Monday, March 05, 2007

One of THOSE Days

I seem to be having one of THOSE days. I got home yesterday evening and I guess I was so eager to get home that I forgot I'd planned to stop at the grocery store along the way. I just foraged and then figured I'd run out for groceries this morning. So, I did. I got dressed, made a list and went out to the garage. I started the car, then went to put the car in reverse to back out of the garage, and the gear shift wouldn't engage at all. I drive a manual transmission, and the stick was all loose and floppy. I suspect that is very bad. I'm not sure what happened or when, but it happened at some point between the time I pulled into the garage yesterday and this morning when I was heading to get groceries.

And, wouldn't you know it, this happens to be a day when I needed to go somewhere. I have a speaking engagement at a library on the other side of the metro area. Most of the time, I can easily go a week without getting in a car, but whenever I have some kind of car failure, it's always on a day when I absolutely MUST go somewhere.

I'm proud of myself for my calm, though. I just went inside, logged onto the USAA web site for rental car discounts, booked a rental car, and I've called a cab to take me to the rental car place. I live practically next door to a major airport, so the rental car places aren't too far away. Now I just have to figure out what to do with my car. I don't know if it's something the neighborhood service station could fix or something I need to take it to the dealer for, and I don't want to commit to having it towed until I'm sure what to do about it. I'm not even sure if it's something I should have fixed or if it's a sign I really should get a new car. This is the first serious problem I've had with this car, and it's almost ten years old. I was sort of planning to replace it sometime this year, but I wanted to see what kind of book contract I get before I decide what kind of car I want. I haven't even started looking at what's available.

So, if anyone out there knows anything about cars, is that thing with the gear shift not engaging fixable or fatal?

I guess I'm lucky that I did need to get groceries because I discovered the problem long before it was a crisis. Normally, I'd have just left at the time I needed to for the library program, and then it would have been too late to make alternate arrangements. Or, it's possible that whatever happened when I stopped in my garage could have happened in the grocery store parking lot, and I'd have been stranded there with all my stuff from home and my groceries instead of safe at home.

Now it's almost time for my cab to be here, and then once I have wheels I can figure out what else to do.

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