21. July 2023 · Comments Off on Sorting Things Out · Categories: Domestic

Automobile things, mostly; to do with the Montero Sport SUV which has been the Daughter Unit’s chief mode of transportation since 2007. It has increasingly become a money pit, and the final straw was reached when the garage told us that the head gasket had not much longer to live, and the cost of replacing it would be more than the Montero was worth. Rather than wait for the Montero to die at an inconvenient time, my daughter decided to explore alternative, rather than pour any more money into it.  This after replacing the transmission gaskets two years ago, the brakes last year, and just last month – reviving the air conditioning system. The Montero had become unaffordable.

It was a bit of a wrench, admitting this. I felt the same way about giving up on the Very Elderly Volvo in 2009 for similar reasons, the car which I had driven across Europe and several Western states for almost thirty years. (I sold it to a young Volvo motorhead from Shertz, who likely is still working on it.) My parents had funded the Montero and my daughter paid them back over several years. We had the science down pat, for packing everything into it for market events, including stock, tables and the 10×10 canopy … but the news about the head gasket was the final straw. We explored several options, and Wee Jamie’s godfather put us in touch with his favorite car salesman at the dealership that he favors… and what with one thing and another – and me co-signing … we now own a new car. An entirely new car, which was almost against my parents’ deepest and most fundamental beliefs. Well, the car warranty and dealer service will take care of a lot of basic maintenance things for the next few years, and the new car gets amazing mileage, which the Montero didn’t. And if there is one thing that a working real estate agent does, it is put a hell of a lot of mileage on a car. The decision to buy the new was made a bit easier when my daughter realized how very much she had been paying every month to keep the Montero in gas … it took some of the sting out of the car payment.

We thought we might keep the Montero for the occasional trip hauling something heavy or awkward from Lowe’s, or to a market event … but the other day, I had to take Wee Jamie to a dental appointment – and the Montero wouldn’t start. And that was a kind of final straw for us. Even with Triple A membership in case of auto trouble, and only occasional use perhaps prolonging the life of the head gasket … the risk of either one of us and Wee Jamie getting stranded by a breakdown at an inconvenient or even dangerous time was just too great to accept. I went through all that too many times with the Volvo. The most hassle-free means of letting the Montero go was to donate it to the local public radio station. I honestly doubt we would have gotten much for it, due to age and the head gasket issue, and why go on paying the basic insurance on a car that we hardly dare drive anywhere? At least, I can get a credit for tax purposes, this way.

Still, a bit of a wrench – it’s almost my daughter’s last tangible link to her grandfather. But she hopes it is an omen for the future; that having a new car and commencing work for another and much larger real estate brokerage will put us a little more ahead on the economic staircase.

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