Friday, February 11, 2011

A bad day

When the radio alarm turned on yesterday morning and I heard the voices of the morning crew, my subconscious was waiting for them to announce that Misty's work is cancelled today. Of course that didn't happen. But I should have paid more heed to the warning.

Last Friday we brought our Chevy Equinox into the mechanic because it was over heating. For all the non-mechanics out there, it's never a good thing when your vehicle over heats when it's -10 degrees outside. They managed to fix what they thought was the problem (a broken dome gasket) and $1100 later, we were back on the road.  Until Saturday, when it happened again.

Monday we dropped the truck off again and found out it's a broken head (or head gasket, I'm a non-mechanic type) and it would likely cost us another $1500 to fix.  The only good thing to come off all this was that the dealership where we bought the truck (after some heated emails and inappropriate phone messages, which I'll save for another time) was going to fix it under warranty.  Until we got the final word of that decision, I think I lost 10 lbs and gained a few grey hairs. 

Without the truck, I was left to drive the Malibu. Our sweet little 2000 Malibu that has been slowly dying.

Back to yesterday morning.  The kids got on the bus as usual and as I was eating my breakfast the phone rang. My babysitter, calling to let me know that her whole house is sick and she can't tend Owen.  During the busiest time of the year, I'd have to rearrange work and be home for him.  Inconvenient, but not the end of the world.  After breakfast I pulled on my barn clothes to do chores on the way to work and the zipper in my jacket is breaks. Fantastic. It's cold. My coat is open. Great.  But not the end of the world.

The barn is 1 km down the road. The driveway hadn't been plowed completely, but I thought I could get the car in to save me from walking the whole way.  Anything to save time on my way to work.  And this is when I realized I should have stayed in bed. 

I got stuck. Very stuck. I've been stuck many times in my life, with cars and tractors and even my own two feet. I've never been stuck in snow like this. The car slid off the path, a path of ice covered in snow, and bottomed out.  She wouldn't budge. 

Our little Malibu we used to call Blue, who is now referred to affectionately as Old Blue, was purchased in 2003 after hurricane Juan crushed our car with two trees.  I was 5 months pregnant for Owen.  Owen will be 7 next week.  We have never owned another car longer.  She's been good to us.

The neighbour brought his tractor over to pull me out. He hooked the tow rope to the frame in the little hook spots that he's supposed to, I put the car in neutral and he gently pulled the rope tight and began to pull me out.  Then I heard a crack, then I looked back and saw Old Blue's bumper being pulled down the driveway, while I sat in Old Blue, not moving.  It was traumatic. I was beside myself.  Hysterical. The car was just torn in two. Our only car was just torn in two. The bumper was still attached to the frame of the car. The frame was broken. Let this be a lesson in undercoating your cars.

There are a lot of funny things that race through your mind when put under stress. The first was that we should just put the bumper back on. With glue maybe. The second was that I was completely stranded and would surely die where I stood.  What followed that was a mix of needing to get to work before I was late, fear of going bankrupt because we now had to replace the car, and wondering how on earth I was going to get the car unstuck now.  I had no idea what to do. I don't think working every waking hour since January 2nd helped me handle the sudden stress. 

Once calm (or at least not crying) and with Martin on his way home I called the salvage yard.  Her funeral is today. I visited this morning and it was sad to see her.  She deserved a better death than this, than my own stupidity.  Left in a snow bank with her muffler showing, completely undignified. 

It was a bad day to cap off a pretty stressful week.  I should have seen the warnings. I should have just stayed in bed.  Sorry girl.


Bon said...

oh dear. on all counts, except the warranty bit.

RIP to your fair Malibu. and i do look forward to cruising in the new hearse!

Dave Atkinson said...

Old Blue. What a shame. Wish we could send brownies.

Anonymous said...

Oh, days like that are just THE WORST. Although, I have to say, I've never had my car ripped in half by a tractor... so maybe I've never had a day quite that bad.

Cars, I hate 'em. We figured out that we actually spent so much on fixing various weird things on our minivan last year that an equivalent amount of money would put us in a brand-new minivan, with warranties and seats that fold into the floor and enough carseat anchor points (which our current one doesn't have, for some reason). We're going van shopping tonight.

misty said...

You mean you didn't send brownies Dave!?!

Quadelle said...

That was way worse than Alexander's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.


alejna said...

Ugh. That does sound like a terrible day. I'm sorry about the car and all the trouble and expense. Ugh.

The Schneldales said...

Oh. Poor old girl. You all have my sympathies.

Also: This day screams for a beer. I hope you had one.