Thursday, May 11, 2017

Then this happened ...

What's to say? The car went kaput. Last week.

It had been acting in bizarre ways ever since my trip to NY a few months ago. Odd noises under carriage, squeaks from the tires?, a wobbling steering wheel--but only intermittently. I had to pull over 3 times over the past month due to uncontrollable wobbling. Pulling over for a brief moment was enough to shake it of it's chills. But the last time it happened--before the mechanic saw it--it took longer to set itself straight.

So it was at the mechanic's last Friday morning. He was supposed to get it in shape so I could travel to CT for a weekend-long gender-free dance camp later in the day. As is my usual routine when the car needs to see the doctor, I dropped it off early in Holderness, just across the river from Plymouth, and proceeded to walk over to downtown Plymouth for breakfast. I had no sooner finished breakfast when my mechanic phoned. Well, that was quick! I was expecting a couple hours.

The news was grave. The transmission bearings were going. They weren't entirely gone yet, but I was informed they could break at any time and there was no way of knowing when that would happen. My mechanic advised me that it was not worth sinking more money into the car; and it would be an expensive fix. I'm glad he was honest with me about it. I'd asked him to tell me when he thought we'd reached the end. So I left wondering whether luck would be with me for a while yet?

I had to drive 13 miles to the bank and 13 miles back in the afternoon and the car was splendid. That was the odd thing: It would run smoothly and wonderfully--until it didn't. There was no predicting when the wobbling would start. Well, it started 1.5 miles from my house on the way back and this time, pulling over didn't seem to right things: It just kept wobbling, and wobbling. I stopped several times, putting it in park then back in drive. The wobbling persisted. I almost thought it was going to make me walk the rest of the way home, but I pulled into the driveway after many fits and stops, and it hadn't overcome the wobbles. Kaput.

It was 15 years old and had 210,000 miles on it. It had been around the block more than a few times. It was a good car. It was my first--ever--car. It got me from Brooklyn to NH almost exactly 4 years to the day (April 27th), and it made some important errands for me. I was fond it, workhorse that it was. When I bought it I was hoping it would last me 5 years. Short by 1, but I'm not quibbling. It settled me here and I'm grateful for that.

I hitched a ride into Plymouth Monday this week with my neighbor who dropped me off at the car rental. After breakfast at my favorite diner in Plymouth, I headed straight for the Subaru dealer in Tilton where this happened:

Yes, it's my new car. A 2014 Subaru Forester; an up-to-date version of my old car. It's in great shape; it had only one previous owner and all the work done on it was done at the dealership where I bought it. Very clean inside and out; like new, really. I like the color--can't be too picky when buying used. I had my mechanic look at it before I bought it and he gave it his stamp of approval.

It feels so classy with it's humongous moon roof, rear view camera, bluetooth, and so on. My cello fits comfortably within and the kayak will fit comfortably above.


  1. Phew!!! Glad all has worked out well for you, Bernard. Nothing like a "like new" not quite new vehicle. You should be good for a lot more years now.
    You do tell a good story. Couldn't help being curious about your favourite breakfast place in Plymouth. Isn't that near where the NH sheep festival is????;)

    1. So lovely to have you back, John, and thanks. The NH sheep festival is in Deerfield, about an hour and a half away.

  2. Congratulation on your new car! Your narrative made for an interesting read. We feel so much better knowing that you're traveling in a safer vehicle especially since you do go out of state quite regularly. Keep safe.

    1. Thanks, crafty1. Can't wait to show it to you!

  3. Congrats on your new ride! Looks great. Updates are fun!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.