By Frank J. Buchman
“Don’t wreck it the first day.”
That was advice given josh, but ten minutes down the highway, we were taking it seriously.
Again our main transportation gave out last week. We had it shy of two years, but there were more than a quarter-million miles on the odometer, so it wasn’t that unexpected when the transmission went caput.
Yet, it wasn’t completely incapacitated, so we could limp the remaining roaring jaunt home. Diagnosis at the repair shop was that the second nicest car we’ve ever owned, despite its maturity, could be fixed, but the bill would be high.
Long deliberation and calculating determined the car had served us well, especially considering the predicament we were in upon acquisition, and seniority when we wrote the first check, which has added significance.
Repairs really hadn’t been extravagant, all things considered. But, in the past few weeks, there’d been more fixing required than total of all previous work. So, now Tannie II, namesake of Tannie I, a younger version dying more prematurely with less use, was graveyard, too, at least without parts and wrenches.
With all that, the “96” might give out again first time driven. We’d be ground zero, deeper in debt, without efficient wheels. The red pickup gets us where we’re going, like a lumber wagon, tiring, and twice as costly.
So, replacement vehicle was in order. Now, we don’t mind shopping for horses, wheeling and dealing for what we decide we want, whether we need it or not.
Quite the opposite with a car. It’s hard and dreaded downright work for us. Without logical alternative, we began pursuit. Requirements: cheap, no clunker, starts and gets there and back, no white or silver, cruise control to prevent County Mountie conversation, and cheap.
First and last prerequisites were always the eliminating factor. But, after a couple handfuls calls, looking and driving, we signed the lines. Calling her Champagne for all-around appeal, as we headed south, she hit a slick spot in the snow, and our heart skipped a beat.
Going slow with tight steering wheel clutch, twice more there was a sashay for our “new” car, now carefully parked in the garage until winter snow clears.
Reminds us of First Samuel 3:11: “Listen carefully.” Then, Genesis 31:24: “Be careful what you do to prevent a wreck.”