Saturday, February 9, 2013

Replacement Parts

I admit - I'm a bit slow in replacing stuff that breaks or wears out.  My procrastination on such tasks are often to the amusement, annoyance, or frustration of the people in my life - friends, my mother, my husband.

Last year, I got a new washing machine. It had been about 8 or 9 months since the first one broke.  For all those months, I made weekly trips to the laundramat and realized, it was a pretty good option.  The relative ease prolonged the urgency of shopping for a new one.

Then, last summer, shortly after that new washing machine, my car started making funny, clunky noises.  When it started leaving a trail of oil like Hansel & Gretel's bread crumbs, it was all over.  The truck's been parked since then as we decide what to do with it. 

The question of when or if to replace a broken thing often is a financial decision - done any major repairs on an SUV lately?  Actually, we don't even have to go to that extreme - ever bought new windshield wipers for one?   There's also a mental laziness that comes into play.  That washing machine?  Cycles, hot & cold water options, eco-friendly, gallon capacity, top-open, front-open - agh!  It was just too much to think about.  And then, if there's someway to make do without, well that just delays the replacement  process even more.

At first, when we sidelined the car, I was in a panic - what were we going to do?  How would we get around, how would we survive with one car?  Yes, as if there were no other people in the world living their lives with one car (how large our problems sometime seem, right?) As it turned out, we have been surviving, our lives have not collapsed.  We've made some adjustments and some of them have been pretty good.
  • I can only drive carpool when my husband is home and I don't have to take all the kids with me.  That wasn't something I really considered until the first time I was to drive and realized I somehow needed to fit 6 kids in a car not built for all those folks.  We've had to make some schedule adjustments, thanks to our flexible sports team families.
  • I've had to ask for rides for myself.  I have my own activities to go to, during the day and in the evening, generally PTA, sorority meeting, or a tennis match.  When these have run in conflict with kid activities, I've had to bum a ride for myself so dad could have the car and the kids wouldn't miss their practice or rehearsal or whatever.  Being dependent on other people?  Not something I'm really good at, but my friend's who offered me a ride have made me better at this.
  • Coordinating with my husband on our day's plans.  With our own cars, we often came and went without much discussion of where and when we were going.  Nothing secretive, it just wasn't particularly necessary.  But in sharing transportation, we had to talk about our plans for the day, coordinate our plans, ride together sometime and drop each other off.  That's a good thing, right?  Talking to your hubby and spending some time together.
  • I'm sure we're saving gas somehow in coordinating our rides and trips and carpooling.

We'll get the car fixed eventually and will be back to being a two-car family again.  Although, there will be some conveniences I'm looking forward to (I can go to Costco and get the 48-pack of toilet paper,  35 pounds of ground beef, and super-super-size bag of coffee all in one trip), I have to admit, I'll kinda miss my husband asking, "when are you coming back?"

The other morning, the coffee pot started leaking hot coffee all over the kitchen counter.  I need to get to the appliance aisle somewhere real soon.

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