Tuesday, March 9

Car Trouble

I actually started to post this blog post a few weeks ago. I had started drafting it to come back and finish later. Then, everything changed.

I was going to talk about paying off a car. If you remember, a couple months ago, we made our last payment on our 2004 Hyundai. It reminded me of that bank commercial that talked about how easy it was to make a payment using your phone. As the couple is driving in the car, she makes a payment and says something along the lines of “Our car is now paid off!” Just then, the rearview mirror falls off.

That is how we were feeling, as soon as the car was paid off; we had to start putting money into it to fix little things. Our car needed another oil change, new brakes, and there was a “ticking” noise that had been going off since December that we were not sure what was wrong. Our suspension was it was the alternator. Our car repair shop was going to charge us $85 an hour just to figure out what the noise was, not to fix it. Therefore, we had been putting it off, knowing we needed to get it fixed, but that we really did not want to spend that kind of money right now.

It was a good car, it had driven us around for almost 5 ½ years, and best of all it was paid off.

Unfortunately, on the day before Valentine’s Day, it all changed. Driving home from Temecula on Saturday afternoon, Scott had just filled the car up with gas, $35 later we were driving home on the 215 freeway and were in a car crash. Although it has now been over 3 weeks, it is still hard for me to write. The accident was 100% our fault, no arguing that fact. Traffic slowed down suddenly, Scott and I were talking and he did not see the truck breaking in front of us until it was too late. With construction dividers up right against the freeway line, and only two lanes, we had nowhere to go but straight into the pick-up truck in front of us. I braced myself for the worst (having crashed my own car on the same freeway 5 years earlier) and watched as our little Hyundai crumbled at the force of the impact and the strong bumper of the large truck in front of us.

I know that my husband was not thinking logically after the crash, although in his mind I am sure he was. AS soon as we stopped, he turned to me and started spouting off all the consequences of the crash “Our premiums will go up, we will be down to one car for a while, I am so sorry, I was so stupid, we are going to have to cut back on expenses, start cutting things out…” While he was correct, it was not the time to start listing everything that was going to change because of the accident. I sent him out to deal with the other driver as I tried to calm Brendan down in the backseat and call AAA for towing.

I didn't take any pictures of the car even though my camera was in my purse. Looking back I really should have, but Scott was so upset after the crash, feeling as though he put his entire family at risk, that I didn't want to make him feel bad by taking pictures of what "he did".

One of our biggest fears after the accident was if the baby was okay. I did not feel funny, just a little sore, and the air bags did not go off (which they probably should have but I was worried what the impact of the air bags may have done. Bekah & Kevin picked us up from the tow yard in Menifee to take us home. They kept Brendan and Scott and I went to the ER to get me checked out. The doctor looked me over and said that everything looked good, I would probably be pretty sore the next couple of days and to take Tylenol. They listened to the heartbeat and sent me home.

The next day we spent the morning after church cleaning out our one car. Scott washed and vacuumed it out. We scheduled an oil change for Monday and got the car ready to serve as the “Family car” for a while. Monday morning we had to deal with the insurance company and figure out the logistics. Luckily, Scott had the day off and was able to take me to work and deal with a lot of the insurance business while I was working.

I was very impressed with the way AAA handled the whole situation, from our first phone call minutes after the accident to our follow-up conversation today. They immediately sent us a check for a new car seat, since you are not supposed to use the same car seat after an accident. They paid for us to have a rental car for 2 weeks until the determined the value of the car, but now, unfortunately, we are processing paperwork, and can’t get new car until our check comes to us. We are now back down to 1 car for the two (three) of us. Once again, we are lucky to have our little car. It may be a two door and a little cramped, but it is a good car, that runs and once again, is paid off.

We hope to get our check from AAA soon so we can start car shopping. We have been pretty lucky so far. I used the rental car for 2 weeks, last week I was able to borrow my sister’s car while she was out of town, and this week, Bekah and I are carpooling to work. God does provide for us.

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