Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Cold Snap

Mike: I am stuck in this frozen wasteland!
Yeti: Wasteland? I think you mean "Wonderland!" I mean, how about all this fabulous snow, huh?
–Monsters, Inc.

Just for the record, I'm with Mike. Because it is cold {said with a shiver}. Over the past three weeks, the temperature has only been above 32˚ once. It's been as low as -8˚, and mostly hovers at plus or minus 10˚. Farenheit. I know this because I have a nifty little weather app on my iPhone. I can see the temperatures in all kinds of places, and we've been colder than all of you most of the time. Moscow, Russia is warmer than us. People are actually building igloos.

At a certain point, you can't get any colder. Once you hit freezing, cold is cold and you just can't warm up. Our furnace has been running non-stop. I don't even want to see the next gas bill. We've had to have it repaired twice and our fix-it guy is coming back next week to do a little preventative maintenance to hopefully keep the thing running a little bit longer. It's getting old and has almost reached the end of it's life. More money out the door.

My car has been acting up too; it has made a total of 4 trips to the repair shop, has spent 14 out of the last 27 days there and had to be towed three times. First the starter went out, which is not related to the cold and I kind of have to allow it. After all, a car needs a new starter every 18 years or so, right? I have my mechanic on speed dial {you have to, when your cars are older than your children} and luckily was less than half a mile away from his shop when the starter went out. He came and had a look at it {just to make sure} and then towed it away {we were on a flat surface, or we could have popped the clutch to start it}. But the mechanic did something goofy when he replaced the starter. He may have had one of his kids help, which I'm Ok with. It's kind of like a teaching hospital; you have to learn somehow, right? Anyway, it would stall every time I took my foot off the gas. I got about six blocks from the repair shop and turned back around so he could fix it, which he did without charging us again.

It was running really well, no problems, but a little less than two weeks ago, I went out to get the car warmed up and to scrape the windows before taking Grasshopper to school. It was a particularly chilly morning, and as I pushed the clutch in to start it, there was a sort of snapping noise and then there was no more resistance in the clutch. I reached down with my hand and it moved in and out, but it was clearly not working. Tow number two. We replaced the master clutch, which sounds expensive, but wasn't as bad as I'd imagined it might be.

Tuesday, another chilly morning, Mr. Bug went out to start the car and the clutch again had no resistance and there was a big puddle of fluid on the driveway. Tow number three. Fortunately, our insurance has covered all of the towing. So far. This time it's the slave cylinder for the clutch.

Dad {and probably the rest of you}, I know you're shaking your head and wondering why we keep going back to this guy. The most obvious answer is that you live too far away for us to call you. And, we know his family. They're in our ward {congregation} and I know for certain he's not getting rich off us. He's honest and hard working and gives us the best deal possible. I think he just fixes what's broken and hopes nothing else goes wrong to give us the best deal. Our car is just old. And breaks. A lot. It's kind of like asking your 85 year old grandfather to stop all his medications, turn his thermostat down to 60˚ and continue to function at normal levels.

Getting around with only one car hasn't been too much of a problem. Mr. Bug works four nights a week, so there's not much conflict for us needing the car at the same time to get to work. There have been a couple of week-day mornings that he was at work and I had to arrange for rides for the Little Bugs to get to school, but it hasn't been too bad. I just really hope that essential things will stop falling apart for a while.

Coincidentally, our mechanic and our fix-it guy both have the same first name, so when someone from the fix-it shop called to schedule an appointment for the preventative maintenance on the furnace and only used his first name, I was confused for a minute, and wondered why the mechanic wanted to set up an appointment when the car was already at the repair shop.


Ann Marie @ 16 Muddy Feet said...

Oh my......when things like that happen around here, they come in threes. Don't send it my way, I am overdue, but not ready for it to land at my house yet. Guess it is a good thing we didn't get to move to Utah in the fall. Even though I would love the snow, just don't know how well my body would handle the cold.

regan said...

Holy cow! It all comes at once, doesn't it! Here's hoping the rest of January is issue-free! :o)

Paulette said...

Perhaps Mercury was in retrograde? (Mom was into astrology, so that was kind of a joke around our house when multiple things broke.)

I hate car problems, so I sympathize.

We're in for that really cold snap to hit us this next week. It hasn't been below zero yet, but we'll probably get close. Stay warm!

Martina said...

Oh wow, here it is just getting a little bit colder like -3. Now snow which is sad. Funny that they both have the same name,lol! Hope your car is doing good.

Lane said...

Stay warm. Think positive. Say nice things to your car. Pet your furnace. Send them good thoughts that they will live til spring at least. Oh, and, that's too cold. Just sayin'. Too cold. Lane

Shay said...

Crud with cars seems to happen in threes. Hopefully you've had your fill for a while.

Two cars are essential here so Im glad you haven't had to deal with too much hassle while you've been a one car family!