Gee, thanks, I didn't know how I was going to fill my time today. [/snark]
We went over all the quirks I'd been discovering about the truck and I warned her how different it feels to sit that high up and maneuver the wider, longer body of the vehicle. I don't think she's ever driven anything that big, at least not for a very long time. As she was leaving this morning, she said, "I need a booster seat!" Well, yeah. Toldja.
Also as she was leaving, she said, "Pray for me." "I will," I said. "Please try not to break three automobiles in a week." She said something rueful and was gone.
So, the independent mechanic I preferred being too busy, I wound up taking it to Pep Boys. I left it there at 8:00 and went to get some breakfast at Cracker Barrel. (Chain restaurants sell ambience. Cracker Barrel is all tarted up to look "country." The food is actually pretty bad, by country standards.) Then I trudged over to the bank, which I needed to do. I was leaving there, wondering if I should walk home or find somewhere to wait, when the mechanic called. The problem was a lower manifold gasket, which would require an unconscionable number of hours of labor just to tear down and get to. I gasped at the estimate, but with Deanne going to Terre Haute every day for class, I can't shop this around; I've got to get it fixed. I swallowed hard and told him to make it happen. Then I walked three and a half miles home.
As I always say, you may think you don't have any payments on old cars, but the truth is, you just don't know when the payments are coming due.