Well, it wasn't a wheel bearing like I thought. It was my tie rods. And they'd be glad to replace them, but their alignment machine was down, and that's sorta important. So they recommended I go up the street to Bob Sumerel. There being a Bob Sumerel back home, I decided to go there. Got there at nearly 1:00 p.m.
Ran into Bill R. (a parishioner) there, getting some work done. We chatted while I waited for them to get my car in and look at it. Nearly an hour later, they were finally pulling my car in, and Bill was paying for his work. He offered to take me home, so I told the manager to call me at home. Bill drove me back to Greendale. I was in a hurry because Sassafras would be needing her daily walk.
Well, it wasn't until I got home that I realized that I had no keys. They were still back in my car. And the loose/unlocked back door that we lived with for over five years is now tight as a drum and locked all the time by my paranoid wife. Everything was locked up tighter'n a fish's anus, the dog was barking, I had no access to a phone to connect with the repairmen about okaying an estimate, and it was dangerously hot to be tromping off in long pants to wherever else I could get to to address any of these needs. I thought we had hidden a key somewhere outside, but after seven years of not ever needing it, I'd forgotten where (if we even had hidden one).
So I broke a window. A small, diamond-shaped window in the unused side door off the front porch to the garage. I carefully removed all the glass, then reached through and unlatched the deadbolt. I let myself in, greeted Sassy, called Sumerel to OK the work, took the dog for a walk, and am now cooling off downstairs in front of the 'puter.
Later on, I'll have to cover the empty window with plywood or something. Eventually, we'll have to get it fixed right. Problem solved, except for the hassle and expense -- and the feelings of dumbth that pervade my frustrated being right now.