Everybody has days like I had yesterday.
Because I had some errands I needed to run, I took my wife to work. Della takes care of a woman who lives 14 miles southwest of South Bend...in the middle of the woods! The trip to the woods was uneventful until we turned onto the last road. As I tried to shift from 2nd to 3rd gear, I realized we had a serious problem.
Something was wrong with the stick shift! I couldn't shift out of 2nd gear to any other gear or into reverse. We limped our way up to the employer's house and then the stick shift seemed to lose all connection to anything. I could move it this way and that, but it no longer seemed to be connected to the clutch.
While it was good that my wife arrived at work on time, I was stuck in the middle of the woods with a dead car! Well, to say I was stuck may be a bit over dramatic. I called a fellow I know who has a tow truck and he said he'd be right out to rescue me. "Right out" turned out to be 2 1/2 hours later! Can't complain too much because he didn't charge me half as much as he could have for a 15 mile tow.
Here is where the new me handled this situation far better than the old me. I have never been known as the most patient person in the world and so the old me would have paced, cursed and checked the clock every 5 minutes or so. The new me better understood that these sorts of things happen as a normal part of life and so I simply kicked back in my disabled car and took a bit of a nap.
Eventually, Jerry and a friend showed up and towed my car back to South Bend to Ken's Garage (our one automotive repair shop). Afterwards, they dropped me at my friend Paul's mini mart. My plan was to hitch a ride with Paul to my house after the lunch rush. I hoped to go online to reserve a rental car in Astoria and then get myself to the bus stop for the hour ride to Astoria.
My buddy Paul didn't want to hear about "my plan." He insisted that I borrow one of his two vehicles. We discussed this generous offer and, in the end, he wouldn't take no for an answer. So, for the next few days, we have transportation.
I've got to be honest here. I thought our clutch had gone out and we would be looking at a $1000 - $1500 repair bill. We could cover that amount, but it would wipe us out financially. We'd be left with NO reserves whatsoever and only about $100 or so to get through the rest of the month.
To my utter surprise, the chief mechanic at Ken's called to tell me that the problem isn't the clutch at all. It is some connector with the gear box. The good news is that the repair job should only cost around $250. The bad news is that they won't be able to get the part until Wednesday or Thursday. Oh well.
All in all, my Friday didn't go like I anticipated it would, but I muddled through alright. I'm very pleased with myself since I didn't have a panic attack and I didn't get all wound up because of impatience.
Maybe I'm finally becoming a real grown up! ;-)