Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Weeklong Sigh

It started on a gray day.

One week ago, I headed west, to Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, on business. The weather was cool. I had 16 houses and farms to inspect from last Wednesday through last Saturday morning. It was going to be a lot of work jammed into a short amount of time, but this was a chance to go back to my home stomping grounds.

The week hasn't really "ended", as such, but it came to a screeching halt on Saturday when the Jeep died in Galena, Illinois, as I tried to get home. Home. Just let me make it home. It would run for a bit and then die. I'd have to wait 1-5 minutes and it would start, only to die about 30 miles down the road. I made it to Galena on Saturday.

This past Monday, I watched as my Jeep was loaded onto the back of a flatbed and taken to a repair shop in Shullsburg, Wisconsin.

The shop had repaired it Sunday morning, but I made it only as far as Warren, Illinois before it died and would not start again. The shop owner, who also drives the tow truck, picked it up for no charge and has been working on it  to get it running. Today, Thursday, May 2nd, it's running just fine. They wound up replacing a few things. It was sort of a "perfect storm" of things breaking all at once. Unfortunately, given where he is and where I am, I can't get the car until Saturday.

In the meantime, I'm driving this, a Nissan Versa.

It's okay. It has four wheels and it runs and is pretty good on gas. My neighbor, Zeke, has two of them. He really likes them.

I did my crying after calling Pam on Sunday afternoon. If ever there was a time to remember gratitude, it has been this week.

  • I'm grateful the weather on Saturday and Sunday was lovely. This would have been beyond awful had it been sleet or snow or bitter cold. 
  • I am grateful that it's the end of the month and that I can afford the repairs and the rental. It means the business trip won't buy the new tires I need for the Jeep, going, instead, to pay bills. But, nothing will not be paid this month. 
  • I am grateful Enterprise gave me the corporate rate and that they have been very flexible in my needing to keep this longer than expected. 
  • I am grateful for unlimited mileage as I have been tasked with some small trips around the Chicagoland area. 
  • I am grateful for demanding my insurance have a roadside assistance program that is included in my premium. Seriously folks, if this is an option, do not pass it up. Pay the extra every month. I am living proof that this will save you hundreds of dollars in towing fees. 
  • I am grateful for Officer Smith of the police of Warren, Illinois, for understanding how traumatic breaking down was and for checking on the car and letting me leave it where it was. 
  • I am grateful this body shop took it upon themselves to come get the Jeep and to fix it. "We didn't do right by you and I'm going to make it right," said the owner. 
  • I'm grateful that the repairs, while expensive when you're not planning for them, were not budget breakers. That's probably due to being a small shop in a small town. 
  • Lastly, there is not enough gratitude on this planet or universe for Pam coming to get me on Sunday, driving me home and feeding me on the way. She kept my low spirits higher than they would have been had I been forced to find accommodations again. Plus, she kept the girls in water and kibble and even cleaned the litter boxes on Saturday.

I didn't get home when I'd planned which has sort of set this whole week back a day and a half. But, when I look at things from the position of gratitude, I see a lot that is good. It sets back the planned trip east to see Carole, but that's probably not really a bad thing. That will happen when it's good for both of us. Once I get my Jeep back, on Saturday, I can go from sighing when I walk out of the house on the way to work and not see it, to sighing happily that I can plan to run topless maybe over Mother's Day weekend. It is all about perspective.

Now to try to save for tires.

Beverage:  Irish Breakfast tea


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