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CHANGES KEEP COMING
11 May 2013
We've been dealing with "car issues" for the past week or so. We have a 1995 Honda Accord that I love. We bought it used (or "previously owned," as the euphemism is these days!) in 2000. It had 60,000 miles on it at the time, but we had been through two big mileage Toyotas that each made it over 200,000 miles and so the high mileage wasn't a concern for us.
And the Honda has suited us beautifully all these years. It's comfy. I love it (did I mention that before?)
But it has developed little quirks. The light on the dashboard which shows how fast you are going hasn't worked in years. In fact, I once got pulled over on the freeway one night because I was going too slow! Who knew that you could go too slow on the freeway? The only reason I didn't get a ticket was (a) I'm old, and (b) I was getting off at the next exit anyway.
It also has this annoying little quirk where when you are stopped somewhere, like waiting for a light to change, unless you have your foot FIRMLY on the brake, it begins to creep forward. I always stop back far from the car in front of me because if I'm distracted by something outside, I might not notice that I am slowly about to hit the rear bumper of the other car. At first it only did this when the air conditioner was running, but now it does it all the time.
And then the other day, the tape player broke. In order to play my iPod Touch through the car speakers, I plug the iPod into a cord that goes to something that looks like a normal music cassette, I put that in the cassette slot and voila--out comes stuff from my iPod (see, the car is so old, it doesn't have a USB port for that sort of thing!). I thought it was the cassette itself that was the problem, but I bought a new one and that didn't work either...the carrier just makes clicking sounds and does not move the cassette at all.
For the past couple of years, Walt has rented a car if we are traveling long distances, because he was trying to be gentle with the Honda. He also likes trying out new models of cars, with an eye for what we might get when the time came. I would still take the Honda to my mother's, but we always rented a car to go to Santa Barbara. Last week, I drove the Honda for all six of the trips I made to the Bay Area, but this week I had a rental car.
The coup de grace was when the "check engine" light came on. Walt took it in to the Honda place and they kept it for a day, but couldn't find anything wrong with it, and the "check engine" light was no longer showing, so they sent it home. But the next day it came on again, so it went back in the shop, where it has been for the past two days.
Tonight it came home. Walt was reading over the report, which said that the engine was "tired." I didn't even know that was a technical automotive term! But yeah, it's tired and we have decided it's time to go car shopping. If we can hold out two weeks, we will have my mother's Lexus (which has about 20 miles on it, I think, she drives it so seldom) to fill in until late summer when Jeri comes out to drive the Lexus back to Boston. That will give us time to find a good replacement car for the Honda.
We really have only three requirements for a new car -- for me, it has to have a way that I can still listen to Audio books while I drive, and it has to have reliable air conditioning. Walt insists it has to have a trunk big enough to pack luggage for 4, since we need to put our luggage with Char and Mike's luggage when we go to the San Francisco airport to catch a plane to fly wherever in the world we are flying.
Somehow, with everything else that is going on, this isn't exactly the very best time to have to start thinking about buying a new car, but if we're going to do it soon, I suppose this is as good a time as ever.
So I guess a new or "previously owned" car is in our future (but I'll still be driving a rental to Santa Barbara and leaving Walt at home with either the "tired" Honda or a new car!)
When the car came back today, I quickly drove over to Covell Gardens to drop off the last of the forms needed and to pick up a key to the apartment, so I could go in and take some pictures so my mother could start thinking in terms of what goes where.
Naturally the first key they gave me didn't work and I had to call the handiman (whose name happens to be Paul...I probably won't be forgetting him soon!) to get me a key that works.
I entered the apartment with new eyes, now thinking of what goes where. I had brought the fridge magnets from her house, and my camera which had the picture of the fridge door on it, and got the first batch of magnets set up in the proper configuration.
And I took this picture of her neighbors' patio area to give her an idea of how large hers is (they are identical).
I'll take the pix down to her on Sunday, when Ned is cooking the two of us brunch and we will talk about ... what else? ... moving!
PHOTO OF THE DAY
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