Cleared for Adventuring


I’m afraid I shall have to negotiate joint custody for my car.

Most people don’t end up with these dilemmas. It’s hard enough to find one mechanic you trust, much less two. I have a mechanic I adore – Jay’s Kirkland Autocare. They’ve always done a fantastic job with no fuss and bother. Plus, they have a view of the Olympic Mountains nearby, and they’re right by the heart of downtown Kirkland, where there’s Earthlight, one of my favorite rock shops in the universe. And Lake Washington is within walking distance. I can even get my hair done. There’s nowhere better to drop ye olde auto off on a warm day.

However, they were booked solid for the week when my car threw a spectacular tantrum on Tuesday night. I have this thing about being without transportation – I hates it. And I was afraid, due to the fact that the engine had died, the steering and ignition completely locked, and the thing put on a rather amazing light show, that this repair was going to take time anyway. So I called round, and ended up having it towed to Ali’s in Woodinville. Mind you, this is Wednesday morning, right before Thanksgiving. They had openings, and they would’ve sent a mechanic to have a look at it where it had broken down if they hadn’t been too busy to spare one. Srsly. Gotta love that.

So Totem Lake Towing picked me up at home, grabbed the car, dropped me back off, and got her in. Later that afternoon, I discovered my car is a drama queen. She’d run out of gas. Yes, on the way to the gas station, of course. And with the lights on when I’d tried to restart a few times, and the hazard lights going while we fetched gas, her battery had drained. That was the root cause behind all that fuss with the electrical system and steering and ignition. Note to readers: if you have got a newer car, and you suspect it’s run out of gas, and it subsequently acts as if absolutely everything has broken, just try a jump start. Sheesh.

Seeing as how Enterprise had already picked me up and put me in a nice little Ford Focus for the next two days (lighted cupholders, people. Economy doesn’t get any classier than this!), I told Ali’s they could hang on to her if they liked, and do the maintenance she’d been screaming about for the past several hundred miles. They had her all ready today, and had even given me nearly half a tank of gas to get me on my way. And they’re some of the sweetest people I’ve ever spoken to. Enterprise dropped me off there (seriously loving them right now), and I’ve got my baby back with a perfectly clean bill o’ health.

And the look on the mechanic’s face when I told her that little Civic had made it to the top of Paulina Peak was worth everything.

So adventures will be had. We’ll have more stories to impress folks with, plus plenty o’ blog fodder. And I’ve now got to figure out how I’m going to split the maintenance between two mechanics I love. It’s a good dilemma.

And I just want to take this opportunity to tell State Farm how much I love them. They didn’t even blink when I told them they’d be getting a towing bill. They were perfect angels last year when I wrecked my poor Sentra.

I also want to give a shout-out to Geoff and Caeli, who rescued my sorry ass in the rain on Tuesday night, and Rich, who helped us push a severely locked-up car into a safe spot. Between awesome friends and outstanding businesses, this has been a positive experience.

Which sums up why I’m not unhappy my car is a total drama queen.