Car stress

posted by Jeff | Tuesday, January 5, 2021, 9:51 PM | comments: 0

Progressive declared the car a total loss, so now we're trying to figure out what we do next. We finally got a rental as part of our insurance last weekend, which took longer than expected because apparently even during a Covid Christmas, cars were hard to come by in Central Florida. We'll have that for 30 days, and then I'm not sure.

I'm surprised by the basic anxiety that I have now when Diana leaves the house. With Simon returning to school, she has to drive him everyday, not because buses are high risk (though I wouldn't want him on one), but because technically he was supposed to switch schools again this year, so the bus doesn't go to his. We've got new buildings here practically every year. But even when she goes out for groceries or some other appointment, it makes me nervous because of the accident. It's an irrational fear, yes, but it's one I've been feeling really since the great crash in Bristol, Tennessee. I believe every drive has some inherent risk to it.

As Diana's arm and belt line return to a normal color, now the new stress is figuring out what to do next. The Leaf was a leased car, so we fully expected to replace it in August. Part of that expectation was that we had another six months to save for a reasonable down payment on the next car. In fact, we've been trying hard to figure out a way to get down to just one car payment, because financial makeover me would very much prefer that. That's not as easy since our choices after going electric are more limited (and we're never going back to gas).

To be clear, mostly this amounts to inconvenience more than anything else, but the uncertainty about how this year and the economic recovery will go makes me cautious about everything because we really don't know. I don't want to do anything that will undo a decade of discipline, because I only have so many keystrokes left on the keyboard of life and I can't make up the time. Our "out" in this case is probably that we're going to get a little money back from the refinance of the house, basically a month's payment, just because of when in the month it closed.

Realistically, we could probably go without a second car, for awhile at least. And since I'm being irrational, you know what the down side of that is? Not having a second car to run out and pick up the other if one of us is in a car accident, as we did two weeks ago. That's the weird place my head is at. Sure, you can Uber, they say, but they didn't hear about the nightmare of getting a 10-year-old with ASD out of bed in the middle of the night to drive by a wrecked car and pickup mom.

I have to remind myself that the worst part of this was really a bruised wife, and we had a nice Christmas anyway.


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