Fixing up our “new” car includes cleaning it thoroughly. I thought we’d take a layer of dirt off, then be good, but the vehicle wasn’t worth much more than that. I cleaned one layer, then realized it was worse than I thought. Spent an entire day cleaning. By the end of the day it looked so much better. Then I found several spots I had missed. Eventually spent another entire day cleaning it, including a trip to the car wash for inside and out, and a partial wax job. I now realize that if I spend another entire day, it may look really good. We even nicknamed our vehicle “Mahana” because she may just be a great vehicle if we take better care of her than her previous owners did.
I think we are the same way as people. First we decide we probably just need to repent and cleans ourselves of the obvious sins. The harder we work to clean ourselves the more we realize we have to do. It all becomes worth it when we see our full potential. Included this little thought in respect of the fact that the miracle of the atonement is available in it’s completeness every day, and for every layer.
My severely “directionally challenged” daughter was able to drive herself to church and home yesterday. Sounds everyday simple, but in the context of her personal challenges, it was actually a major accomplishment.
She has spent the last several years with a license, but not driving because of her difficulties with directions. It is just difficult to be a safe driver when you have no idea where you are. Her goal this summer is to re-learn to drive and to work on overcoming this challenge. Her young adult ward overlaps times with our family ward, so one of our goals is for her to just get herself to and from church independently. She has been driving many errands with me for the last three weeks, but most of them short trips and close to home. We actually had to practice with her driving the route to the church several times before she felt ready. Her trial “solo run” to the high school (2 miles round trip) was a disaster with her getting lost and the trip lasting over half an hour. At least she and the car were both in one piece. So yesterday was, I think, the first time ever that she had driven herself that far (about 4 miles round trip.) And she didn’t even get lost!
We only get rain a few days a year here. When we do it is often at night. This creates an occasional problem because I consistently neglect my dried out and heat battered windshield wipers. Then when it does rain, I can’t see, but it doesn’t last long so I just drive carefully, promise myself I’ll remember to replace them this time, then forget for another six months.
We did our safety inspection early this year, and I actually remembered to replace my wipers rather than get another warning. This was all one week before it rained!
Cleaning out the garage I’m bound to find some treasures. Found the most bizarre one yet. In a pile of remodeling leftovers I found a metal stick with a bend on it, a rubber washer, and a bolt on the top. I would have not had a clue what it was a week ago. I happened to know that it was a battery tie down post simply because we spent a good portion of last week looking for that very part! We got a new battery in our car, and were trying to get it installed properly, but the old battery holder is old and corroded. One post is frozen and won’t adjust, the other is almost corroded through. We eventually gave up and decided to purchase a new unit that would work properly. Unfortunately the store carries “universal” parts, and our car is too old to work with the “universal” style. The bend is too tight and we can not get it into our car. After a lot of struggle we gave up and returned the “universal” part. Unable to find a part that would work we did our best to clean up the old ones and basically got it working enough to pass safety inspection.
How that exact part, with the correct bend and configuration, no rust, no corrosion ended up on the back of a shelf in my garage I will never know. Right there with the plumbing materials. Neither me nor my husband can think of any reason we would even own such an item. Did we happen to save it off of an older car? No. Why would we? Don’t remember ever messing with one before. No clue at all how it got there, but I know what I’m going to do with it!
As we got ready to go on our trip last week, I decided to make sure that the car was good to go. It was getting close to time for an oil change, and one of the tires was wearing funny. I kept forgetting to take care of it, but at the last minute we got it in.
I told the mechanics that we were going on a trip, and could they check that tire and see if anything else needed attention. I usually don’t make a habit of telling mechanics to let me know everything that is wrong with an older car, because it usually will cost me more than the vehicle is worth.
They called back saying, yes – the one tire was completely bad and would have gone out on us. Not only that, they also checked a small leak that was coming from the engine and found a serious problem developing. They told us that it was a $1,000 – $2,000 repair, but because they had found it so early, they could still put a stop leak option in for $20, and it will probably fix the problem for another 3 -5 years.
We still decided that a 14 hour drive wasn’t the safest option for that vehicle and opted for the rental, but at least we found the problem while it was still small. I can’t think of any other scenario where we would have found that leak early.
We took our family on a trip this last weekend. Finding a reliable vehicle for long road trips that will seat our large family without breaking the bank has been a struggle. A few months back a generous family member was able to upgrade their vehicle and give us their old clunker, affectionately named “Trusty Rusty.” Another relative even refers to him as the “Miracle Van.”
He’s not much to look at, and has a lot of mileage under his hood. We drove him over 500 miles this weekend without a single problem. I don’t know how, but he gets as good of gas mileage as our economy car of the same age. It was wonderful to be able to be with family for their important event.
She woke up not feeling well, but got ready for work anyway. On her way out the door she felt not to go in to work. Told herself she could do it, but then decided to listen and stay home. That afternoon a car ran into the building she worked in, and drove into the wall right where her office was, knocking a huge filing cabinet onto her desk where she sits.
Nothing earth shattering today, but a big help is the fact that our car passed safety inspection with no problem.
The car is 22 years old, has 244,000 miles, and does not come with a car payment. We’ve never had it not pass safety inspection in all the time we have owned it! Two of our boys have crashed the doors, but those were inexpensive fixes and no one got hurt. We love our old clunker, and it looks like we’ve got another year with it!
I was very “lucky” today to not kill anyone. Sounds crazy, but it could have been very bad. I was heading to the library, in the parking lot actually. I was simply driving down the lane looking for a parking spot. Suddenly this nine-ish year old kid appears in the road out of nowhere. I managed to slam on my brakes and stop before I hit him. It was close.
He had been running from the park next to the library – full speed, and ran between two closely parked mini-vans and out directly in front of me. I was looking the other way and must have seen him out of my peripheral vision. I had just picked a parking spot and was about to step on the gas and pull in. Fortunately I did see him in time, and I was still going slow. I think I scared the poor kid to death though. Stopped dead in his tracks right in the middle of the street once he saw me. I think he’ll look before he runs into a parking lot again.