An Eventful (In A Bad Way) Weekend

The best part of my weekend. Enjoying the wind, the sun, a frappe, and the country on a convertible bug.

The best part of my weekend: enjoying the wind, the sun, a frappe, and the country in a convertible bug.

Last weekend was intense. It was bad news after another. 

It started off bad when my husband went to a new dentist nearby to get his due root canal. The dentist ended up charging $290 for a simple temporary filling and asking him to come back to get the procedure done and pay another $400 dollars.  At the beginning of the visit they told him it would be $120 and somehow they just kept on increasing the number. How do dentists get away with such exorbitant fees?

The temporary filling didn’t even help.

Later that day we took our car to get much needed new brakes. I had an appointment with a periodontist at 3pm.

Somehow, I had managed to leave the house without a phone, a tablet or directions (my phone is only good for wifi and 911 calls but still). I had never been there so I didn’t know exactly where it was. I just knew the general area. We had about an hour to find out. We arrived to the general area and I told Josh to stop at this massage place for me to ask directions.

It was a hot day.

I don’t know how long I was in there asking for directions but the woman helping me seemed to take forever. First she was talking about all the options it could be, then she took out a business phone book (!) and finally I asked her if she had a computer to google it. She was the receptionist after all. She looked it up on her phone. (I have to mention, she wasn’t even old.)

We were less than 5 min away. We still had half an hour until my appointment so we stopped at the nearby pizza place for a quick bite. On our way, hot steam started to come out from the hood of the car. The engine on idle while I asked for directions had overheated.

Jump into my appointment, hubby drops me off and drives to a nearby mechanic.

For an hour of painful and bleeding examination, it is determined I have periodontal disease. I find out I need to pay just over $1300 dollars for my next two visits in order to get the deep cleaning and scaling of the gums. I don’t have insurance. Even if I did, dental is usually separate to medical.

My gums may be sick but at least I have apparently perfect teeth. At least my orthodontist in Mexico did a good job years ago.

While I am on my appointment, hubby goes on his way to the mechanic and the engine gives out, hubby goes into “military mode” (having been on the Navy), the car is still going, he moves to the shoulder of the road almost right in front of a woman and her three children picking up mail and the brakes and the steering wheel are at 20% functionality. Somehow he manages to turn and go up a hill and go back down in reverse as he directs the car into a safe zone until it stops.

He jumps out of the car and approaches the woman to explain and apologize. She’s like: “no worries, my son is a mechanic and we live right over here, come with us so he can look at your car.”

The son determines it is probably the thermostat housing and gifts him a big bottle of antifreeze for the meantime. The car starts and hubby heads to the auto part store and orders the part which would arrive the next morning.

Our mountaineer, Charles, in the snow last winter.

Hubby arrives to pick me up just about when my examination ended and tells me the news.

On our way back we have to stop every 2 miles to add distilled water to the engine cycle so it can help cool off. The sun is still blasting.

We make it back home, about 16 miles, without breaking down.

Our friend and housemate, J, tells us he knows someone who could be able to come check the car the next day, Saturday. He does come and he also determines it is the thermostat housing. We agree to pay him by the hour to replace the old thermostat with the new one.

We go to town to get the new one. $100

We borrowed D's convertible VW bug to go get the part.

We borrowed D’s convertible VW bug to go get the part.

Old and new thermostat housing. Can you tell which one is which?

Old and new thermostat housing. Can you tell which one is which?

About three hours later. The new thermostat is in. After a test, the old one was definitely useless, however, the verdict is that the car had gotten too hot and had damaged the engine further making the liquid sputter. Basically our car is in a coma. We really love this car, so we might consider fixing its engine someday instead of selling it for scraps. We had just put in new brakes on Friday and new wheel bearings last month too.

J and J trying to fix the car.

J and J trying to fix the car.

What terrible news that the stupid sun and phone book lady put our car in a coma.

I take that back. I am not to blame anyone as we know for sure that it was all God’s plan for whatever reason.

So… it also turns out that our friends/housemates are selling their used Town & Country. Since we don’t have money to buy another car, even a used one, we come up with a deal with them to buy their car with monthly payments. We need a car. Especially hubby, to get to work. We are very grateful to them because we know they also need the money and we can’t even pay them the first payment until our next paycheck.

Overnight, our ride becomes a minivan.  We don’t even have kids or dogs. But the trunk has an automatic door and that’s awesome for grocery shopping.

On Friday we drove a mountaineer, on Saturday a VW beetle, and on Sunday a Chrysler minivan.

For a cherry on top, check this out:

Background: we have a house in India which is lived by our caretaker to whom we send money to every month for rent and bills.

We found out this morning that our previous house caretaker in India has now gone to the police and declared that we owe him 54,000 rupees for car services and salary. Our current caretaker told us that the police had been visiting him at the house. This debt is obviously not true, but it appears that he needs the money and we didn’t end our relationship in the best terms as we fired him since he was taking advantage of our absence and requesting money for bills that didn’t exist.

The old caretaker, the new caretaker and me having dinner at the house in India.

The old caretaker, the new caretaker and me having dinner at the house in India.

On the bright side it could’ve been worse.

Hubby got lucky to have broken down near a mechanic guy who was kind enough to help. He could’ve broken down in the middle of the main road, he would’ve taken much longer, probably had to stand in the sun for hours, neither he or I have phones so he couldn’t call our car insurance or anyone for that matter. He could’ve kept me waiting for hours at the periodontist, worried, not knowing what was going on. We could’ve been carless come Monday (today) when hubby needs to get to work if it wasn’t for D and J. And even more bad scenarios I can’t think of. We had enough money to buy groceries and the monthly bus pass hubby needs (he commutes by a combination of car and bus to the city.)

Even though it sucked, I am still grateful for God’s perfect timing and perfect planning.


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