Sunday, June 9, 2013

Timing is everything

A couple weeks ago, during the Memorial Day break, my car suddenly and without warning started making a horrible metallic sound, sort of like the noise a freight train makes when it applies its brakes.

"Oh, no," I thought. "My brakes."

There's nothing sadder than seeing your car carried away. Sigh.
Sometimes the noise would get louder and sometimes it would soften. But it wouldn't go away. We rolled down the windows, and the sound that sounded to me like it was coming from the rear of the car now sounded like it was coming from somewhere up front. My car, apparently, is an acoustic shadow on wheels.

We pulled into a parking lot. I had Kim drive in a circle to help pinpoint the sound and quickly identified the noise as coming from the right front wheel.

Although I had my suspicions,  I googled "Metallic noise in Volvo wheels" and was quickly directed to Hub Wheel Bearings. Uh-oh. Suspicion confirmed.

I wallowed somewhere between frustration and anger. My car, new to me although it's pre-owned, has less than 50,000 miles on it. It's a young car — it shouldn't be having these kind of problems.

The offending, hard-hearted noise maker. Sheesh.
Now here I was, stuck with a car I wouldn't drive for fear of doing even greater damage, and on Memorial Day to top things off. Who in the world would be open to work on it? Perfect timing.

Turns out, the dealership in Winston-Salem was open. I made plans to have the car transported there.

We picked it up the next day. The problem wasn't hub wheel bearings at all. There, scotch-taped to my bill, was a gray paving stone.  Somehow it had gotten caught in the brake calipers of the wheel, and while it didn't do any damage, it could have.

                                                          •    •    •

That Friday, our coffee-drinking social group made plans to have our second annual picnic on the grounds of the Childress Vineyards.

About 12 of us showed up — a nice little crowd, a bit more than what actually shows up for coffee — and we placed our orders.

Kim and I decided to share a chicken salad croissant. Into her second or third bite, Kim paused. Then she chewed very gingerly.

"I think I lost a filling," said Kim.

My heart sank. This is the kind of stuff that happens to me. A couple months ago I broke a molar that resulted first in a crown, and then later in a root canal. Turns out Kim partially broke a molar. Great. Our dentist is closed on Fridays. Perfect timing.

Kim patiently waded through the weekend, cautiously chewing everything on the other side of her mouth without complaint. She made an appointment with the dentist first thing Monday morning, and by noon, she was all fixed up.

I'm checking the calendar now to see what's up next. Great. The Fourth of July.

Shut my mouth...

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