Jottings: Vehicle vexations
It was a Sunday afternoon during a heavy rainfall when I got a call from security at the retirement community where I reside. He was telling me that my driver's side window was wide open and the inside of my car was getting quite wet. This was not good news.
Rarely do I fully open my car windows, nor do I ever leave them open after parking my car in its designated spot in my apartment's lot. So this could only mean it was the same thing that happened to the passenger's side window a year ago when it magically disappeared inside the car door.
At that time I was driving home from an afternoon visit with my daughter and son-in-law when I heard a clinking noise and assumed it was the tote cart I carry in the back rearranging itself. At a stop sign, I looked to the right and noticed the window was down. It was a hot day and the AC was on so I was sure the window had been up; but as I tried to close it, nothing happened. After arriving home, and several more hopeful but unsuccessful attempts for the window to reappear, I called to explain this unusual situation to son-in-law Mike. Probably wondering about his mother-in-law's mind at this point, he came over to take a look and wisely brought along some tape and plastic to cover the open window.
Since neither of us had encountered this problem, we pondered on who could best solve it. Because I was sure the window was broken I decided to call a place I remembered had come to our home some years ago to replace a windshield. They assured me they could fix it and would order a window replacement. A few days later, I met the young mechanic in the parking lot and watched from a nearby bench as he removed the inside of the door only to find the window was not broken and it was the mechanism that raises and lowers it that needed replacing which, of course, he did not have with him.
I brought a book to the second appointment with a different young mechanic whose attempt at solving the problem required another needed part, not in his stash of various accessories. On the third appointment I met yet another young mechanic who worked until 6 p.m. while I finished my book and wished I'd packed a picnic supper. The window seemed to work okay, however there was a part of the lock system that just didn't seem to fit in anywhere. Since the door still locked without it, I sent him on his way. By now I'm thinking maybe this project was a test for an auto mechanics school and had I been grading them, they would not have passed.
I should tell you that my car is 20 years old, and that I was 70 when I bought it so we're both well past our "best-if-used-by date." I thought I had replaced most of its parts through the years, but it keeps finding others needing attention. Possibly it's rebelling at being un-garaged since I moved here. I've called AAA so many times that if the same person had responded every time, we'd be intimate friends by now.
Back to the rainy Sunday afternoon — I put on a raincoat, grabbed an umbrella and headed out with the only tape I had available thinking I could tape the foil sunshield over the window. Finding that packaging tape does not stick to wet cars or inside car upholstery, I took security's advice to call maintenance who came to my rescue with heavy plastic and proper tape. Two days later I took it to my trusty repair service who fixed it in one day. One more episode like this and there will be a FOR SALE sign on its windshield.
Jo Ann Parsons is a member of the Jottings Group at the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center.
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