Tuesday afternoon I was on my way to check on The Mighty Herd before going to a worship meeting, when my car suddenly died. I pulled off the road and restarted it. It started right up, then immediately died again. Like I’d run out of gas, except I knew I had half a tankful. I tried four or five more times, and it always started easily and then quit.
I called the Auto Club and told them I needed a tow, then called a member of my worship group who lives in that area and asked her if she could give me a ride to the meeting while my car went to visit the mechanic. She said sure, and pulled up a few minutes later. The tow truck arrived about fifteen minutes after that, and the driver asked me to describe the problem I was having. I offered to show him, and got in my car and started it up.
Of COURSE it fired right up and stayed running this time. I took it for a test ride up and down the road, and it ran perfectly.
So the tow truck went on its way and Marie and I continued on to the meeting in our own respective vehicles. I had hopes that this was going to be like that one time my car’s electrical system went out for several minutes and it wouldn’t even try to start, and then it all suddenly righted itself and never gave me another moment’s trouble.
On Thursday my friend Jenny and I had planned to go see Star Trek in Temecula, but Wednesday afternoon she got a call from March AFB (Jenny’s in the Reserves) requesting a meeting of some sort, so she had to skip the movie. We made plans to meet up later in the day for lunch, after her meeting and my movie were over. Steve said he’d pick up the kids after school, so I only had to get home in time for my Thursday worship meeting at 4:30.
Just for the record…the new Star Trek movie is Made Of Awesome. Go see it, all of you. Yes, you too! Go! This is seriously the best movie I’ve seen since…I can’t even remember the last movie I enjoyed this much. And it’s been a VERY long time since I’ve felt this excited about the future of the Trek franchise. When I met Jenny for lunch she got to listen to me chatter on like a 13-year-old fangirl about how brilliantly the whole series reboot was conceived and executed with broad-spectrum appeal for old-school fans and newcomers alike. I can’t imagine anyone not being entertained by this movie.
After lunch Jenny and I parted ways again to run our various errands, and an hour or two after that I headed back up the hill toward home.
I got four or five miles out of Temec when my car died. I was on a narrow little two-lane highway with no shoulders, but luckily I reached a turnout before I ran out of momentum and was able to pull off the road.
Restart, die, restart, die. I shut it off to let it rest, hoping that would fix it like before.
Less than five minutes later my cell rang. Jenny had passed me on her way home and wanted to know if I was okay. I told her what my car was doing and she came back and pulled in behind me, to wait and see if letting the engine rest would help.
It did. Eventually it started up and stayed running. I decided to try and make it home, and then take it to the shop the next day.
Alas, it was not to be. Maybe a mile farther up the road the engine died again, and again I was lucky to be near a turnout.
This time resting didn’t help. After a while it wouldn’t even turn over.
SO, I called the Auto Club back, and they said a tow truck would be out within 45 minutes. Jenny waited with me, because she’s awesome that way.
As it turned out, we waited for over two hours. FINALLY the tow truck showed up; it was past five by then. No worship meeting for me.
AAA’s Roadside Assistance plan only covers the first seven miles of towing, so I had them take my car to a shop in Temec rather than the 60 or so miles to my regular guy in Idyllwild. Jenny came back to the shop too, knowing I’d almost certainly need a ride home. Which I did, because the garage closed at six and wouldn’t be able to look at my car until the next morning. So we transfered my groceries to her truck and headed back up to Anza.
At some point it occurred to us that if our original plan to see Star Trek together had worked out, the day would have turned out a lot worse. We had wanted to meet up at the local casino in Anza, where she would leave her truck in the parking lot and ride down with me. If we’d done that we’d BOTH have been stranded in Temec.
The fortuitous serendipity didn’t end there: Jenny had forgotten to bring a particular piece of identification with her to the meeting at March, and had to return the following morning to finish that bit of business. SO, I had a ride back down to Temec without putting anyone out. When we got there Friday morning the auto shop said they’d call me on my cell when they knew what the trouble was, whether they had whatever parts it needed on hand, and how long it would take to fix. So I had Jenny drop me off at the movie theater and I watched Star Trek again. And it was even better the second time around. Which is good, because that went a long way toward helping me keep my happy thoughts for the rest of the day.
And that’s saying something, because the rest of the day? Sucked pretty hard.
I learned that my little Saturn had basically suffered the car version of massive coronary failure and needed a new fuel pump, fuel filter and regulator.
I told them to go ahead and check the alignment as long as they were at it. The car had been pulling to the left a little for several weeks.
After the movie I wandered around the mall until Jenny got back, and then we returned to the garage. They said my car would be finished by five — it was a little past two at the time — so Jenny headed back up to Anza and I killed time wandering around other shops.
Steve was getting antsy by now; his band plays at Casa Gamino on Friday nights and he was supposed to be there by six. Parental duties aren’t generally allowed to interfere with his actual life, but in this case there was nothing either of us could do about it. I assured him that I’d rather be home with the kids than waiting around Temec for my car to be fixed, but that I had no influence in the matter and I’d get there as soon as I could.
It was nearly 6:00 by the time my car was done…to the tune of $905.91. Yeowtch. I had the money, but I’d been planning to spend it on corral panels and a bull. Now I’ll almost certainly have to dip into my savings account for those, which theoretically annoys the heck out of me. (It’s only theoretical annoyance because in actual practice I still have my happy thoughts because Star Trek was REALLY THAT GOOD.)
I got back to Anza a little past 6:30, collected the kids from Steve, and went home to discover that I had forgotten to shut off the horses’ water when I left that morning and had created a river through one end of the corral, the driveway and down the road. Yeah, that’s going to be a nice electric bill next month.
Long couple of days. And yet it all could have been so much worse — if Jenny hadn’t been there, if her errands hadn’t dovetailed so neatly with mine, if I hadn’t been able to get off that twisty mountain road both times the car died, if the garage hadn’t been able to get the parts so quickly, or if I hadn’t been able to pay for the repairs — that I can’t seem to feel very grouchy about the rest of it. All I lost was some money and a little time, nothing that truly matters in the grand scheme of things.
I wonder when Star Trek will come out on dvd. There’s a certain turbolift scene I’d like to have on hand to give me the happies whenever I need a lift. (Ha, pun not intended.) I wonder how long it will take them to make a sequel. CLOCK’S TICKING PEOPLE, MAKE IT HAPPEN! I haven’t been this fangeeky about Trek since the glory days of the Dominion War on Deep Space 9, and yes I know how nerdy that sentence sounds, and I don’t even care because the newest incarnation of the Trekverse is FREAKING GENIUS.
The last couple of days? Inconvenient and expensive but not catastrophic, thank Heaven. Downright enjoyable for a few hours here and there.
And now I need to head over to the rummage sale my church is having this weekend, because both kids need summer clothes and it may be a while before I can afford to shop for them at Target again. I’m glad they don’t care about stuff like that yet.
All things considered we’ve got it pretty good that way, you know?