Our car problems have been solved! On Friday (October 7) Kip got a call from our broker saying the Honda Odyssey we had ordered was in Portland. He would be able to get it to us the next week. Later, we both got calls saying that Penny was done and could be picked up any time.
The mechanic who fixed Penny gave us a great explanation of how he fixed her these two times she’s broken down. He says this is a problem with Nissans from time to time. Apparently, there’s a part that basically gets “gummed up” with oil and guck and eventually sticks, causing the car to be unable to start. It’s a $500 part, so before tearing the engine apart and replacing it and costing us a ton of money on a car that’s not worth a whole lot, he tries to release it from the outside. He described how this is done. He works at his shop with his son as assistant. So, the two of them take a hammer to the car. One of them turns the key over and over and the other bangs the hammer on the engine above the particular part. The mental image is priceless: some grease-covered mechanic fixing my car by pounding on it with a hammer until it is beaten into submission and starts working. Only a true, down-to-earth, grease-under-the-nails mechanic would have the dedication to do that. I think we’ve found our repair shop for life!
Inspired by this tale, Kip took a hammer to Penny on Saturday. Why pay someone to repair the dent from rear-ending that Jeep the day before Anna was born? He popped the hood and pounded on it until he’d gotten a lot of the dent out and fixed it so it is no longer bowed. I don’t know that there’s much we can do with the perfect black circle carved into our white bumper by the Jeep’s exhaust pipe, but Penny definitely looks better.
So we got the Odyssey yesterday. It’s super-nice and really big. I feel a little out of place in it. I spent hours yesterday just reviewing the “quick-start guide.” I don’t know exactly when I’ll have time to get to the owner’s manual. We all went out to lunch after getting it, then I drove it home and tried to fit it in the garage. There wasn’t room. The strollers and baby toys we store at the back of the garage made it so that the thing didn’t fit. I ended up parking diagonally after moving a bunch of stuff to the side. We’ll have to work on that later…