By Tim Leeds
When I was editing the NoMoCo at Northern Montana College some 10 or 12 years ago, I wrote an article about my love-hate relationship with cars. I love cars, I said, and they hate me.
Now, a decade later, I think the feeling is starting to be mutual. There isn't much love left in the relationship.
Our one car is no longer stranded out in the Kmart parking lot, anyway. A friend was nice enough, after helping me discover that rebuilding it in the parking lot was pretty much more trouble than it was worth , to help me tow it home. Thanks, Scott, and everyone else who did help or freely offered to help.
Now, of course, it's stranded in front of our house. Oh, well, a little effort and it'll be running again. Maybe then I'll be smart enough to sell it.
It's amazing how much cars seem to hate me. That car was parked in the exact same spot at Kmart that it was at when it died about a month-and-a-half earlier. Ironic, isn't it. The same spot where someone ran into it, that time before, and pushed the fender right in on top of the tire.
I suppose I can't really blame the car for that one, though. Thanks, whoever, by the way, for the hit-and-run that time. I really wish I knew who you were so I could thank you in person.
I don't know, maybe my cars hate me because I'm not really good at doing things. When the starter went out on my other car a year and a half ago, my wife (Hi Jod!) had just gotten a minivan. It seemed a lot easier just to drive her old car, no matter what the little problems with it were, than to jack up the LTD, crawl under it, scrape the dirt and grease off of the old starter onto my face and into my mouth, buy a new starter and install it. So I kept putting off fixing the starter.
Of course, when I finally decided to get it running, at least temporarily, if not permanently, to replace the broken down Grenada, I found that there was nothing wrong with the starter it just had a broken bolt and had slipped a little bit. Oh, well, live and learn. I wish I had taken the time to look at it when the trouble started.
Now all I have to do is get the power window on the driver's side fixed. Or else get the air conditioning recharged and running again. Sunshine on the windshield has already made driving it a hot experience, and summer isn't even here yet.
People sometimes don't believe me when I say I seem to have a special relationship with cars. I can't explain it, and maybe I'm imagining it. But it is a little weird.
Like when I borrow a car from someone in my family while I try to get my own car fixed. I get into a car that has been running fine, when suddenly it starts acting up. I give it back to whomever, my grandmother is one actual example, and as soon as I leave the driver's seat it starts running fine again. Weird.
And it never rains but it pours, as they say. The day the Grenada died hey, that sounds almost like a song I was fortunate enough to be at Kmart, where my wife works, and she was almost off of her shift. So, she gave me a ride back to work, then I borrowed her Caravan to go up to cover a school board meeting.
Right as I got to the middle school, lights started flashing, the engine started sputtering, and I barely got into the parking lot. The car got me home that night, but the battery was gone. What a day.
I finally got the Caravan into the shop, after recharging the battery a few times, and found out there seem to be three separate problems, at a total cost closing in on $1,000. Got the charging system working, I guess we'll fix the rest as we can afford it.
Oh, well, at least we both have vehicles again. That three miles to Kmart would be a long walk.
I don't know. It has been kind of enjoyable, kind of relaxing, actually working on stuff like the starter. Maybe it still is a love-hate kind of a thing.