Saturday, May 28, 2011

Buses, trains, and automobiles

What a week!  My transmission has been acting up, so I finally took it to the shop, hoping against hope that maybe it just needed some transmission fluid.  (Fat chance!)  I was told it needed a new transmission, to the tune of $4000.  This was especially irritating since I just bought the car, a 2003 Honda Pilot, last summer.  I weighed the pros and cons of fixing it, a decision I always hate.  Should I pour a great deal of money into it, taking the chance that something else will go wrong, and that it will become a financial black hole?  Or should I just throw in the towel and get rid of it?  Well, the Pilot made that decision a lot easier two days later, when the oil pressure light came on, and then the next morning it wouldn't start at all.  Bye-bye, Pilot!  Fortunately, I left my good ol' Suzuki Sidekick in Texas with Jesse, and can use it as long as it keeps running.  So I'm having it shipped up here.

So I reserved a rental car online yesterday and they picked me up to go get the car.  But when I got there, they informed me that they couldn't take my debit card, only a credit card.  It was then that I realized that my new credit card had never arrived in the midst of the move last fall.  So it looked like we would be car-less until the Sidekick arrives.

So the plan for today was for Gabriel, Tevis, and me to go to the grocery store on the bus.  Last night I was all gung-ho.  After all, someday the guys will have to depend on public transportation, so we should start using it more often, so they can learn how to use it and get comfortable using it.

But this morning, the thought of lugging a very large amount of groceries back on the bus was daunting, plus we also needed to go get prescriptions at another store.  So I discovered that I could rent a car through Hotwire using a debit card after all, and at a very good rate, if we went to the airport to pick it up.  So we took off on the bus, then transferred to the rail system, which goes right to the airport.  After standing in line for an hour (seems like they could have had more employees scheduled on a holiday weekend), we got the car.  Then it was on to Trader Joe's and the drug store.

I was kind of disappointed in myself, that I am so dependent on a car that I couldn't do without one more than a day.  What kind of message did that send to the boys?  At least we did use the public transportation system to get to the airport.  And I resolved today that I'll do my best to plan an errand or outing with the guys every week using the bus and/or train.  As I mentioned casually to them today,  "Someday I won't be around to drive you everywhere, so this is something you need to know."