patience travel

My Car, Cobie

Today my car, a 1995 Honda Civic, broke down in the BART parking lot. Bless his little heart, he’d had enough and his distributor gave way, rendering me immobile, sitting in a parking lot for public transportation. There’s a bit of irony in that, since I could not park the car, and it was sitting in the way of most of the traffic. Instead of jumping on the next train, I called the tow truck and waited for them, and then escorted my little car to the mechanic.

I could be upset or bitter or angry about this. It’s going to cost a lot to fix. Christmas is around the corner, and according to Yahoo this afternoon, we’re officially in a “Depression*” Personally, I’m somewhat in a lurch by having my car out of commission for 3 days. But, instead of any of that, I am grateful. And here’s why.

1. I knew this car needed some maintenance and it broke down in a safe spot. I was not caught in the rain, in the middle of an intersection or in the middle of nowhere. I had my cell phone, and I was safe.

2. Something fairly safe is what broke first. When the mechanic took a longer look, he found that the front brakes were nearly shot, and could wear out or lock up at any time, having only 1% left on them. Those brakes have 80,000 miles on them. The distributor is what broke today, and all that did was leave me unable to go anywhere.

3. My car has 180,000 miles on it. Almost. We have gone across the country three times together, and I haven’t had a car payment in 10 years. It puts a few things into perspective. If I do the math, its only $42/month since the last time I had something fixed on that car. Now that’s a good deal.

4. This silly problem forced my hand on finding a mechanic. I’d looked one up last week, so I knew who I wanted to call. Now the car will have a tune up, and I’ll know that I have a good mechanic to trust.

All in all, Cobie has been a great car. And, with this little tune up and fix up, I know he’ll be good for a couple more years.

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