Double Car Trouble


Thursday July 21st, 2011 – Cary, IL/Joliet, IL/Minooka, IL

Three weeks of focusing on all positive vibes and upbeat thinking can get wiped out in less than a day. This is where the real trick is, not letting myself slide into a negative vibe after having started on such an excellent path. Right now I feel like jumping off a bridge.

The 2004 Chevy Cavalier I bought recently from my childhood friend Tom Orlando has been having some transmission trouble. It won’t shift into the freeway gear and when I go over 50 miles an hour it sounds like a giant blender on full blast. I keep expecting to hear a loud pop and see a cloud of smoke billow out from under my hood. I’ve seen it before.

There’s never an ideal time or place for transmission trouble, unless it happens in one’s own driveway right before that person leaves on a weekend getaway and there happens to be a discount auto repair shop right next door that’s having a one time only 99% off sale.

Other than that, it’s a major kick in the ball joints and a nasty hassle. Tom lives down as far south as I live north, and it’s an 80 mile one way trip to his house. I’m not angry about the situation, it wasn’t Tom’s fault. He originally bought the car for his sister and he’s not going to try to pull one over on her, or on me either. I’ve known the guy since 7th grade.

It’s just an ill timed glitch, and mechanical malfunctions get fixed. I trust Tom, and the guy he has fixing his vehicles is a very competent mechanic. I’d rather drive it down there than pay some grease monkey I don’t know through the tailpipe up in my neighborhood.

I arranged a lunch with Marc Schultz and Tim Walkoe at the Old Country Buffet on the way south, and it was a lot of fun as usual. I ate two big plates of vegetables, some broiled fish and had some delicious vegetable soup. I think it was by far the healthiest meal at one of our hang out lunches I’ve ever had, and we’ve been doing them for years. I was proud.

I nursed the car down to Tom’s house, and we went to where his mechanic was in a tiny town called Minooka. I bought a Ford Contour at the Waukegan Auto Auction by mistake a while back, and Tom’s mechanic was going to sell it for me to help get my money back. I didn’t need it after I bought the Cavalier, but today it would come in handy as a loaner.

Tom and I dropped the Cavalier off in Minooka and got into the Contour. We took that back to a grocery store near where Tom lives to pick up some fresh fish and vegetables to eat for dinner. Tom is a great cook and we always enjoy hanging out whenever we can.

We got in the Contour in the parking lot of the grocery store and it started making funny noises, but not ha ha funny. These were grinding noises and neither of us were laughing. Try as we might, it would NOT restart, and there we sat in the heat with our education.

I ended up renting a car, and we had a delicious healthy dinner at Tom’s house but after this kind of stuff happening so many times in my life, it’s really getting old. What do I have to do to catch a break once in a while? Now I have two cars down, eighty miles from home.

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