Looking for answers to life's questions

There are days we long for simpler times, if indeed they were simpler. The last few months have been nothing but one car repair after another for my daughter. It’s hard to explain to someone with a budget so tight it squeals, that if you don’t fix it now, it’s going to cost you twice later. Where does that leave you?

It started with lower ball joints and all that affected. $900. Had to be done or the car would fall apart on the interstate and tie up the morning or afternoon commute. It was in dire condition. Mom (me) fronted the cost so she could keep working. Because daughter had waited so long to get a necessary alignment done, the calipers, brakes and rotors were totally gone. That wasn’t cheap either. Another $1000 down the drain just as she was gleefully starting to pay me back for the last repairs. She pulled out of the bay at Sears automotive and got to the signal to turn onto a major road when the car died, twice, then wouldn’t start again.

It's still pretty for a 1997 Olds Bravada.

It’s still pretty for a 1997 Olds Bravada.

Sears tried to help but couldn’t figure it out. Tow truck time. I had just signed us up for AAA the month before. Took 2 tow trucks because they couldn’t get the car out of gear and it’s all-wheel drive. So across the street to the next shop. It was the ignition and wiring. That was another $657. She had to whip out her credit card.

Then came tires and finally an alignment. All in less than six months. Last Thursday, as she was filling her tank and taking the car through the car wash, the driver’s side electric mirror fell off. They had to back her out of the wash. She called and cried. Does this sound like anything you’ve experienced? So she borrowed my car to get to work while trying to figure out the next step. Guess what happened next? Daughter ran over a nail somewhere and had to get my tire patched. Four days later, I ran over a screw and had to get another tire patched.

The offending mirror all new and shiny.

The offending mirror all new and shiny.

Thinking about the good old days of horses and buggy’s was sounding pretty good. Till you start adding up feed costs, vet bills, blacksmith for shoes and wood wheels in need repair or replacement. Then there is the dust you had to eat not even mentioning the heat or cold. My daughter’s car no longer has working AC. That would be another $600. It’s not so easy for some to just go and buy a newer car or to replace the cost of a horse and buggy.

Can you see the residue from the duct tape that held the broken one on?

Can you see the residue from the duct tape that held the broken one on?

She would love to do something where she didn’t need to commute, but right now the ideas aren’t jumping out at any of us. She talks wistfully of the day she can utilize the proper application of high explosives on her nemesis. (i.e. the car)
We all want to drive less and not be involved in a commute. Many of us are looking for the simple life and hers really can’t get much simpler. She doesn’t have TV and she’s living in 400 sq. ft. How do we get back to the horse and buggy days? Do we even want to?

I saw an ad for the new electric car. Sounds wonderful but it’s going to run a minimum of $70,000. How many do you want? I’ll take three.

Our vote is for gratitude for the old clunker for now. Lets hope next week is kinder on the budget. Is there an easy fix for this kind of problem?

Drive-in banks were established so most of the cars today could see their real owners. ~ E. Joseph Cossman

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

Comments on: "In Search of the Horse and Buggy" (14)

  1. eyeclic said:

    Not only do the older cars have a monetary cost, but also in time and stress. That offsets a little with the savings to insurance, finance charges and registration fees. There’s no perfect answer. I feel for her.

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  2. JackieP said:

    Sounds like you both have been having some tough times. I find for myself things come in spurts. I feel for ya.

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  3. Cars always seem to need repairs just when we can afford it the least. I feel for your daughter and having to commute for now. I hope the rest of the year is kinder to her.

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    • Thanks Lois. I’m hoping the rest of the year is kinder as well. The last time she had major repairs on this vehicle, she was laid off the same day she paid for the repairs. I do sense a change in the works for her though very soon. At least she has temp work for now. And she is so much help for me.

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      • I do hope the changes she is looking forward to happen for her, I so feel for the younger generation who seem to be struggling now with the economy and loss of jobs as a result. I don’t think I would have survived well with today’s prices as a single mother. I watch my boys work really hard to have what they have and know the income they are earning would have stretched so much further just a short time ago.

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      • When those with college degrees can’t find work, things are really tough. I’m hoping things change for all of the younger generation than mine. My daughter has no college but works as hard as possible. I see it everywhere.That’s why I help as much as I can. Your kids are lucky you help the way you can too.

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      • This economy is really bad, I don’t care if he news says we are now in a recovery, it’s not true. I live in a college town and see the struggle the youth have finding jobs after college. They are drowning in debt, working at waitressing, painting jobs and other manual labor just to stay afloat. If they don’t move back home with their parents they are trying to find cheap enough housing with friends just to survive. I fear for them. My children know my finances won’t allow me to help them with very big expenses but a little here and there helps and I’m happy to do it,like you. But what happens when we can no longer be there for them?

        I do see the reemergence of the multi-generation home which if embrace would be a good thing for the very young to have more adults around to love them, but not if it is viewed as a hardship and resented.

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      • My sentiments exactly. I liked having my mom right next door on our property. Gave her privacy and me peace of mind. Now comes my turn. We are looking for something on the same order. Everyone can do their own style of living but we can take care of each other.

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  4. Your daughter must be under some evil sign that wants revenge. What a week! And I understand everything about commuting. Before I retired, I had two jobs that caused me to drive an hour to get there, work all day and then have to drive home. Every time I’m on the highway, I thank God I don’t have to do the commute everyday. See if you both can find the humor in all of this. I think it would be a great stand-up routine. 🙂 Keep the faith. Barb

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    • That has all taken place over the last frew months culminating in the last few weeks. But, yes, the Universe is trying to tell her something. I think a BIG change is coming after the first of the year. She wants a different car but it has to wait till she finds a job that’s not a temp job. We both take a relaxed attitude but the issue is always is she going to get to work and back. I’m always her back up and she is mine. Works out well. Stand up routine sounds like a good idea. 🙂 Tnanks for reading.Next week will be better.

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  5. This sounds all to familiar to me. Oh snap, once things start costing money it never ends. Right after replacing the windsheild on my 2005 PT with only 127,000 klm, it lost the AC. I spent $1,300.00 and it still didn’t work. Since I didn’t want to spend anymore, that was a complete waste of money. Then the signals started acting weird. If I don’t leave the left signal on when I stop the car, the flood lamps stay on and drain the battery…figure that. I will never buy another Chrysler, sorry Dad (that was his car of choice back in the day). One good thing about living downtown, the hubby walks to work, so we only need one car.

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    • I feel for anyone that has recurring car repairs. I gave up on Chrysler when they went belly up. My Chevy is the same year as your PT. Mine’s a Suburban (shopping cart). I drive very little when not taking long distance trips and so far, it’s been kind to me other than windshields. Several so far. Arizona gave cheap windshield insurance because of all the gravel and cinders on their roads. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend.

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