September 23, 2020

Universe, stop it already - unrelated to covid 19

We spotted a bride and groom on the
beach when we went to see the
 sunset one night in Michigan.


The universe lately, well it's just driving us crazy - 'driving' being the operative word here.

When we drove to Michigan, Aug. 7th we took two cars.  This allowed us to divide into:  

1) relax on the beach group or

2) play golf group.

If you recall my spa that was invaded by raccoons, then you know I opted for the beach.  I don't golf.  Why get sweaty and frustrated chasing a tiny ball around a golf course, when your golf clothes could mess with your tan lines?  I prefer the option to get wet, read, and nap.  

When we arrived in Michigan, I scolded Coach for taking the exit SO FAST.  He sort of cut us off, Ed was driving the Kia and we were in front of Coach when he buzzed past us and exited first.  

Coach:  Um, yeah.  I didn't have a choice.  There are like no brakes in the minivan.  

Me:  Oh, shit.

When we got home, I texted one of the brothers at the dealership where Ed is interning in the accounting department.  So, not sure I have mentioned this, but I babysat starting as a teen until I was out of college for a family that owned several car dealerships.  When I met them as a 12 year old, they had 3 little ones.  They ended up with 8 kids.

In March our 'teen car', a Mazda Tribute died while Mini was practice driving with Coach.

Of course the boys sort of blamed Mini for 'killing' the car.  Honestly, if a car is going to die, then let it die during a pandemic, I always say.  We really weren't going anywhere.  We reached out to the brothers (whose diapers I once changed) who now own, co-own, or work for their dad at his dealerships.  They shared some possible good 'teen replacement' cars.  

After all of our chats, they asked Ed to send a resume.  He landed an internship doing accounting for the summer at their dealerships.  Since it's really hard to score an internship a) after freshman year, and b) during a pandemic . . . he was thrilled.  

A bonus to being tight with this awesome family is that they look out for us - thoroughly check over a used car before they sell it to us, and they give me a family discount.  Sweet, right?  Did I mention that I potty trained most of their offspring?  Paybacks, people.  

I think I blogged about the car that was perfect, and how they agreed to sell it to us, but then Charlie (the brother I nicknamed Baby Face as a tot) forgot to set it aside for us and it got sold.  Ouch.  So, back to the drawing board.  We ended up paying more, but at the end of May we bought a 2013 Kia Sorento.  It's now the nicest of our 3 autos.  Our children drive it.  How dumb are we?  

I took this prize winning shot when I pulled up to Coach 
on our way home from the dealership in May.

Meanwhile Coach and I tool around in a beat up looking red minivan, or the great white - a 12-seater, Chevy Express, former airport shuttle, whose paint job is chipping away rapidly, but I've never experienced a car with better AC. I know you're jealous.

On Wednesday August 12th, Doug, a brother at the dealership, responded that Ed could drive the red minivan into work the day after Michigan.  They would replace the brakes.  

Later the service manager called to say the front two tires were bald.  What is wrong with us?  Are we on a secret suicide mission driving with no brakes AND bald tires?  

Ed works over 40 minutes from home and how would we manage if we had a car in a local shop and still need to get him to work?  Two birds:  he could sit at work while the minivan was getting fixed.  Perfect.

Or, not.

At 4:00 on Wednesday he prepared to leave the dealership but was told they hadn't finished the car (in fact they failed to even start working on it) and could he get another ride home?  They said the car was in such bad shape they wouldn't allow him to drive it.  

Red minivan should've stayed
 in the garage in a timeout.

**Coach and I are awaiting our parents-of-the-year award for sending a kid on a 40 min drive with bald tires and no brakes**  

I was at Costco with Reggie getting his glasses adjusted when Ed called.  

** another reason I was in panic mode on that particular Costco trip**

Ed:  Can someone come get me?  The car isn't done?

Me:  SAY WHAT?  No, we have Reggie's confirmation in a bit and I'm at Costco. 

He hired an Uber for $40.  He's 19 and you have to be 25 to borrow a car.  Dang.

Delilah came by to cuddle a
baby and to see me,
who are we kidding -
she was 100% baby
 focused, and she snapped
this photo of me and the
 5 month old twin girls. 
This was NOT the day
 I was super tired.  I'm
sure you can tell - I look
 ready to conquer the world,
 bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

The next day, Thursday, happened to be the third consecutive day of a lack of sleep for me after those maybe gluten-ed tacos, so I was strung out.  I was enjoying that over-tired feeling that makes my head buzz and makes me feel woozie.  It was my first day sitting for the baby twins, and when they got picked up I intended to nap.  That didn't happen because Reg was done caddying at the golf course.  On my bleary-eyed way home from getting Reg, Ed called.  The car was STILL not ready.  Could I come get him?

Tears.  I was like, TELL THEM WE CANNOT BE WITHOUT A CAR FOR THE ENTIRE WEEKEND.  Ed doesn't intern on Fridays, so if he came home with no car we would be up a creek for the weekend.

Sorry, but three cars for 6 drivers is a pain, 2 cars is not even a thing.  I was maybe going to have to ask Mary Ann to borrow her broomstick (couldn't resist). 

I told myself I could do it.  Go pick him up.  Then we would have to drive him back on Monday morning though.  It was too hard to process.  My phone rang again.

Ed:  Doug happened to overhear the issue and he gave special permission for me to take a loaner car even though I'm not old enough.

Tears, of joy this time.  

Temporary joy, because if things didn't seem a bit nutty already - a shit storm was right around the corner.

