Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A really trite, uncreative post. . .but there you go

Wanna know how much we've spent on car repairs this month?

$4,000. Give or take a few bucks. And it still needs a muffler!

If all of the repairs had happened at once, we probably would have chucked the car and bought a 'new' one. As it happened, they came a few at a time (or at least were discovered a few at a time). The kicker was when the compressor of the air conditioning BLEW UP and shot shrapnel throughout the air conditioning system, causing the whole thing to need to be replaced. Original quote? $2600. We were lucky, we got a deal on parts and labor (long story) and paid less than $2100 for the air conditioning and the power steering rack to be replaced.

The AC's cold, now, too.

And you know, (this is the trite part), it's easy to be bummed about spending all that money on a freakin' car. But then I go to work, and a) I'm so so so glad that I have a job I like, that is actually in the field I studied, and is flexible/part-time so I can still be with my kids a lot and b) I talk to my students. Like E., who spent the eight years when she should have been in middle school and high school in a refugee camp. You know what I did from ages 10-18? Plays, field trips, marching band, dates, dances, etc. I worried about my grades and my friends, and boys. I did not worry about whether I'd be able to get an education or be with my family.

And it's unlikely she'll ever go back to her country, where her mother still lives. Burma doesn't really welcome you back when you leave as a refugee. Her brother and sister are still in the refugee camp in Thailand, and she could technically go see them, I suppose, if she could ever save up the $1,000 plane ticket on her husband's off-and-on income.

Or there's A., who is from Somalia; he's never been to school in his life. He has four little kids, and when you ask him what he likes about living here, he says "there's peace, and a future."

So many of my students left their countries under such hard circumstances. A couple of my students have passed their citizenship tests in the last few weeks, and they are so excited. I love the picture of my student M., who's in her sixties, and the last member of her family to pass her test. She's clutching an American flag, and holding on for dear life.

So I think I need to count my blessings, and not complain about the dang car!

Edited to add: This morning John walked out to go to work, and the car stereo's gone. I'd say we've hit the trifecta of car disasters, but I worry that the car gods are lumping the repairs together and counting us two for three. . .we'd be sure to get into a huge accident.

At least we're not going into debt!


Ariana said...

Oh that STINKS!!! Maybe you have really bad car-ma (ok that was way lame...). I remember you having a million issues with the car you had at BYU. the little blue thing. I remember one night you'd driven all of us to the Marriott Center for something, and when it was over it took us like an hour to get out of the parking lot with all the good mormon drivers leaving at the same time. And the heater didn't work in your car and it was like January. We had good times! hahaha I hope your car behaves itself now that it's gotten so much attention.

Kimberly said...

You have a great perspective. I have moments like that every once in a while but not enough. Thanks for the reminder!

We had the exact same experience with Jason's car. I actually added all the repairs over the course of a year and realized we were paying more to fix it than we would on a monthly car loan, which didn't even include the cost of being without one and getting to and from the shop for repairs. Even then, we still didn't get a new one until my mechanic called and told me that I had one week to get rid of it before it died completely. I figured if a mechanic was turning away business it was time for it to go =)

sleep deprived said...

The mechanic actually assured us that, if the repairs were done and we maintain the car from here on out, it will go another 130,000 miles. . .barring wrecks, of course, which I'm not ruling out!

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