Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Lessons Learned: Never Drive in a Monsoon

I have the most heart wrenching news. I broke my car.

I am crushed beyond words. I loved my car. Her name was Gracie. She was the first car I owned that wasn't a hand-me-down from my parents. I picked her out and bought her myself.

On Friday night Denver got some much needed rain. I went to fill in at a different studio and ended up in a part of town where I rarely venture. When I closed the shop I went outside and noticed a huge black cloud and knew that it was going to open up.

It did. The downpour couldn't drain off the streets fast enough... and I got caught in high water. Just prior to that, the rain was beating the windshield so hard that I couldn't even see out. I determined that I had best pull over - but before I got a chance, my car stalled.

I sat there, stuck in the far right lane with my hazard lights on, praying that no one would rear-end me while I waited for Mr. Burns to drive all the way across town to rescue me. I could hear and feel the water swell and swirl beneath Gracie each time another car passed by.

We tried to charge the battery but that wasn't it. We went to a nearby auto parts store and asked for advice. They thought it could be the starter - maybe it took on water and given a chance to dry out it could start right up. We let Gracie sit in a restaurant parking lot to dry out all day Saturday.

Come Sunday morning, still no change. We had AAA tow it to the dealership two blocks from where I stalled out.

The diagnosis came on Monday: Water got into the motor... problems compound from there... needs new engine. The cost of this repair exceeds the value of my car by at least $2,000. My insurance company is looking into it.

Tonight as I lay fitfully with sleep alluding me... I realized this:

I totalled my first car on 8-08-88 - and pretty much killed Gracie on 8-08-08.
Weird huh?

8 is supposed to be a lucky number (In China anyway - that's why the Olympic games opened on 8-08-08) But as a friend pointed out... maybe my car stalling where it did kept me from a worse accident further down the road. And in 1988 - my parents didn't want me to take my car to college. Could be Divine intervention there too - totalling the car. Perhaps that prevented a road trip or joy ride that carried a worse fate.

God only knows.

RIP Gracie.

Update: Sad to report that the Insurance Inspector agreed with the diagnosis. Gracie is a total loss. Off she goes to the big salvage yard in the sky.


k said...

so sad! i took my car in for an oil change today and concluded that it HAS to last at least 5 more years. i have no means of buying myself a new car, and i love that thing. like yours, she was the first car (actually the first "thing" of any significance) i bought and paid for myself. i understand your sorrow.

i still have your email sitting in my inbox (this damd thesis!) but i'm glad you found youself a US map to add to your blog. we should go hit up the carolinas together sometime :)

debbie d. said...

I'm sorry about your car...but what is also very tragic is that according to your "states I've visited" map...you've never been to the Show-Me-State...well...let me invite you to come visit anytime to see the Gateway to the West! My rascally dogs and I will welcome you. The Arch, StL Art Museum, Forest Park, Anheuser Busch...you can smell the hops from my back deck...Missouri is calling!

TRS said...

Well, Debbie... have car will travel!
Funny I never made it to Missouri considering I grew up in Nebraska! We share a river!

TRS said...

Ooh. Debbie, you reminded me.. I HAVE been to Missouri... Kansas City counts doesn't it!
Also, I know I once fly out of St. Louis so there you go.

debbie d. said...

well...it does count, but my offer still stands!

Katie said...

Oh, how sad. That rain was OUT OF CONTROL this weekend!

the wifey said...

aw, what a bummer! are you going to get a scooter instead of another car? =)

TRS said...

Can't get a scooter because I promise you there will be many winter days in which I would not want to drive it!

Plus... I drive home often to Nebraska - aaaaaaaaaahhhhlllllllll the way across the state - and I am NOT taking a scooter on the interstate!

A scooter would be a 'second' vehicle not my primary vehicle... never mind that everyone who loves me has forbidden me to get one.