A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Friday, November 02, 2012


October was a tough month.

But things are getting better by the minute.

This was waiting for me when I got home today.
My daughter-in-law sells her photography via instacanvas.  I ordered this one and am THRILLED with the result.  This picture does not do it justice.

The verdict on my car was that it wasn't worth repairing.  The Blue Book on it was only $2500, and the estimate on transmission, brakes, fluids and so on was over $4400.  Once I accepted that reality I felt a wash of peacefulness.  I've learned over the last three years that this means I've made the right decision.
I walked to work today and it was delightful.  Walking home - mostly uphill after a day of teaching - was not so delightful but not awful.  I'm in pretty good shape and, happily, live in a lovely neighborhood so I didn't suffer.
Once I got home I got a ride to the mechanic.  I was dropped off to pay my bill and then - with fingers crossed - drive my limping SUV home where I had imagined it would serve as a storage unit for a while until I figured out how to unload it.  I know there are organizations that will come get donated cars, but this one needs so much work I would feel guilty donating it.  There's no way I would get anything on it as a trade-in, and I couldn't "wake up with myself" (as Billy Joel says in "My Life") if I sold the thing to anyone.
So I felt like the Universe was smiling on me when I went in to pay my bill.  The owner was talking to someone and his assistant was kind of stalling.  Within a few moments the assistant asked, "What do you plan to do with that car?"  I said that I hadn't really thought it through yet, and he said the owner wanted to talk to me about it.  Sure enough, he finished his conversation and came back with a proposition.  "I'm interested in your car as a shop car."  He would make the repairs and use the SUV to transport his elderly clients home and back when they left their cars for him to repair.  He told me that he hadn't been able to find the "right" sized car and thought this Explorer might work better than the previous two SUV's he'd tried.  Trouble was, he said, he couldn't really afford to offer more than a couple of hundred dollars because of the needed repairs.
I'm sure it was an odd conversation.  I don't know if he expected me to try to bargain him up, but all I could think was that I loved the idea that my car (I really did love that car) would make a useful contribution after all and that I would be spared trying to drive it home (I was terrified that it would collapse on me in an intersection, which is what happened with the last vehicle I had with transmission problems) AND trying to dispose of it.  In the end,  I just suggested I trade the car for the $168 I owed him for what he'd done on it (mostly diagnostics).  He threw in a couple of free pre- purchase inspections if I chose to buy a used car.
I called my son and asked him to bring his truck to unpack all my stuff.  I'm glad I did.  I remembered the glove box, under the seats, my CD collection (both in the console and on the visors).  But he remembered my Disneyland license plate frames, which I would have forgotten.
So now I'm carless, but at peace with it.  It will be a while before I can think of getting a new car.  A lot will depend on Tuesday's election.  But we are a household of three people and two cars, so we should be able to make things work.  It's nice that I work so close to home (about a mile) and can walk on nice days.
Am grateful that things have worked out today.  Hopeful this bodes well for November.
Leaving in less than two weeks to love on my family in Japan.  Yes, that's my son and grandson in the photo  (he looks EXACTLY like his uncle from the back). 
Cannot wait to get my arms around all of them.

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