Monday, October 01, 2007

A Sunday at Sears

The rain is here and with it comes a little misfortune. Yesterday started nice enough with both Kate and sleeping in to unheard of times with a little one in the house. I got up first and got right into a football game, gotta love the West coast and the 10 AM start times, and Kate got up an hour later. We had some breakfast and after Finn woke up from his morning nap we headed out to Longview to get a birthday present for Finn's cousin Ethan.

Longview is where you go to get things like that and when you go to purchase it they ask you if your from Oregon or Washington because in Oregon there isn't a sales tax. Unfortunately our Indiana ID means we are paying the tax. Anyway as we are pulling into the parking lot of Target there is a great whistling noise under our hood then no more whistling and all the idiot lights come on in the dashboard. I looked under the hood and saw that one of the belts was loose, it was really broken but I didn't know that yet. We called my dad to find a place to take in the car at 1 PM on Sunday and Sears was our answer. It was on the other side of the mall we were already at so after getting the birthday present we drove the car over to the shop.

Trevor the 18 year old mechanic on duty took a look and saw that the belt was broken and said it would be an easy enough fix. He went to pick up a new belt from the auto parts store, stopped off a Mcy D's for a late lunch and came back to set about putting the new belt on. We sat in the Sears waiting room, Finn pushing his new car around the floor and telling everyone that came by that he in fact had a "Caaaahhhhhwwwww" in a voice much deeper and louder then you would expect from a arian baby of his size. Kate looked around at the sales and I read a month old NewsWeek magazine keeping an eye on Finn. Trevor, the 17 year old mechanic, came in to say that a bolt head broke off while he was trying to loosen it so he would need to bore the bolt out and it will take a little longer.

Kate was back from her shopping boasting of 90% off sale price finds that might not fit now but will be great after the baby and I asked her if she was hungry. At that Finn looks up from his caaahhhwww and starts pointing at his mouth. For emphasis he removes his plug and adds a grunting noise to the mix. Off we went to the food court for some over priced mall treats thinking that we would get a call any minute telling us the car was done. After an hour long lunch break we went back to Sears to hear that the bolt was out, the belt was on, and there was just some tightening to do.

Trevor, our 16 year old mechanic told us the car was ready and the news came none too soon. Finn was exploring the space with is high pitched scream and both Kate and I were tired of carrying him around. As a side note there should be a stroller in the trunk of the car always, always, always. We loaded up into the car and started it up to a screaching sound as smoke poured out from under the hood. Now my one semester of Auto in high school tells me that the smoke is clearly supposed to stay under the hood and if it comes out something is wrong. We popped the hood and sat and waited as Trevor, our 15 year old mechanic, tinkered away.

After about 30 minutes he told us we needed a new bolt because the one he used to replace the broken one was not holding. He was off to Home Depot to get a new bolt and we finally called Bing to come get Kate and Finn. It has now been 5 hours at the mall and Finn is getting delirious. I sat back down with my old Newsweek and did some more waiting while Trevor worked away. he got the new bolt, tightened everything up but found that the Power Steering belt was loose and would need to be replaced. That's fine I will do that myself on Monday just let me go home. I got back int he car, started it up to the terrible screeching and massive smoke coming out and then shut it down again. When we opened the hood the new belt had shredded and the Alternator had seized. The car was not going anywhere tonight and Trevor, our 14 year old mechanic, was near tears.

We pushed the car into the garage and they shut everything up now two hours after their regular closing time. I called my dad to come and get me as I waited out in the cold wet night shivering with my light sweater. A $20 belt has balloned into $200 alternator and the labor has gone way up. We should have just stayed home and given Ethan my iPod for the money that we will end up paying. The truth is the alternator was the problem from the get go but it just wasn't checked. My dad says a more seasoned mechanic would have looked at that right away and saved us the time of sitting around Sears all Sunday afternoon but Trevor was only 12 so he didn't know enough to check it.

It was a frustrating day but also really funny and great at the same time. Kate and I had a great time with eachother and Finn is fantastic in situations like that. He screeched some times but for not getting a nap, being hungry, not being home, and having to stay close to us all the time he was a champ. Shit happens as Forest Gump has taught us and it doesn't just happen when we're ready. Even with a broken laptop, a broken car, no job, no house of our own, and cold gray rain of the Northwest we are happy and hopeful.


a boring sparrow said...

Lovely telling of a trecherous Sunday. Happy to hear of your happiness.
Marshall was thrilled to get a comment from you, and surprised too. Thanks.