Worth It

Just because you make it to the ranch and back without blowing out a tire on the rocky gravel roads, or skidding off the icy highway into the side of a snow-covered mountain, doesn’t mean you have escaped disaster.

We were home from the ranch for two days when, on Tuesday evening, something curious happened.  We were all just going about our business as usual; Paul and Geneva had returned from church, where they assist clients for a couple of hours once a week at St. Vincent de Paul.  Hubby and I were getting ready for prayer time (something we do together every night, and have since before we were married) when we heard a ruckus out in the house.  Jeff, whose room is on the front side of the house (where the garage used to be) and adjacent to the driveway, was the first to alert the household that the car alarm on the van had started going off. BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!  So up Paul got and went outside to see if he could turn it off.  There didn’t appear to be any reason it should have gone off, as no one had touched my key fob with the alarm button, and there was no indication anything had happened to the vehicle.  He unlocked the door, the beeping stopped, and that was that, we thought.  Until 2a.m. when it happened again.  This time, Paul went out and unhooked the battery.

Next morning, I was tasked with calling the dealership, describing the weird problem, and hoping we could get an appointment.  They had an opening at 10:30, so I got the battery re-attached, and Laurent followed me across town to Camelback Toyota so she could drive me back.  It was kind of fun as Megan rode along with me, and I always enjoy her company.  We talked about a possible job opportunity that has come up for her for the summer, venues in which she would enjoy performing (she’s got a coffee-house kind vocal style) and I don’t know what all else…

Anyway, I pull into the service bay, and Carl comes walking up and smirks, “Well, it’s not beeping NOW!”  He looked a little perplexed and cautioned me that they might have a hard time diagnosing it if they couldn’t replicate the problem.  In my head I was saying, “Uh, I don’t care how hard it is, dude, you’re the Toyota experts. This is why I’m paying you the big bucks!”  Anyway, I signed that I would happily pay $98 for a diagnosis (to go toward parts) and off we drove back home again.

It was noonish when he called back to say that they had, in fact, located what they thought was the source of the problem. I had noted, prior to our ranch trip, that the “door ajar” light was on from time to time.  Well, by the end of the trip it was on all the time, even though all the doors were securely fastened.  They determined that the rear latch mechanism and related sensors were broken, (hence the door-ajar light) and needed to be replaced.  The fanTASTIC punchline to the event was that the fix would cost us a smidge over $500.

Thus, once again, we find a ranch trip biting us in the pocket book.  It’s probably true that the mechanism was already on the way to needing to be replaced; however, I’m certain all the rumbling and bumping along those back roads hastened its demise.


You may be asking, “Is it worth all the car trouble you’ve had over the years and continue to have and will continue to have as long as you own the ranch?”

What an absolutely silly and ridiculous question.  We’d do it all again.

And again and again and again!  Are you kidding me? All the memories we’ve made there are beyond priceless — yes, including the crazy car adventures. Fixing cars is just money.  Yeah, sometimes it makes things tight, but the answer is yes: totally worth it.

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