Saturday afternoon, with wine

A bit early, but the hell with it.

So. I had been hearing Kuro’s brakes emit the odd squeal for the last few weeks. Nothing persistent, just an occasional *eek*. I hadn’t noticed any drips from the undercarriage, but older Subarus are known to have head gasket issues–I talked to the service manager last year, and he said it’s about a 1 in 3 chance that an older model will have a problem.

Guess the odds weren’t ever in my favor.

What I’m trying to say is, shock, maybe, but not a surprise. It’s been a few years since Kuro’s brakes were looked at, so they were due. As for the head gasket, let’s just say I had a feeling.

None of this was URGENT–REPAIR IMMEDIATELY. But winter is coming, and brakes help ya get through it. That, and the fact that as the service manager was telling me that I could nurse things along if I wished, I had visions of breaking down during a blizzard. The thing is, I have developed an aversion to nursing things along with house and car repairs. I grew up driving used beaters that would behave for a year or so, then begin their passage through the many stages of junkdom on the way to that Big Scrapyard in the Sky. Every month or so, something else would break and the repairs would become more and more expensive, until I reached the point where I would scrap the old car and get a new used one. Lather, rinse, repeat.

After decades of this, I finally dug deep, first buying Harrison the Ford in 1997, then Kuroshinju The Forester in 2002. I have found that I like new vehicles. All the buttons and switches work, I don’t need to break out the rosaries and holy water on cold mornings, and I keep them long enough that I smooth out the NEW CAR financial hit.

But, when I know something is wrong, I get very edgy. Flashes from the past, bright as strobes. I can’t nurse. I have to fix.

I did catch a bit of a break. I suspected that I might need brake repair, so I arranged for a loaner vehicle ahead of time. Lucky thing, as they usually don’t give loaners on weekends.

Plus, I had a 15% off coupon for repair work. Not a big deal when I thought I was only looking at a bill of a couple of hundred bucks for PM and winterizing. Now? It’s huge.

So. The day goes on. Even though things worked out, I was still a little rattled. The loaner is a perfectly decent car, a silver Suzuki Kizashi 4-door sedan with push-button start and satellite radio. But after years of driving a 2002 Forester, one of the last “greenhouse” models, I feel very closed-in in a regular car. I have to take extra care because the visibility isn’t as good–so many blind spots. And of course, thanks to flusterment I managed to leave a few little things behind in Kuro–the second garage door opener, both pairs of sunglasses. All the reusable grocery bags.

Home now. Grocery shopping is done. I was happy to find some favorite whole grain rolls that I hadn’t seen in months. After I unpacked the groceries and fed the pups, I treated myself to one of the rolls with some herbed goat cheese. Sliced apple. Glass of white–a sauvignon blanc-semillon blend. Bright. Fresh-tasting.

Rained last night. Today is cloudy and chilly. The sun peeks out every so often, but not for long. Gaby is outside, barking at Life. King is inside, dozing. As is usual in situations of disquiet, I cleaned a bit. Washed down the kitchen counters, and cleaned out the foil/plastic wrap drawer of enough old twist ties to fill a gallon plastic bag. Cleared some cups and glasses out of the cupboard. Tossed old corn starch, baking powder and soda, and replaced with fresh. If I had the spare time, I’d do more, but I don’t. There’s writing to do.

Fresh cup of coffee. I do have time for that.

2 thoughts on “Saturday afternoon, with wine”

  1. I just got a new used car two weeks ago after the transmission went in my old car for the SECOND TIME THIS YEAR!!! I had bought the 2002 Saturn SL2 brand new after a string of beaters and I really liked it, but was entirely fed up with all the repairs this year. I am enjoying using the 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan for hauling stuff around. Will probably use it until I can afford something new.

  2. Being able to haul stuff is nice. It was the reason I held onto Harrison the Ford F-150 long after I should have sold him. Every so often, I needed to cart home bags and bags of dirt or some big box. Kuro the Forester can hold a bit, and the rear seat does fold down. But a full-size pickup truck, he ain’t.

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