Sometimes the Outcome is Actually BETTER Than We Expect

Dave and I took Zhadi (my beloved Saturn SL2) into one of the last remaining Saturn dealerships in the Bay Area this morning.  Her (yes, she’s a ‘she’) Service Engine light (and why can’t I get one of those?) flashed on yesterday during one of the infrequent occasions I drove into work and the engine started chugging like the moment in A Little Engine That Could when the reader is REALLY worried the Little Engine can’t.   I made it to work and then on my work related errand later that morning, and then home again, although I had some serious doubts for a while as she lurched and coughed her way up an incline on the 280.

Sadly my beloved Saturn of Colma, an easy 15 minute drive (or tow, if necessary) shut its doors permanently and without warning a few months ago. Research turned up two remaining Saturn dealerships: one in San Jose and the other in Santa Rosa, both about 60 miles from San Francisco.  We chose Santa Rosa because it’s just a much prettier drive going north on the 101 and also because it’s smack in the middle of Wine Country.  The biggest issue was simply whether or not Zhadi would make it another 60 miles.

Well, Zhadi was the Little Saturn That Could and we did indeed arrive safely at the dealership where Dave and I spent about three hours working on our respective writing projects (a car dealership is, btw, a GREAT place to focus ’cause there is just nothing else to do there) and waiting for the news.  I was pretty much expecting the worst. Blown engine, dying transmission.  Upwards of $3,000 juggled somehow on low interest credit cards.  I’d already had my panic attack, so now it was just a matter of ‘how bad is it?’

Jen, the service manager, poked her head around the corner of our little computer cubicles around 11:15 with a big smile. “It’s not bad at all,” she said. “You need new spark plugs and the engine filter is dirty. Oh yeah, one of your brake lights is out and needs replacing.”

All in all, less than $300.  Not a drop in the bucket, mind you, but comparatively speaking, SO much less than I expected!  Happy dances were performed and we were out of there by 12:30, in time to have lunch and do a wee bit of wine tasting before driving the very happy Zhadi home again.  All this and a productive writing day too!

And as a postscript, please go check out my current blog post at Ravenous Romance. It’s PG rated! 🙂 

8 thoughts on “Sometimes the Outcome is Actually BETTER Than We Expect

  1. This is very true, Bryn! I’m sometimes hopelessly optimistic, but I’ve learned to gird myself against possible REALLY bad news so I’m not devastated…and then when things turn out well, YAY!!!

  2. Happy dancing with you (smile) I HATE it when car trouble come up & bite ya in the butt. Glad yours was not open heart surgery needed. And kudos on the constructive use of time. Remind me I got a DR appointment tomorrow. Need to take my laptop – I can usually write a full book length manuscript during the length of time it takes to get waited on.

  3. Well, shoot dang, I should have tagged you to do the Happy Tag at . You had some gooders there.

    Must say I appreciate hubbo right now reading that $300 price tag. He does all the mechanical work on our cars, so we just pay for parts. Yay! He considers one of his grand accomplishments in life the replacement of the truck transmission-by himself with no engine lift. I was pretty impressed, too. Considering that his favorite yoga posture is Child’s Pose. Har!


  4. Yay! Very glad things turned out so much better, and a side trip to taste wine is a definite bonus 🙂

  5. Heh. morgan, I’ve seen cars from Michigan and what you say is very true…they DO last longer out here!

    MM, I’m discovering just how much writing it’s possible to get done in the oddest places…

    Dani, I envy you your husband’s mechanical prowess!

    Aww, thank you, Jean! I’ll head over there!

    Thanks Sheina, and yes…wine…A good thing. 🙂

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