Sunday, July 15, 2007

A non-knitting post: A Tough Week

It's been a tough week for some of the supporting characters at Maison Sydney.

Here is Rudolph, wearing the dreaded Collar of Discomfort and approximately 4 inches shorter, overall, than he used to be.

Last Friday, Cat Crazy Daughter and I were returning from a day out. Daughter swung the door leading from the kitchen to the garage closed. As this rather heavy door was closing, Rudolph suddenly and somewhat belatedly decided to dash through it. As you can see, he did not quite make it.

After two vet visits, tail surgery, many forced doses of cat antibiotics, I imagine he considers this NOT to be the best week of his life. Cat Crazy Daughter has not been taking it well, either, as she feels responsible. She is not, of course--it could have happened to anyone--but she is having trouble accepting that.

Here is the evil door--the evildoer, you might say. This is the same door that did a number on my ring finger in February. It's a very heavy door, and it shuts hard. My fingernail is only just now back to normal.

Another supporting character in our household that is having a tough week: the Van. This is a picture of the top of the strut tower. Last week, I had never even heard of such a thing, but now, only one short week later, I have read a lot about what can happen to the driver's side strut tower on a ridiculously large number of minivans made between 1996 and 2000 by the wonderful Chrysler family of car manufacturers.

Do you all see that rust? It doesn't look that bad to me. But apparently it is quite bad. VERY, VERY BAD. So bad, apparently, that we were told to "ditch this car as soon as possible," and to "go car shopping now." If we don't want to do the major body work required to replace the front left corner of the car--and who wants to spend that kind of $$ on a van that has 102,000 miles and is on the verge of needing major engine work, as well?--then we need a new car. Now, apparently.

Unnerving. I did go straight to another dealership to test drive something built with a bit more quality, I hope. I also went to another mechanic to get a second opinion. He was even more adamant that this was a safety issue. "Can't it get through the summer?" I asked. But apparently there is no way of knowing how long this could hold up, and we really, really don't want to see what would happen if it gave way. As I drove it away, he told me to "drive very carefully," and to "have a safe day." OK, I was officially freaked out after that.

The one funny thing about this is the way the mechanics started talking in the hushed tones of a doctor telling you that a beloved relative is at death's door. "Let go," one guy said to me. "Move on." If the safety issue weren't so serious, I would have laughed at him for thinking that I was that attached to this van. I can't wait to get rid of it. But it just wasn't in the budget for the summer, you know? Come to think of it, cat tail surgery wasn't in the budget, either.

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