell I was a female. Scaarrry place.

Kathy Bacus said...

Bring on the good karma, Tori! And a new car couldn't hurt.


Gemma Halliday said...

This must be car week. My battery in my car died on me without warning this week, leaving me stranded miles from home. Luckily, My mom lived nearby, I have AAA, and a mechanic who is honest (amazing, right?!), and it worked out okay. (Okay meaning I spent way more $$ than I wanted to, but the car runs now.) But I totally feel your pain over the car stress!

Christie Craig said...

I hate car troubles. Mostly because I don't know crap about them. I look under the hood of a car and all I see is dirty smelly stuff.

I hope you get that car fixed really soon.