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Car Trouble!

If my car were really positioned like this, I’d really be in trouble.

It isn’t. It’s my software.

So there I was yesterday, in the middle of a road trip from Chico to Truckee, researching my new “Kincaids” book. Everything going swimmingly, book thoughts racing through my brain, getting that urge to start writing the book that means, well, that means it’s time to start writing the book.

Yeah. There I was. On a back road, not a car in sight, flat fields to the left of me, flat fields to the right. And the Check Engine light comes on.

OK, I have a 14-year-old car. But it’s a Honda! And I had it checked out just before the trip! But now the transmission is making these “clunks” whenever it shifts. So I do what any reasonable woman would. I pull into a roadside stand and buy a half flat of peaches and some cashews. Because, hey, if I’m stranded, at least I’ll have fresh fruit and nuts!

Clunk, I reverse out of the parking lot. Jolt, screech, jolt, as I step on the gas and the car engages. Thunk, first to second. But, I discover, if I keep it in the higher gears so it doesn’t have to shift much, I’m more-or-less OK. I’m still going, anyway.
And I’m out of cell phone range. Anyway, my husband just started an eight-day backpacking trip (of course he did), so calling him is out of the question. I drove all the way to Truckee, my knuckles fairly white the whole hour and a half. Some dicey moments when I had to stop for road construction, but although I must have looked like a 16-year-old having her first experience with a stick shift, I made it.

Took it to a shop in Truckee for a repair code, called my lovely mechanic at home, and he told me, “You’re buying a new car.” Well, I was doing that anyway, but I wasn’t planning to do it tomorrow. I said, “OK, but where? In Reno? Should I stop in Sacramento?” And he said, and I quote, “It’s downhill all the way from Truckee to Berkeley! You can make it!”

So here we are, my gold Odyssey and I, preparing to launch ourselves into the great unknown. I asked him, “Do I pull over if the warning light starts flashing?” He said, “Nope. Only stop if you’re about to stall in the middle of the freeway.” All righty then.

I thought I was going to start writing tomorrow, but I suspect it’s going to take another day. Maybe Nora Roberts can talk to car salesmen in the morning and write in the afternoon. I think it’s more likely that I’ll be lying on the couch with a cold compress on my head. Look out, Subaru dealers, here I come!

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MJ Guidry
MJ Guidry
10 years ago

Oh no! Having had a similar experience (alone … DH not available for a few days) … I can totally sympathize! Glad it all turned out well.

Maybe you can work that into a storyline someday! =)

Mary from Boise

10 years ago

you are right around the corner from me! sorry about the car trouble but I hope you enjoy your trip

I LOVE your books!!

Rosalind James
Rosalind James
10 years ago
Reply to  Eva

Thank you! I made it!

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