We're livin' it up on the U.P. - that's Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Punkie is 6 and LOVED Kindergarten! Isaboo is 2 and she's a smiley whirl wind. We also call her Busy-Isi. This year we welcomed little Lorenzo to our family.

Life is great!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

First the Computer, Now the Car = Someone is Watching Over Us

Yesterday I was driving when the car started making a rattling noise. I was concerned so I pulled into Meineke where we have gotten an oil change and where our friends swear they are trustworthy and reliable. I left the car running, jumped out and ran in, nobody was at the front desk for a long time but I could see Marley and the car out the window. Finally a guy came in from the garage.

Me: "Hi, I was wondering if someone could take a quick listen to my car."

Nick: "We are super busy today. I don't have anyone available for anything until tomorrow."

Me: "Well, my car is making a rattling noise, it's parked right outside, could someone just listen for two seconds to tell me if I can still drive it or if I should stop right now to avoid further damage?"

Nick: (looking overwhelmed) "Ok, I'll meet you outside."

I go out the front door and he goes out the back. I wait by the driver side and as he walks out he slows to listen and then says:

Nick: "Yes! Turn it off! Right now!"

I jumped in and turned it off. The way he said it you'd think it was about to explode. At first I thought he was pulling my leg because I was so insistent on someone coming to listen and I thought maybe he could get a good laugh out of being dramatic about the noise. He was serious.

Nick: "It sounds like something is wrong with the motor. That's bad. We can have someone look at it tomorrow."

Me: "Ok, I gotta call my husband. I'll come back in to set it up."

I call Nathan who is waiting for us to pick him up. After I tell him, he is silent for awhile. I finally say, "Are you ok?"

Nathan: (mumbles) "No." (I didn't understand, and wait a minute.)

Becky: "Hey, I said are you ok?"

Nathan: "I said no."

Becky: "Oh! What's wrong?"

Nathan: "So much to do. So little time. And now no car."

Becky: "Don't worry, I'll find someone to pick us up and then pick you up."

Nathan: "I still have to go to City Campus and turn in my time cards."

Becky: "Ok, I'll call you back."

We have TONS of friends who would be willing to help us out. I tried to think of the friends with now kids and no finals.

While I was trying to get a hold of someone, Nick came back out. I closed my phone and got out. He had a concerned look on his face and broke the news gently.

Nick: "I don't know how to say this, but it sounds like you've dropped a rod....Wat wat wat (this is the sound the teachers and parents make in Charlie Brown. I didn't understand half of what he said) ....we'd have to dig into the engine to get to the motor before we would even know what the problem is...wat wat pistons, wat wat wat....that is really expensive, like thousands of dollars. I just wanted you to know, I know it's Christmas time and all, just wanted you to know what you're looking at, maybe it's not worth fixing? Maybe it is, we don't know but, just want you to know it's going to be at least $2,000."

Becky: "Ok." (nodding her head and crying)

Our ride came down to someone with finals but at the time she was grading papers, no kids and it was her Birthday! She is an Angel to us!

I called Nathan back, told him that Christina was coming to get me and Marley and then we'd all come get him. She would take us to City Campus so he could turn in his time cards and then she would take us home.

Nick came back outside (another Angel) and said, "I'm pulling a mechanic off a job he's been working on for 5+ hours and he's gonna take a look at your car so you can have a better idea of what is going on before you leave."

Me: (crying again, what boob!)"Oh! Are you sure, you're so busy. Does he need a break from that job? Are you sure?"

Nick: "Yea, he needs a break. It's fine."

I scramble to get Marley out of the car, it was starting to get cold in there anyway. I hand over the keys to Nick and he puts them in the ignition so he can steer and they push the car back and then over to an open garage door.

Nick comes to talk to me in the waiting room. "A little bit better news, it could be the timing belt. How long have you been driving it while it was sounding like this? A couple days?"

Me: "No! It just started but I finished the outing I was on, so 8 miles tops."

Nick: "Ok well maybe there isn't too much other damage but the timing belt and any other possible parts and labor is still going to be around $1,000 and even after that it still might now fix the problem."

Me: "hmmm...Oookaaay."

Christina comes. I go get the car seat out of the car and anything else we might need. Nick gets some information from me and I turn over the key for good.

Christina was SO happy to help. She said it was a great birthday present to help someone out, it makes her feel so good. That made me happy too. (still crying a little)

Christina drove us around and safely returned us home. As we walked in the door to our apartment Nick called.

"Great news! And this is kinda weird because usually when a car makes that noise it's the motor and it's not the motor. AND it's not the timing!"

Me: "It's not the timing? I thought the timing was the good news before?"

Nick: "Yes, it's weird, I've been doing this a long time and have never heard an Alternator make that noise. Now the good news is that we are sure of what it is and it is the Alternator. Parts and labor will only be $412.62, you won't even hit $500."

I was relieved. Maybe this is a technique all mechanics should try. Over exaggerate what the problem might be and that it will cost thousands of dollars. Then when it's $412.62 they are over joyed to pay!

The car should be fixed, at the latest, 3:00 today. =-) Nathan is getting ready to hit the bitter cold, walk 4 blocks to the bus stop that will take him to campus. Hopefully, I'll be able to pick him up, with our brand new Alternator.

And I have officially stripped myself of the "Smartest Woman Alive" crown. No warranty on the car. ;-) But, I think I'll take it back because I pulled into a mechanic as soon as I heard a scary sound.

Mom, don't worry, all is well. Angels are all around us, helping us, and blessing us. And you're an angel too, for letting us skip our Verizon bill this month, even before you or I knew we were having car problems.

Thank you! We love you all!

PS - I promise after today I won't be Debbie Downer anymore. Car will be fixed, and computer should be fixed. (Knock on wood.)

8 comments:

The Hungry said...

That is smart to pull in some place and have someone look at the car! Hope you get all your broken things back (in perfect shape) soon.

love you

Melissa Bond said...

You are NOT a Debbie Downer! Its so nice to know that someone else cries at the mechanics when they say the price!

So glad you are being taken care of!

Sarah said...

well i wished you lived closer to me!! Colin would fix your computer for free and he knows an awful lot about cars!!
just when you think that your life is the hardest one around.. you always find someone who has it worse.. so try to remember that...:) not that im giving you a speech.. its just what we are going through right now. so i try to think about that. love you!

Jeanna said...

I find that Christmas is the best time for troubles, our perspective changes and we notice the angels.

I was crying with you.

Julie J. said...

Oh man, I wish you had called me to come and pick you up! I'm glad you have such good friends way out there in Nebraska.

Bree :--) said...

Ohhhh, I SOOO cry at car shops, almost guaranteed! I'm sorry that happened to you, but ended up being not so terrible! Good luck with all of that.

Adam and Sarah said...

Aww! You made me cry! But in a good way! I'm so glda that it worked out. $400-ish still sucks but it's a whole lot better than 2 grand, eh? Love you guys!

Sandy said...

Well, thanks for broadcasting that we helped you out with the Verizon bill this month. Now every one is gonna expect some help.