Adventures in Winter Not-Driving

Well, I got a kick in the pants today reminding me about the whole ‘adventure’ philosophy. I approached our morning with an, “oh crap,” attitude, but in retrospect, it was an adventure.

I can’t remember if I posted about this or not, but here’s some news. Recall my rant about riding on the bus? Right. I have a car now. It’s actually Leif’s brother’s and his wife’s, but they’re back in Australia so they’ve lent it to me. Excellent! It’s a 96 Saturn Ion.  I know very little about cars. I’ve never owned one before. So I put off getting the oil changed, and put it off and put it off (me? Procrastinate? Surely you je… ooh, later, I’ll be back…)

Jest. Surely, you jest.

But that’s not the point of today’s post.

I eventually (a week or so ago) got the car in. Ohmy. It needed an oil change, transmission fluid change, fuel line needed cleaning, some other fluid needed changing, a windshield wiper was shredded to nothing and needed to be replaced. Almost five hundred bucks later, they tell me that this whoosamawhatsit gauge thingy needs replacing. For another $150. But I could do without it … as long as it didn’t get really cold. I’m from back east. It just doesn’t GET really cold here by my definition. So I let it go. I’ve got a huge credit card debt to pay off, I didn’t need to be paying interest on something that wasn’t necessary.

Seems they meant by Vancouver temperature range. Because it got down to something like -10C last night.

And this morning the car wouldn’t start.

It’d sometimes turn over but not – forgive me here, but I don’t know the terminology – catch. Mostly it just whrrrred softly. Crap. I tried doing it quickly. I tried giving gas. No gas. Ten minute wait, try again, pump the gas twice quickly before starting. Cameron tried a magic spell. Nothing worked.

It’s okay honey, the car doesn’t run on magic, so I guess your spell didn’t work.

I don’t really have magic, you know, Mommy.

I know. Of course you don’t. Nobody does.

But I bet if Santa Claus was here, and if the car did run on magic, then he could start the car.

So we set off to walk to the bus stop. Now, I have to back track a little. We’d run out of milk, even the powdered stuff I use(d) in yogurt. We’d run out of yogurt. Those are pretty much necessary for breakfasts around here, which are usually oatmeal with fruit and yogurt or milk, or fruit, milk, and yogurt smoothies. So I’d told Cameron we could stop for breakfast on the way to school. Now, we were walking to the bus because my car was broken because I hadn’t done something I should’ve done, hungry because we’d run out of breakfast essentials. But wait, there’s more! When we went skiing in Kamloops over New Year’s, we left Cameron’s snow jacket up there. And he’d left his snow boots at school last night, accidentally coming home in his school shoes. So, we were walking to the bus because I’d not done something with the car that I should’ve, hungry because we’d run out of breakfast essentials, my son was wearing runners on his feet, and instead of a coat he had two fleeces, a spring jacket, and a puffy vest. Yes, he had a warm hat and mitts at least. Did I mention it was well below freezing? And snowing?

I’m running for mom of the year here.

Between all of the car troubles, the length of time it took to get there by bus, and stopping for breakfast on the way, I dropped Cameron off at his school an hour late. Instead of at his before-school care somewhat early. I left, feeling stressed, and headed for work … well over an hour by bus and skytrain away.

It was an adventure. I got to spend some great time with my son. We’ll laugh about the lack of coat and boots.

Oh. I picked up milk and yogurt (and other essentials) on my way home. Leif’s sister brought Cameron’s jacket back to town, he’ll pick it up tonight. And Cameron remembered to wear his boots home. YEAH!


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