Our trusty mini van has been in the shop. Two weeks ago, on the way home from somewhere, it started to put out great volumes of cold air on the passenger’s side, while putting very warm air on driver’s side. Unfortunately, the passenger was Our Girl Nettie, who is never quite warm enough, and the driver was none other than Yours Truly, who is always roasting in the car.
Listen. I tried. I truly, truly did. But the more I tried to aim the flow of air from my side towards OGN’s side, the colder she got and the warmer I got. So I betook myself home with my slightly disgruntled passenger, and called our trusty repair shop. They said to bring it in, they would work on it pretty much right away. So, with the help of Certain Man, we got the van into the shop and when I asked how long it might be, they thought it would be simple. Maybe a day or so. Perhaps two or three.
They called me the next day and told me that it needed an $84.00 part, and that they had ordered it. When it got there, they would get it on and it should be ready to go.
They called me a couple of days later to say that the part they thought they needed was part of a bigger part — a heating and cooling module that was all one piece. When I heard “Cooling” and “Module” used in the same sentence, my heart sank down to my toes. “That sounds expensive!” I said.
“Um, yeah, well, it is a little pricey.”
“Like how much?”
“It looks like it is going to be over $900.00,” he said, sadly. “These things don’t come cheap.”
“Well, I need to talk to Mr. Yutzy,” I said. “He’s been wanting to get a different van and with around 265,000 miles on it, I’m not sure he will want to put that kind of money into it. Do you notice any other problems?”
“Nope! She runs like a top. She’s a good car!” (Why are cars always a “she” and not a “He?”)
“Well, I’ll call Mr. Yutzy and someone will let you know.”
I got off the phone and called Certain Man. He was not happy. At all.
“Should’a bought that van that was beside the road up here at Frederica,” he said. “Now it’s too late. The guy just sold it. We could have had it cheap.” This was a very nice Town and Country van that had sat for months beside the road, and Daniel had watched the price come down and down and down. Just when he was ready to swoop in and make a deal, someone bought it out from under him.
“I was praying about that van, Daniel,” I said now. “And I really do believe that if it was supposed to be ours, it would have not been sold. God has something else for us, I’m sure.”
“Hon, I’m not convinced that you are right about that. If people procrastinate and procrastinate and lose something because they waited too long, that’s not God’s fault. That’s what happens when you don’t get on the ball and do what you ought to do.” He was a little irritated.
I decided not to say anything else. I was pretty sure that it must not have been for us or it would have waited. I’ve seen God do that over and over for us, and it seems trifling to me to stop trusting him now. But I wasn’t the husband in this situation, and I wasn’t feeling the brunt of the reality of an old van with lots of miles needing almost a thousand dollars in repairs.
“So what are you going to do?” I finally asked him.
“I’m gonna’ do what I have to do,” he said fiercely. “I’m gonna’ fix it! I can’t get anything for it if I don’t fix it, and we need it right now with the Sunday school kids and such. I am going to get it fixed and then we can decide from there.”
So he called them and told them to order the part. That was last Thursday. They thought the part might come in on Friday and that we could certainly have the van back at least by Monday. Well, Monday came and went. As did Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Certain Man finally called to see what was happening, and they said they were expecting it any time now, and if we wanted to take the van, we could do that, and just bring it back. This wasn’t quite acceptable to us because of the changes in the weather.
Friday. I wasn’t feeling very charitable towards anyone. I had been out of a van for almost two weeks and it didn’t seem look very hopeful. But then midway through the day, a technician called and said that our van was finished, didn’t we want to come and get it? Did we ever! Certain Man had some errands to run, so he left me out at the door at Walls Service Center, and I went to pay. Daniel left, and I exchanged some pleasantries, paid my bill, and then I was done.
I went out and got into the van. I decided to run it straight through the car wash first thing because no one had even dusted it off. It looked kinda messy on the inside, but at least it would look better on the outside for a few days. As I headed off down the street, I leaned over and turned on the Air Conditioner. This Autumn morning was gorgeous and the sun had made it really warm in the car. I hadn’t gone a block until I noticed that the unit was not cooling. A bit. I turned it off, I turned it on. I turned on the circulating fan. I turned it off again. I turned on the fan full blast, and adjusted where the air was coming out. Nothing worked at all. I drove another block and then decided that I should just go back and insist that they fix my “module” right. I couldn’t stand the thought of some of my family feeling that they were going to freeze to death, and the rest of the car load being so warm they couldn’t see straight.
I looked for a good place to turn around, formulating in my mind what I was going to say to them — Not in a scolding way, but in a way that they would know I wasn’t happy that they hadn’t fixed my van correctly the first time. I started to pull my van off to the side of the road.
. . . And then I saw it. The temperature control was turned all the way to “HOT” and man, oh, man, was it ever working! I quickly slid the controls back to the “blue” part of the gauge and Oh! Sweet relief. The air that was pouring out of the vents was pure and cool and so refreshing. I decided that I didn’t need to go back, after all. I ran the van through the car wash and headed down the road.
I was one happy gal. It doesn’t matter that my van is old, it’s still my favorite vehicle to drive. Now that it has been repaired, I’m hoping not to hear any more words that have to do with replacing “Old Faithful!”