Sunday, February 12, 2012

And Then the Car Sounded Like an Aircraft Engine...

Thursday, about two miles from home on the County Road, I managed to get stuck in the mud/snow on the shoulder. The great thing about living in the country is that sooner or later, someone you know will drive by in a truck or a tractor and pull you out. Just under two minutes later, the nice young man from the Co-Op drive up. Moments later, another nice man (older) from the Co-Op stopped and between the two of them, they hauled me out of the mud and sent me on my way. I told them I owed them rescues.

It was about that time I realised I wasn't in gear, and had been driving in 3rd. Oops, probably something I should have checked out straightaway. Anyway, onward I went into the city sixty miles away. Coming home, on I-80 (of course, it had to be on i-80 at rush hour) I suddenly hear a huge bang, and my first thought was that I had blown a tyre at 75 mph. "Fantastic!" I thought, "I'm going to be an Interstate fatality", but then I noticed I still had full control of the car and that there was a loud whooshing noise, like air blowing under the car. As I could still control the car, and the dashboard lights hadn't come on indicating my engine was about to blow, I drove it home. I really did. I reckoned it would be worth getting it as near as possible to save on towing, though I admit I figured it would need a tow at some point. As I slowed, the noise...the noise was a scraping, screeching, whooshing sound of what an aircraft engine must sound like when standing beside. I suppose there's a reason people who work as baggage handlers on runways wear protective ear-wear. Anyway, I stuck to the rural back roads after exiting the highway, and made it home. A large piece of metal was hanging down in front. I know what you're thinking, but the guys who pulled me out of the mud towed me from the back of the car-so that wasn't it. I suppose it was just bound to happen at some point, and that was the point. Upon taking it to the mechanic he was able to re-bolt it, but also noticed a monster transmission leak when we brought it in. I have to think it was a good thing that happened, or I probably would be looking at replacing a transmission rather than a hundred bucks to fix a couple things.

Much like poking myself in the eye during a do-it-yourself haircut, I find I am unable to bring myself to purchase a new car. I am driving a fifteen year old car with over 200,000 miles on it. I cannot bring myself to part with it. The engine is replaced. The transmission is replaced. The entire brake line has been replaced-twice. I cannot bring myself to part with this damned car. Even when we purchase the new one, I am not trading this car. Oldsmobiles are no longer built, and I like my car, though I do wonder if I have reached the point where like my home haircuts it has nothing to do with frugality and everything to do with being a stubborn, old lady? Character flaws, I know.

Why can't I just treat the car like a native Nebraskan and put it up on cinder blocks in the front yard?

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