This is a story about a calamity that befell our heroine in the very beginning of her day yesterday.

(image courtesy of Google search.)

Here is her account: ''First you need to know that my driveway sweeps up to a good size hill where it hits the street. Because the street is a dead end, there aren’t many passing cars. Almost zero. Which is good because when backing up in the morning, with frost on your windows, and trying to make sure you don’t run over any dog walkers, is pretty perilous. Making it more treacherous, there are low stone walls lining the driveway. They are only about a foot high on the left, but get higher on the right. Taking precautionary measures, I posted reflectors to the right side of the drive to help in lining up when it’s dark. Well, as you know, a combination of medication that makes me clumsy and even more coordination-challenged, early morning, and driving is already fraught with jaw-clenching danger. But I have backed up successfully in my driveway for a year, so that’s quite a star on my driving history.

Yesterday, however, I was more than usually dim, and the whole left side of the car was frosted up. It wasn’t enough to spray ice melt, but was enough so I couldn’t see well on that side. I must have overcorrected on the right side to be sure I had enough room on the left. As I reached the end of the driveway, I was at a roughly 30% angle, and when I swung my back end around, my driver’s side front tire hit the stone wall…and went over it.

I was stuck with one tire hanging over the wall. This was the first calamity.

I was sure my poor car was toast. But I maintained a good attitude. That’s a miracle right there! I called a co-worker who picked me up and took me to work, and I called the ever wonderful Hank, my friend and landlord, to see if he could get the car off the wall. He has a nice big truck with a winch. Later on that day, he called and said it was in the driveway and seemed okay. That was very exciting!

But, okay, let’s face it, a 16 year old car with 210K miles on it, needs maintenance, and I’d planned to take in this week for an oil change and alignment, and check on hoses and belts etc. This morning I dropped it off at a reputable garage near work. The good news is the undercarriage is okay! I don’t know how that is possible! The bad news is that I have many oil leaks and the oil is getting on the timing belt which is a big no-no according to the mechanic. And if he fixes the oil leaks that are getting on the belt, and replace the timing belt, he has to replace the water pump at the same time. Estimate = $1500+ He asked me, “are you prepared to make that kind of investment in your car, with it being this old?” Answer – ‘’no’’ – this was the second calamity. I am taking it to another garage to get another opinion tonight, and the story will continue.'' -- CalamaTina


Anonymous December 23, 2012 at 9:16 AM  

Sooo, Tina . . . . You do have a calamity . . . and a dilemma. I understand that feeling, and although I have no recent experience with purchasing cars (last was 1995), I'd suggest that you DEFINITELY NOT put many $$ into your current vehicle. Alternatively, I'd go to a CARMAX (which fixes up all their cars before they sell them) & see if you can find a DIFFERENT old car, but with LOW MILEAGE like I have (only 50,000 miles). Mine is probably not worth more than $500, if that, but it is in quite good shape & requires little maintenance. If you could find one like that, it would be a better investment than putting a bandage on your current car. As to getting $500 together - that's a whole different dilemma. Much love, Judy

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