Sunday, January 27, 2008

Saved from financial ruin

Yes peeps, we almost had financial catastrophe at our house this morning. But let me back up 23 years.

I was raised by very responsible parents. They plan ahead. Never procrastinate. Take care of everything right away. They taught me well. I never let my car get below a quarter tank of gas. Of course, that was when gas was 79 cents a gallon, but still.

Do you know that I actually remember my dad getting gas one time when I was about 10 years old for 23 cents a gallon?? Sorry, that thought just popped in and begged to be told.

Anyway, that's how I was raised and that's how I always took care of business.

Then I got married.

And when you're married, your priorities change. Husbands need attention. And food. Children come along and need to be changed and fed and put down for naps. Cars become fodder for back burners.

We once had an old, brown Ford van that burned and leaked a little oil. Well, it leaked a burned a lot of oil, but we didn't really keep track. Except that I was supposed to. I had to check the oil EVERY TIME I DROVE IT. So one day I decided I was sick of checking the stupid oil and I just didn't. And I drove to my parents' for a visit. Two hours away.

The next day when I checked it, nothing registered on the dipstick. NOTHING. That baby was as dry as the Mojave desert. I started pouring oil in one quart at a time. I got to five and stopped. Then I walked over to my neighbor, Gregg, who I KNOW knows something about cars, and asked, "Hey, um, is it possible for my van to be FIVE QUARTS low on oil and still run?" He thought a minute and said, "Well, it IS a Ford. . . I guess so." And I never forgot to check the oil again.

Ben and I aren't the best about putting gas in the cars either. We like to take chances by seeing how low we can get it without actually running out. Couple that with the slope of our driveway and you get this morning.

We all got in my car to go to church and Ben started it up. It immediately died. So he started it again and it made this funny whining sound, but you could tell the motor wasn't turning. Tried it again - same thing. So he pulled the key out and said cheerily, "Timing belt broke." We piled in the van (old faithful - but not the same old brown one) and pulled out.

Now I don't know about you, but I'm a stewer. I can't just forget about my poor, dead car in the driveway. No. I have to ask questions. "What do you think is wrong?" Timing belt. "How do you know it's that?" It's happened to me before. "Can YOU fix it?" No. "How much will it cost?" And the answer to that last question nearly caused my eyes to become unsocketed - $1600.

Sweet fancy Moses (to borrow one from BooMama)!

When will I ever learn to stop asking and just let Ben do the worrying?

We get home from church and eat lunch. I'm still worrying. I go to the kitchen to make food for our missions conference banquet tonight. Ben goes to the couch to read. I'm still stewing. Ben falls asleep. For TWO HOURS. (He's in his nothing box - remind me to post on THAT one.) Now my fretting is at fever pitch.

FINALLY he wakes up and goes out to survey the damage and make sure his initial assessment is correct. I look out the front window three minutes later and the CAR. IS. GONE. Yes, internets, you read that right. Seems that the first time he started it this morning, it stalled because it was too low on gas. Then he didn't wait long enough before trying to start it again and some thingy in the doo-hicky didn't engage and it just whined that pitiful, sad, I'm-not-even-going-to-try-to-start whine. Ben says it just needed a two hour nap.

I'm praising God for not completely wiping out my tuition account.

Be thankful ~



Rie said...

Okay, that was so funny. I can so relate to that... how *is* it that men can NOT worry over these things?? Yet our worry over it can ruin our day/week/month/year depending on the "catastrophe"! Anyway, I'm glad that the car is okay. Oh, and that you are too. :)

carrie said...

I hate cars, I hate cars and I hate cars. So much stress from such a necessary evil. I would have been fretting too. I fixate on these things all the time. Glad it was just the gas!