I saved a lot of money on gas this past week.
That’s because I was afraid to drive my car anywhere.
More than a week ago, on my trip to Covington, I noticed a loud, grinding sound coming from the back of the car. It was scary. And, I knew just what it was: The brakes.
You see, I’ve had this awful sound before, about two years ago. That time, it cost me $500 to get the front brakes back to where they should be: Working!
I really had no choice but to self-quarantine myself inside the house. I did not want to take those brakes anywhere. It was a hassle – and I knew it would cost a lot of money to fix, which I must admit is somewhat on the small side these days.
I was afraid to even drive up for my daily walk. Here’s the thing about Bath County: If you want to take a walk, you must first drive somewhere. Same with my bicycle, back when I had it.
Sure, I could walk up Tinkertown Road. But, the key word there is “up.” Man, that road is steeper than it looks. It is a huge trudge, an aerobic workout, to get up that road. Of course, downhill is a different story. That downhill “home-getting” goes much more quickly than you’re prepared for. I had trouble not tripping over my own feet.
And, despite its bucolic, woodsy locale, Tinkertown Road is pretty busy. I do not like to encounter people or cars while I’m on my walk. I want to be completely alone with nature, and what thoughts I might have. That doesn’t happen on Tinkertown Road.
So, I made do with walking down the scary, pot-hole filled driveway to get my mail, and then again, to get my paper. My driveway is another scourge altogether. When I drive it, I am always reminded of pioneers crossing the prairie in a buckboard wagon. No one wants to drive up it. And, if they do, the first they say when they get out of the car is, “You’ve gotta do something about that driveway!”
I always want to respond, “Would you like to contribute to Margo’s Driveway Fund?” No one does. But know this: I’m working on it.
I was all ready to move forward on that, and then the cursed brakes went out on me. Isn’t that always the way things go? One unforeseen expense after another?
For big car jobs, I always go to the Honda place in Covington. It’s the nicest place to wait, which one must do. There are comfy chairs, a TV if you want it (I do not), and a lovely fat cat who will come up to purr at your feet. The fellas there are always very nice and extra polite. And quite competent. That’s what you’d hope for, when you’re about to plunk down hundreds of dollars.
In my mind – optimistic as it often is – I had imagined having to pay $300 for the brake job. I knew it could go as high as $500. But, never in my worst nightmares did I envision $700. Who, really, has a spare $700 lying around with nothing to spend it on?
I must say, I have never felt so “good” spending $700 for car repairs. That’s the special thing about the Honda place. You leave there with a smile on your face. Albeit with a big hole in your wallet. But, you know you’ll be back when you must.
A dependable, friendly repair shop … guess you gotta love it!