Thursday, December 30, 2010

December 22, 2010

Don’t you love this time of year? It’s the time of year when tradition saddles on in to take over our lives, mostly for the good.

Except in the case of the Ashbury household.

It would appear that we have a more recent tradition (since it’s happened now about four years in a row) that I would just as soon do without, thank you very much.

‘Tis the season of the car needing something expensive repaired.

Now in case you all think that perhaps I jinx myself by speaking about m-o-n-e-y within the confines of the automobile, let me assure you all most emphatically that I do not. Ever. That is a lesson I learned many years ago.

For those too young or green to understand this (until now) “unwritten rule” of car ownership, let me write it out for you: if you mention raises, Christmas bonuses, small lottery wins, gifts, inheritances, or any amount of money you may think you will have over and above your usual, the car will take advantage of you and break down so that you must spend that windfall on it.

Being the overly cautious types that we are, Mr. Ashbury and I never discuss money of any amount from any source in the car. We also never discuss if or when we might purchase another car, in the car.

Now, on to the Ashbury Christmas tradition of the expensive car repair. The first time this happened, we needed the signal switch replaced, as the mechanism also controlled not just the signal but the high and low beam of the headlights. That repair, about ten days before Christmas, cost us over a thousand dollars.

The second time it happened, it was the replacement of two headlights, within two weeks of each other. One was my fault, and one thanks to the courtesy of an unknown motorist in the parking lot of our local grocery store. Although together these replacements didn’t quite reach the thousand dollar mark, it still meant an outlay of cash at a time of year when all discretionary funds had already been allocated.

Last year, I bought the vehicle four brand new winter tires, hoping to head off disaster, in November. Alas, that ploy didn’t work. Tie rod end, front driver’s side, eight hundred dollars.

This year, I had thought we’d gotten off easy. It was twelve days before Christmas, and when my beloved went out to start the car, he discovered the heater fan wasn’t working.

Although not a problem in good weather, in winter, the car can’t be driven without the heater fan working, for the windows ice up on the inside.

Looking back on it now, my mistake was thinking, great, ‘only four hundred and fifty dollars’! A mistake, most certainly, as on Monday the car really didn’t want to start and my husband said, “the battery is nearly gone”.

Now, I’ve been taking my car to the shop for all its repairs since several years ago when my beloved said he didn’t want to be bothered fixing cars anymore. However, on Sunday he did fix our daughter’s car. So I looked at him and said, “I’ll buy it, you install it.”
Which he did, successfully.

I know I really shouldn’t complain. We’ve had this car since 2006 and have put half a million kilometres on it. And I’m not really complaining, I’d just like the car’s timing to be better. No pun intended.

I wish you all a happy, healthy Christmas, filled with warmth and laughter and love and yummy things to eat. And no car repairs.

God bless you all!


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