Our Story Begins
A Lesson in Real Life

My kids, particularly my oldest daughter, got a hard lesson this week.

Sometimes . . . s**t just happens.  I know, I know, it’s a bad bumper sticker from decades ago, but at the end of the day, sometimes stupid things just blow up in your face in your daily life and there’s absolutely, positively, nothing at fault other than just stupid bad luck.

This week proved that.

After a much-needed visit to family out of state we got home and inevitably, both I and my oldest daughter got sick.  There was, of course, someone on the plane coughing like they’d contracted a combination of black lung and tuberculosis and never bothered to ask for a glass of water.  We both got sick to start the week. 

Then came the car problems.

Both cars’ batteries were dead.  One just needed a jump, charged, all good.

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My oldest’s hybrid Honda?  Not so much.  Battery dead.  Expensive replacement later, coughing and running nose in the pouring rain . . . I replaced it.  
Only to find that the hybrid battery cell somehow wasn’t working.

My daughter was supposed to leave in two days.  When I dropped it at the repair shop . . . they wanted to charge $3,000 for a new battery.  The car isn’t even worth that now.
Then we realized . . . two years ago we’d replaced that battery under warranty.  Still . . . apparently that fine print in the warranty?  The new parts expire with the car warranty.  That expired two years ago just after we replaced the battery.

After much wringing of hands and complaining they realize . . . battery isn’t dead.  But they have to virtually take the car apart to fix it.  We are now a full day beyond when my daughter is supposed to be back at school.  Yet she understands . . . I can’t just give up my car, I have her three siblings to care for and drive around every…single…day.

One day in the shop turns to three and the $3,000 repair turns to $500, which is fine.  Savings tapped . . . money tight . . . but we will fix it.

A day late, several dollars short we picked up her car, said our good-byes . . . and then all was good.

Until it wasn’t.

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40 miles into the drive, the car shut down.  Completely.  System after system shutting down to conserve power.  Power steering, ABS, everything even the gauges were gone.

I called AAA, but I hadn’t . . . again . . . read that little terms and conditions thing?  5 mile tow radius for my membership.  $320 to tow it back to the repair shop…or upgrade the membership and it’s free!  But . . . I have to wait 48 hours to do it.

I packed my daughter in her car, asked the very nice church whose parking lot we parked the car if we can leave it there and left it.  For a few days.

My little girl sat in the car on the way and said she was sorry.  There’s nothing to be sorry about.  This . . . this is real life.  Dumb-ass stuff just happens.
Your car dies and dies again.  The shop scratches its head and you have to argue and you want to hit yourself in the head with a hammer because it will hurt less.

Then you do what I did . . . you take her to a hole-in-the-wall taco place, eat amazing food for cheap and say . . . most the time it’s nobody’s fault.  

The reality of life is that sometimes . . . s**t happens and you can either wade in it or laugh your way out.  That’s about all you can do.

What about you?  Had those moments with your kids?