Another Car Bites the Dust?

Photo © 2008 David J Laporte CC 2.0 BY

“Why does all this stuff happen to us? It can’t be bad karma. We never did anything.” Or so says the Little One. And I think she’s right. Sometimes shit just happens.

And if it could have waiting just another month or two, I wouldn’t even be in a jam. Incredible. It’s like, just when you think things are looking up and you can breathe easy and ends will finally meet without stretching, the universe is like, “Uh. Hold on a sec—” Or as Dad puts it sometimes, “Cheer up! Things are going to get worse.”

(My Little One is not so little any more, BTW. But I still call her that. She insists. I don’t think she wants to grow up.)

Since last week, I’ve started working this new software-development contract. Last night, I had my first real “Aha!” moment. The engineer I’m working with seems a capable guy and easy to work with. Blessings for a confirmed cynic. Money’s still a little tight, until I get paid on my first invoice, which should happen in about a month. That’s how it is in independent contract work. But we can make it. And in the meantime, I’m keeping track day by day of how much I’ve earned. Yeah, money is a poor motivator, which is something that people say who already have plenty of money. But as it turns out, this contract looks like it will be bearable anyhow, and maybe even enjoyable. I was actually feeling pretty good about my situation.

And then…

Then my Beloved is taking my daughter C to her summer-school class, and the stick shift on our Saturn SL1 stops shifting. (That’s a lot of S‘ssss.) It’s stuck in first gear, and the shifter feels like it’s just hanging loose in the console.

My first thought, of course, is “transmission,” and once you use the T-word, you’re potentially talking lots of money. And this car ain’t worth lots of money. But I wasn’t planning on buying a new car, and I can’t afford one. I wasn’t even planning on buying a new-for-me, used car, not even a cheap one.

A little Googling turned up others who have had what sounds like the same problem. So if it is the same problem, and if my mechanic can find a reasonably priced replacement for the plastic part that broke, maybe it is still worth fixing.

In the meantime, I’m scraping together the cash for a tow truck and a rental car. If this had happened a month later, I wouldn’t need to scrape together the cash. Instead, I have to take time to deal with this, which makes it harder for me to find time for the contract work that will be ultimately pay for the repair.

This sucks. I’m sick and tired of borrowing against my future to pay for today’s emergencies. I wish God would just give me a break, just a small one, just 30-60 days in which I can breathe easy and sit back and go through my daily routine and all my needs will be met without a huge amount of stress.

And on that note… I guess we’ll have to see whether I’m buying a car or not.