Thursday, March 20, 2014

The van lives on

You may remember we had some van repair issues two years ago just before our trip to the East Coast.  Never mind, you probably don’t remember. Nor should you.  The condensed version is that we took our van to the shop for some minor tune-up work shortly before leaving on a three-week driving trip.  It ended up costing us $2000, which was about $1900 more than our van was worth at the time.  But the trip was coming up, we had no time or money to shop for a new van, so we got it all fixed up and off we went.  Besides some issues with the air conditioning on that trip (which the garage corrected upon our return), since that time we have had to put almost no money into repairs. So in hindsight, it was worth spending the money to have two more years of trouble-free van ownership.

Fast forward to this week.  We suddenly have power steering issues, which apparently has been a common problem here lately.  Oh Winter, haven’t you tormented us enough? We take the van to the shop and end up with an estimate of $1800 to fix the power steering as well as other critical (in their opinion) problems.  We have the same problem as we did two years ago: we’re leaving on a trip soon and we have no time or money to buy a new van. We know it’s nonsensical to throw more money at an old van that wouldn’t pass safety but we do anyway because we’re under pressure to make a decision. I fear we’ve made the wrong decision, but if our van lasts another nine months or so, it the expense of the repairs will be worth it and we’ll be happy.  Because around Christmas time, we’re magically going to have an abundance of time and money to buy a new van.

So that’s our unpleasant van situation. Oh well, we like the guys at our mechanic shop and they are always happy to see us and our credit card. It will be sad when we finally get a new vehicle and our relationship with them will weaken and fade away.  We probably won’t even be invited to their children’s birthday parties anymore.

Since they had to order a part, they kept the van overnight which meant I had to take the bus to work this morning. I very rarely take the bus, but it stops right at the corner of our street and gets me to work quite quickly. I checked the bus schedule and left the house with plenty of time to spare. But I always get paranoid that I will JUST miss the bus, so I ran in my high heeled boots all the way to the bus stop. That was a good thing, because when I got to the stop, the bus was already at our back lane. I hopped on, paid my fare and settled into a seat. Two stops later, I suddenly realize I forgot my laptop at home.  So I get out the back door of the bus, walk home, get my laptop, and catch the next bus 20 minutes later.  That was annoying.

Tonight when I told the kids about my little bus drama, Chloe asked if I had gotten a transfer from the bus driver so I wouldn’t have to pay bus fare again. 

I said, “No, I didn’t want to walk up to the front of the bus and draw attention to myself and have all the other passengers wonder why I was getting off right after I had gotten on. Sneaking out the back door and saving my dignity was worth paying another $2.55.”

Spencer exclaimed, “They make you pay if you go out the back door?!”

I should be getting them to take the bus more often.  Chloe’s been hesitant about taking the bus ever since she meant to go to Polo Park but ended up on North Main, but she faced her fears and took the bus downtown to the career fair (and back) on Tuesday.

We should probably just get rid of the van and take the bus everywhere instead. It's all good until you forget your laptop.


Anonymous said...

hahahahah!! this was a funny one! well, only the bus part. not the expensive van repair part.

and taking the bus sucks so avoid it at all costs. it sucks in vancouver where its never below 5 degrees, never mind running through snow banks and then standing there in - 35 rift after you miss the bus.

where are you going? did you say in a previous post???


Daniel said...

Chloe? Career fair?! They grow up too soon.

Good luck with the van! I hate car repairs.