Friday, April 08, 2005

dear old dad

One of the few things that I own in this world that is of any actual value is my car, which is both a blessing and a burden. I have a Toyota, so my car is pretty reliable, small enough to squeeze into tight spaces, and efficient with gas consumption. However, it is also one of the major sources of bills for me, what with gas prices reaching over $2.60/gallon and the need for auto insurance and routine maintenance and whatnot. I've spent hours researching the lowest priced car insurance for my situation, know all the cheapest gas stations from here to Southern California, and regularly get my oil changed at a discount store. So, it's kind of a hard pill to swallow when I actually have to cough up a sizable chunk of money to get something done on my car. It's never really in my budget, and I keep reminding myself to stash extra cash for future car needs, but never do.
Anyway, about six months or so ago, I had a long snaking crack in my windshield that kind of made me uneasy, so I had my dad take care of the details and we went to the world's sketchiest auto glass shop in the Central Valley to have it replaced. If my dad hadn't been with me, I probably wouldn't have even rolled down the windows there, much less gotten out and waited on the curb on the lawn furniture that counted as a waiting room. Not too pricey, but still more than anyone wants to have to spend. The latest trial of my car, however, looks like it will cost a lot more. It's reached the 50,000 mile mark and the wheels/brakes squeal like stuck pigs. It'll no doubt need new brake pads, hopefully nothing more (like repairing the brake drum, or whatever you call that part that rubs up against the pad). I've been on the phone/web to various auto repair places and dealerships in the area, trying to confirm costs and schedules, all while calculating in my mind just how far in debt this latest bit of repair will put me. Well, I guess my dad could sense the nervousness in my voice the 20 or so times I called/emailed him to get his advice (perhaps that was the giveaway) and has generously offered to take the car in and pay for whatever work needs to be done on it. Thank goodness for dads, they're the best.

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