Sunday, September 07, 2014

Quest for... oh, god.

Kate, the PT Cruiser, has died. We took her to two different garages, an "emergency" one when she overheated on the way to brunch last Saturday, and "our guys" a couple of days later. Estimates for repairs range from $1500 to $3000. (It's almost certainly a cracked head gasket.) She's 14 years old, has a host of other problems anyway (the AC and radio/cd player both quit some time ago), and it's time to say goodbye.

The last time we bought a car it was fun, 'cause it was our decision and we still had a functioning vehicle to use while checking out other cars. This time, we're under the gun and will need to rent while we're shopping. We have a pretty clear idea of where we want to go this time, but nevertheless, it's going to be expensive and stressful compared to that experience.

Husband put it best when he said, as we cleaned her out for the salvage company to take her away, "the end of a car is the end of an era in your lives". Certainly true if you keep your cars as long as we do. We've had Kate since 2008 and enjoyed her all that time. She got us through my 6 months of commuting weekly to Moncton in a horrible winter in fine fashion (I used to say taking her on long drives was like "driving a sofa", she was so comfortable). She took us on innumerable shopping trips to Saint John and Moncton, and on vacations to Halifax and PEI multiple times (and I believe we were in her when we went on a tour of the French east coast of NB). Lot of memories tied up in ol' Kate.

We are incredibly lucky in a lot of ways. We both work within walking distance from our house so we weren't faced with an immediate crisis and need to rent or take taxis. It gave us some breathing room to figure out what to do. We live downtown with grocery stores and a pharmacy and everything else we need within walking distance, so ditto. And I've had my bike out, outfitted with a basket and a big old pair of pannieres all summer, so ditto again.

We also have options because we are both pretty well employed. These days I often think of when we were completely broke and scraping by, as so many around us still are, and how much more terrifying something like this would be if we still were. With a provincial election looming, it reminds me it's always, always important to support parties that are working to making things better for people who have fewer options than we do.

Anyway, next: Quest for Something.



Blogger Xtreme English said...

I sold my last car in of the happiest events of my OLH. I've made do since then with Zipcar (do you have that up there?). I quit driving altogether about 2 or 3 years ago, and I regret I did this before I had a chance to sign up for Car2Go, which offers Smart cars. Have been in love with the little Smarties since the last time I was in Paris. Anyway, I don't need a car here--public transportation is excellent. One thing I loved about Zipcar was being able to lease different makes and models of cars. Prius was great fun--quite surprising. I expected something electical, sort of--like a sewing machine. But it was zippy and comfortable both. Ford Focus was another. And that one that looks like a toaster was very handy when moving house. But Husband is very right when he said the end of a car is the end of an era in one's life. My brother Gene taught me to drive when I was about 10. Have always loved it. Good luck in your quest!

8:28 a.m.  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Ronnie, I enjoyed reading your blog. I have a son who is 4 months old. He was born with severe sensorineural hearing loss. A wonderful Australian government funded company called “Australian Hearing” fitted my son Sam with his first hearing aids at 7 weeks of age. They provide children with free hearing aids until they are 21 years of age and free replacement batteries and moulds. The Australian Federal Government want to privatise Australian Hearing. This may have a profound impact on Australian children and their families, as the government have not said that the children would be looked after if it was privatised. I have started a petition to help save Australian Hearing. I was wondering if you would like to read and sign my petition and perhaps share it with your contacts if you can. Thank you in advance.

6:38 a.m.  
Anonymous Darrencolons said...

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8:24 a.m.  

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