Random Thoughts

What do you do when your car goes to the shop?

 ... a good question

by Bob Ross

We are a lazy group today. Seldom walk anywhere. Stores all close by, a couple of blocks from the house. Do we walk? Why walk, spend half an hour or more when it can be done in a few minutes. We are so busy ... Why walk? No way, I get in the car, drive the few blocks, make my purchase then drive home.

When I was growing up, it was nothing to walk a mile to the store. In fact, we walked everywhere we went. To school, to church, to the streetcar to go to the city, everyone walked because there was one car in the family and usually driven by our father to go to work.  

So, we are all in the same boat. Just lazy, it's a waste of time to walk. Whatever the reason, we just don't do any walking if it can be helped.

Well and good. But what do you do when your car has to go to the shop? We are lost. The car can sit in the driveway for days and not be used, but it seems when we don't have a car, we find a million ways to go somewhere.

Usually every year on my birthday I have the car serviced when it goes in for the  annual inspection. The same this year. I set up an appointment for the annual service, oil change and tune-up for the next week. You can't just go in and expect to be taken care of. The big day arrived. Dropped the car at 7 a.m., walked the four blocks home.

What do you do now? No car, too lazy to walk so what is there to do? I spent hours making more room in the garage so there would be more room to move things from the cellar. What I should have done was discard most of the junk, but figured I might find a use for most of it someday. All the time, thinking of places I might go - If I had the car.

Spent the day doing things I should have done before, but seems I could never find the time. The wife and I made the rounds to the malls. Bought things we didn't need, or just wasted time looking. Oh, it was nice, free time, able to go anywhere at anytime. Not so when you don't have a car.  

I spent a miserable day, and was relieved when the shop called and informed me the car was ready. Yes, I walked to the shop, took about 15 minutes, but it was nice to get in the car and drive home, park in the driveway and relieved that I could go when I felt like going. Oh, I didn't go anywhere, but I knew it was sitting there if I did want to go somewhere.

Only good thing that came from the day, we can move around the cellar easily now, which makes the wife happy.

A few weeks later after the usual rounds, I stopped to fill up the gas tank for the weekend. Usual fillup time is when it reaches the 1/4 mark on the gauge. Then went home and watched tennis for a couple of hours then went out for my usual smoke and smell of gas was strong. Walked around the car but then looked under it.  At the rear there was a wet area where gas was leaking. Got a small pan to catch it and searched under the car but could not determine where the leak was. Fortunately the leak wasn't too bad, just a drop occasionally. Called Ozzie's Community Garage on Essex St. but they had closed. Sunday I kept watch on the pan, but not enough leaked to worry about. Only problem, I did not want to be driving with a leaking gas tank.

Monday morning I was at Ozzie's before he opened, explained what happened. He put the car on the lift, found the leak where throat attached to the tank. Bad news ... Told me I needed a new tank. I said fix it. He made a call and said he would call me when I could pick it up.

He called about 2pm and I picked it up. Thanked him for taking care of it so fast. I have been dealing with Ozzie since 1971 when I retired, and over the years I have had outstanding service, and never any complaint. It really pays off to have such friends.

September 2, 2005

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