I Got Schooled

Conventional wisdom tells us not to go grocery shopping when we are hungry. You know another time you shouldn’t shop for food? When you first get behind the wheel after having been without a car for five straight days. After subsisting on hot dogs, French fries, pancakes and peanut butter sandwiches for that long, I went a little nuts. Grocery store = fresh fruits and vegetables! I stuffed my shopping bag with Honeycrisp apples, nectarines, sugar snap peas, carrots, pears, and maybe some Honeycomb cereal. I have a sweet tooth. Sue me.

My car has been in the shop three separate times this week. That number would have been higher, but I quit bringing it home at night to save a tow in the morning. The issue itself has been a mystery. We were ready to call in Dr. House, or maybe in this case Dr. Garage. The mechanics have tried a number of things. These things seemed to work at the time, and I’d fetch the car, only to have it die in our driveway overnight.

Besides the grocery shopping tip, here’s another thing I learned. It’s difficult for a mechanic to fix a problem they don’t actually get to see. Two of the three times the car was towed (yes, three. This week. We’re on AAA’s hit-list), the stupid car started right up when it was unloaded. It wasn’t until we left it for a sleep-over that they began to see what we saw. Looks like it’s fixed this time.

Car trouble is a pain. It’s an inconvenience. It’s a game-changer. It reduced me to dependence on other people, starting with the very first tow. Another lesson for the week is that having AAA didn’t necessarily mean I could take care of business without my husband. His name is the only one on the card. Turns out that he actually had to be with the car in order for it to be retrieved. Had they made that clear when we initially bought the membership, we’d have sprung for the upgrade. Of course, the tow truck never even asked whose car it was when they picked it up, so chances are my husband was late for nothing.

I also learned this week that, though I may require assistance retrieving Squish from his school and getting too and from my commitments, I could still function fairly well. I made it to work. I made it home from work. Each day I managed some arrangement to get kids to and from their respective schools. I even walked the two miles to the garage two or three times to pick up the car when we thought it was fixed. I can do things. And I learned that some things can be cut out of the schedule and no one dies. I missed Tortoise Day, and it didn’t kill me. It almost did, but like my grandpa used to say, almost only counts in a game of horseshoes.

Here’s another cool lesson. I’ve been on the waiting list at the library for Mumford and Sons “Babel.” It came in over the weekend. I’ve listened to it obsessively a couple of times now. Turns out that M&S is the perfect soundtrack for automotive misery. Who knew?

I learned this week that I being grounded was a gift. In slowing down, I gained momentum. I finished a project that has been on the back burner for months, and I have made incredible headway on another one. I am so pleased with the results, and I can’t wait to share it. Creativity apparently doesn’t require transportation. It’s a vehicle all its own. Ideas are flowing so fast I can barely keep up.

Today, I have a car. It has started three whole times in a row. But it is parked. I’ve stocked up on fruit and Honeycomb cereal, and today I’m getting some work done. Just because I have a car doesn’t mean I can slack, you know?

Gratuitous box turtle shot. Just because.

Gratuitous box turtle shot. Just because.

What have you learned this week?

30 thoughts on “I Got Schooled

  1. AA hit list, very funny. I enjoy your wirting, and can relate. I remember back in the day when my children were little and my husband and I only had one car. You learn to prioritize really fast. Also something of a gift when I look back, I spent more time at home with kiddos, and less money out shopping.

  2. I have learned that i am still in love with turtles. My car has been sat by the barn since Tuesday because I am better at finding reasons NOT to go anywhere! Today is old peoples day so I will push it down the drive and go visiting and cooking and cleaning then back home for me. have a lovely day.. the walks must have been great at this time of year! c

  3. Congratulations on being wheeled again. While it’s great that you appreciate the down time, it stinks to not have the ability, just in case you need it.

    Thanks for the gratuitous box turtle shot – it’s why I come her.

  4. I love your post about turning liabilities into assets! This week I learned to tackle one uncomfortable task at a time. My dog is sick, so there are nasty messes to deal with. Our visitors spilled stuff all over the refrigerator. I entertained guests when what I really wanted to do was comfort the dog.

  5. I’ve learned that when I stick with my real goals, and don’t get distracted by dumb stuff, good things come my way. And, apparently, I have an thing for baby turtles. (BTW: a neighbor has a large turtle that lives in their fenced garden. It’s been there for years and years. This week I stopped to take photos of it, and thought of you. 😉 )

  6. We were ready to call in Dr. House, or maybe in this case Dr. Garage.

    Hee, I see what u did there 😉

    Also, that may be the cutest box turtle I’ve ever seen. Just the perfect little-ness (not even palm-sized!), and all four legs stretched out to the side (I don’t know why that makes it cuter, but it does…maybe ‘cuz it looks like it’s learning to swim, or like it tried to ice-skate but slipped and went spinning about–gently, of course–on its tummy), and of course those big dark eyes!

  7. I have a car that I rarely drive because I walk to work. It must be driven occasionally, which is an annoying must-do. I have to come up with a reason to drive it somewhere. Today it will be for some milk. Except that I have a bike with a nice grocery bag attachment and so I should probably ride my bike. Damn.

  8. I learned to make a Tomato Pie, it was excellent. I learned the games I loved playing with my sons when they were teenagers are still excellent entertainment! I learned meals shared with family are still the greatest gift of all.

    Thank you for the turtle shot, wonderful. Congrats on having your car back, I despise car trouble.

  9. Oh I have been there with the car trouble. Last summer my car was in the shop maybe 5 different times. They replaced this and that (was under warranty). Finally I took a picture of the stuff leaking out of it and spoke to the manager and it was actually fixed.

    Glad you got you car back and realized you don’t really need it. (lol I did not have a car until I was 30 and now I don’t think I could get on without it.)

  10. I learned this week that if the baby is ill and I am starting to have a sore throat too, my husband will inevitably trump my illness with something much more severe (in this case a literally blinding migraine), leaving me to care for all of us. Did I mention that we have another child? And that I was ill, too?
    On the bright side of things his migraine was over today whereas I got to lay in bed and recuperate from my flu. Yay :-S

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