Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Providence and a broken down car.

My car is very sick.  It will be in the shop for at least a week. The repairs will be highly expensive.

It broke down last Saturday.
In the providence of God my car failed about 300 yards from my home. So it was easy to stroll home and call AAA who took it to the car repair shop.

The diagnosis is not good.  

A repair shop I used last year failed to replace one vital component when I had the timing belt replaced, with the result that a chain reaction of failures has led to a badly damaged engine. (Don't ask me for the technical details, but the newish timing belt failed and the  valves are all messed up).

I cannot prove the mistake, so I have to suck it up, be patient, and thank goodness for some savings into which I shall dip (that’s why we have savings).

Providentially I have a good friend, Ben who lent me his car so that I could get down to Englewood FL for last Sunday’s services.  What a blessing that the car failed on Saturday afternoon, not on Sunday morning!

Furthermore (see Monday's blog)  I so much wanted to see Gwen Sears who was visiting down in Cape Coral, so I rented a car from “Enterprise” for two days.  It took me down to Cape Coral and back, and I needed it yesterday to visit the Dermatologist for my stitches to be removed, and to the Optician for an eye test.

 “Enterprise” has a good scheme by which you estimate how much gas you will need, and that amount (in my case half a tank full) is built into the charge. When I returned the car this morning, I was just 1 gallon short, for which they charged be $3.47 (a bargain these days).  And they gave me a ride home.  Total cost for renting the car, plus gas for two days --- $136.  Not bad!

Now I will learn to live without a car for a few days. (Ben will lend me his for a shopping run, and to get to Church on Sunday).

How providential it is for me:

to have a good friend who will lend me his car; 

to live in a city in which I can get around by ‘bus if necessary; 

to have some savings; 

to have easy access to car rental companies; 

and to be within a mile of three supermarkets should I have to walk

Although I am not overjoyed that my car is so sick, I realise how blessed I am in this situation.

My blessings are in marked contrast with the urban and rural poor who often have limited or no access to public transportation;  are many miles away from supermarkets, banks, car rental companies, hospitals and clinics etc; and have no savings on which to fall back in emergencies.

How strange it is that both President Obama and Governor Romney have said diddly-squat about the poor.  To listen to them is to hear that we are all either middle class or very wealthy.  Fie on both of them in this instance.

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