Friday, July 20, 2007

A Very, Very, Very Bad Car Day!

My car was making a strange noise. How strange was it? Well... when I pulled into the Volkswagen Dealership a couple of days ago, so my daughter could pick up her car, all of the mechanics came out of their service bays to see what the commotion was all about! One of them remarked, "That doesn't sound good!" Thanks buddy! I can hear that for myself!

We're not talking about a new car here. I know it is old, but it gets me where I want to go. Besides, I can't afford a new one at the moment. So I took my old jalopy to the Chrysler Service Centre this morning. The guy at the desk, his name was Mark, asked me what work I wanted done. I told him my car was making a strange noise. He said that was a very vague description and could I please imitate the sound for him! Why is everyone a comedian when you don't need one? Anyway, he went out with me to my car and listened to the noise. He thought it was the belt or something and said it would probably cost about $200. He would have the guys repair it and he would call me when the car was ready to be picked up. Someone drove me home and I felt that all would be well.

But Mark called me back a few hours later and told me that it was the air conditioning unit that was making the noise. I had to do some quick thinking! The summer is half over! Who needs air conditioning? I've only used it once so far this summer. And, come to think of it, it wasn't working very well at that time! A new unit would cost around $2,000. A re-conditioned unit would be much less, around $850. Still too much! So I asked him if they could disconnect it. I don't need air conditioning! But I will be needing a new car soon. Why spend money on this old heap? He said that he understood and would have the mechanics do that.

A few minutes later he called me back. "Sorry", he said. It can't be disconnected because of the type of engine I have. I would have to live with the noise and risk having the thing seize up on me or put a new unit in. Reluctantly I opted for the re-conditioned one. Unfortunately they have to order that, so I am without a car until at least Monday or Tuesday. And much to the amazement of many people, I do have a life! I need my car! I have a doctor's appointment on Monday morning, my Kamajo students from Japan are coming on Monday evening and I have to drive them to school on Tuesday morning. And what about shopping? I have lots of that to do! What if my car isn't ready by Tuesday? The service guy could not promise me anything! I think the car gods are angry with me!

So I spent the rest of the afternoon moping around the house. I couldn't do anything! No cleaning! Who wants to do that anyway? No quilting! No creative endeavours of any kind! $850 and no car until next week sometime! Woe is me!

Later in the afternoon, when my depression had completely taken over, I went out into the backyard to see what damage last night's storm had caused. There were lots of branches and other debris in the pool. Several potted plants had blown over. The ground was littered with peaches that had fallen from my peach tree. What a mess! My goodness! Were all the gods angry at me?

But then I looked over in a corner of my garden where some goose-necked loosestrife is taking over. The newly blossoming flowers were covered in beautiful butterflies! I think they were Red Admirals. The flowers were loaded with them. In fact, I don't think I have ever seen so many of these butterflies in any one place before. I ran inside to get my camera. But each time I got close enough to these gorgeous insects, to capture them on film, they flew away. They weren't really afraid of me though. At one point I had three of them perched right on me! Perhaps they thought I was a flower! Okay, okay, maybe that's going a bit too far.
As I scurried around in the garden, trying not to step on plants, but still get some good shots of these amazing creatures, I was actually forgetting all about my car problems! But the photos were not to be. I decided not to bother the little Red Admirals too much and just admire them from a distance. I put a chair in front of that part of the garden and marvelled at the beauty of nature. After all, I didn't want the butterfly gods angry with me too!

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