Any guesses on the next bump in the road?  You will not believe it.  


Suz said...

Next speed bump? Ummm did an earthquake hit IL and only your house? Just missing Mary Ann's by -this much-?
Laughing at your broom comment. ;)

I can't believe your kids drive nicer vehicles than you two; you're doing IT ALL WRONG!

I feel like the free-est person on the planet because I do not have to drive anyone, anywhere.
I did do my time when the girls 'out of zoned' for HS and I had to drive them 35 minutes each way and of course, they both had sports activities that were on different schedules. #momuber.
I was so happy when they graduated!

You might have a death wish driving around with NO brakes and bald tires. BTW I read coach's line as: The car has no BRAINS and I thought he was referring to the kids in the car who were giving him directions. LOL!

Suzanne said...

UGH. Car trouble is the worst!

Charlie said...

I love a cliff hanger..............

Kara said...

My guess is that sadly another car decides to die on you. The White Whale, perhaps? Or the Kia transmission just decides to blow up (it happens, to me in fact in a Ford Focus).

My oldest drives a 2000 Toyota Avalon, and she's the only one who likes that car. Since we replaced the tires and rims, it actually drives pretty well, but it's just SO LOW to the ground. The middle kid will be driving the 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan. My husband's truck is old and unreliable and my Jeep isn't an option (sorry kids, you don't get to touch my 40th Birthday present to myself). If you're counting, yes, we have four cars.

Ernie said...

Suz - You are very warm indeed . . . well, at least it felt like an earthquake. I find it so easy to sneak in a Mary Ann comment. She never disappoints.

Yes, we are doing it wrong. We did like the safety features on the kids' car - like back up camera. And something about the 4 wheel drive, or good in snow, of whatever . . . I like to pretend I know what I am talking about sometimes.

Yikes driving like that to high school was A LOT. Mom of the year award. I am jealous that you are done. I just hired a grad student/former babysitter to start to drive Curly to dancing at least one night a week but maybe two times a week, one way. Coach almost croaked when I told him how much I offered her. WORTH. EVERY. PENNY. Not till November, when I start sitting 5 days a week. I need all the evening time I can sink my nails into.

We had a son working at a dealership - shame on us. Car maintenance typically falls to Coach, and that's all I'm gonna say about that. It does start to feel though like: 'Didn't we just fix that, or replace that?' Your mis-read would have worked there too.

Ernie said...

Suzanne - You are not wrong. When we were barely getting by with three cars, one out of commission was really throwing us off.

Ernie said...

Charlie - this is one of those stories that never quite ends. Unfortunately. But there are some laughs along the way. That is what keeps me going.

Ernie said...

Kara - Oh my gosh - you just insulted my white van. You called it a WHALE! The nerve. ;0 I do refer to it as 'the great white', so you are not off by much. Hee hee. You are even warmer than Suz. It was almost comical. Almost.

We have a dodge caravan in our fleet too. I think it is a '17, but it looks like it survived a war- it has not aged well. I think I wrote about the time it was hit when I ran into the dancing studio. They hit it in a parking lot outside a bar, shock. And drove away. Double shock.

Kari said...

Friend, I don't know how you do it all. We have only one driver and it is stressful enough. But it is funny because our driver is down at college with probably the best car out of all of us. INSERT eyeroll. So I get that statement completely.

We just paid off my SUV this month and that is such a big deal. I told Mike, I am never gettin' rid of it. Ever. I don't want a payment ever again. Of course, that is usually the kiss of death for a vehicle. But we are still in a pandemic and not going anywhere. There is the plus side of a pandemic I guess. :)

Ally Bean said...

What a story. Cars are, in the best of times, the greatest things around BUT a cantankerous one during a pandemic seems like too much. Plus you've got the peoples, don't you? I hope that this bump in the road is temporary and that your next post about cars, the sharing and maintenance of said, is all rainbows and puppy dog tails. I'm dreaming, aren't I?

Ernie said...

Kari - Our van, the great white, will soon be replaced. We've been told by our mechanic 'no more long distance trips'. Makes me think of a horse brought it to pasture and no longer able to race. Tee-hee. Had we gone to Yellowstone, we would have replaced it first. So, we wait and as our Yellowstone 2021 trip draws closer - it will be time for a new version. Or new to us, no way we will buy a new van. Congrats on paying off the SUV. Does it feel like you gave yourself a raise?

Ernie said...

Ally - life as of late is all hold the rainbows and puppy dogs, not just in the car department, unfortunately. We see people who are all about washing their cars on the weekends, etc. No one would ever confuse us with those kind of people. We are hard on our cars and there are never enough to go around, and Reg will be 15 in January. Tank enjoys driving the great white, which is a blessing. Usually we keep our teens out from behind that steering wheel, but necessity calls for someone to drive that beast.

Beth Cotell said...

I hope he didn't wreck the loaner!!!

Ernie said...

Beth - gosh no! Only Coach and I can drive the loaner . . . um and we still have it. Since August 17th. Bazaar.

Nicole MacPherson said...

Unrelated to the cars, this is why you have such great upper body strength - all those babies! Twins, yikes!

Ernie said...

Nicole - Ha. My back used to always hurt after hauling my own kids up and down the stairs or bent over giving baths. Coach used to lecture me CONSTATNLY about good body mechanics, holding babies on alternate sides, etc. Well, now I actually workout and what a difference. I literally just brought the twins up to their nap. One in each arm - that's 30 extra pounds of weight - it's not easy. :)