Sunday Evenings Bring me Down

When I was a kid, Sonny and Cher were on Sunday night.  After I had my bath and blew dryed my hair (it was really long then too), I’d watch Sonny and Cher and then it was time to go to bed.  Except for a long time, I’d get sick to my stomach by the end of the show.

It wasn’t the fault of Sonny nor of Cher, but because I had to go to school the next day and I really hated my teacher.

This lady had a serious vendetta against me.  I never understood exactly why.  I knew I added work to her schedule because I was reading 3 grades beyond most of the class so I had to have my own reading group.  At the start of the year, I was also a vivacious talkative little girl.  By the end of the year, I was reserved to the point of shyness.  Any infraction meant being called in front of the class for rebuking and ridicule.  Other children were encouraged to rebuke me as well and would refuse to play with me on the playground because I was a “troublemaker”.

My mother had more than one conference with this teacher and the principal.  All my mother could really get out of me was that she was “mean” to me.

The next year, we moved to another area and I switched schools.  There I found the best teacher I had until high school who looked at my super achievement at reading as something of a challenge and kept me busy and happy.  Although I never have quite recovered from the shy part… but that’s another blog post.

The point is, I have a long hatred of Sunday evenings.  All the stores shut down around here about 6 pm and in the summer time, there’s still 2-3 hours of daylight. 

I liken it to what Douglas Adams describes in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe when he talks about the Wowbagger The Infinitely Prolonged:

In the end, it was Sunday afternoons he couldn't cope with, and that terrible listlessness that starts to set in at about 2:55 when you know you've taken all the baths you can usefully take that day, that however hard you stare at any given paragraph in the newspaper you will never actually read it, or use the revolutionary new pruning technique it describes, and that as you stare at the clock the hands will move relentlessly on to four o'clock, and you will enter the Long Dark Teatime of the Soul.

Except my teatime starts about 7:30.  Whether its because I just dread Mondays or don’t want the weekend to end, I don’t know.

I just hate Sunday evenings.

Oddities with Odyssey’s

4270941_16 As mentioned previously, a couple of weeks ago, I took my 2003 Honda Odyssey to the dealership. I needed an oil change and I had an engine light on.

Now for a little back-story: Here in metro Atlanta, we have to have yearly emission tests because of the smog. Your car will NOT pass the inspection if your engine light is on.

Now enter the light itself. A few weeks ago, I was having trouble with one of the tires. I kept having to put air in it. One afternoon, the traction control light came on and stayed on and then the engine light came on. So I went over to the Sears where I bought the tire and they found a 6 inch spike in the sidewall. And of course, it was in exactly the spot that the tire could not be patched so I needed a new tire.

After getting the new tire, the traction control light went out but the engine light stayed on. I did a little research and found out the problem was probably that traction control light. So I relaxed and didn’t worry about it until it was time for another oil change.

I take the car to the dealership and after about an hour the service manager comes over and sits down with me. The problem is NOT the traction control light. It’s a warning about the transmission and the news is not good. The fix for this is to replace the transmission (!!!) and the computer (!!!!!!!!) and the cost is in the thousands. Yes, THOUSANDS. As in SIX THOUSAND.

Six thousand dollars to fix a 7 year old Honda Odyssey with 120,000 miles on it. Six thousand dollars we don’t have. Six thousand dollars that will not make me feel better about my car. I will worry about spending six thousand dollars on a vehicle that is only worth 12 thousand if the transmission were whole and working properly.

With the exception of this light, this vehicle drives like a dream. And my car is well loved. My mother bought it new in 2003 right before she got sick. We took it to Mississippi to gamble a couple of times and we all really loved how smooth it was over Alabama’s terrible roads. We also really loved how comfortable the captain’s chairs were.

When mom got sick and passed away, I inherited both of her cars: the aforementioned van and a 1998 Ford Escort I’d been driving since my own car was stolen from in front of our apartment complex. I immediately sold the Escort but kept the van.

I had told myself years ago that I would never, never, NEVER drive a mini-van. But then I drove this one and loved it. And I’ve loved it ever since I inherited it. I have driven to DisneyWorld in it several times; I brought my baby daughter home from the hospital in it. When Moo and I went crazy and sold his car a couple of years ago, we knew the van would take care of us.

So here we were. With a van that needed major repairs and no money to do it. I knew I’d never fully trust the van again. So we traded it in and bought a new vehicle.

I miss my van like crazy and I’m already plotting ways to get another one.

Sometimes it just works better…

Yesterday didn't go at all as I planned it.  gal_lg1

The only plan was to take the mom-mobile to the dealership to fix the check engine light.

Turns out that it was a major probably requiring a new transmission and computer.  So, I didn't plan for the repair to be $6000.

We decided to buy a new car, but I didn’t plan on to turning my house upside down looking for the car title for the van.  We never found it and I’ve got to go and order a new one.

We didn’t plan on buying a new car.  But we bought a Honda Element.  We didn’t get another Odyssey because Moo has never been comfortable driving my van and we both liked the look of the Element.

But I'm glad it all happened and feel confident we did the right thing. I am also happy and grateful we had the cash for a down payment. It's funny how these little miracles happen and how God makes things work out.