This Memorial Day weekend saw my first actual vacation day for the year (not that I wasn’t called…twice).  It also saw a variety of adventures that I will now relate.

First, about noon on Friday, we hop in the car and starting for parts east.  It wasn’t that easy, of course, but I’ll forego telling you about about packing.  However, we got about 20 miles down the road and some clown with a low-boy kicks up some debris and throws it into my tire.  Massive destruction ensues.

This debris bounces off my tire at (apparently) a significant fraction of the speed of light and destroys the entire wheel well of my car.  Not “breaks it”, not “knocks it off”, but “destroys”.  The 5 or so square feet of medium density plastic looked like baby Wolverine got a hold of it on Christmas morning.

I pulled over in a small school outside of Manor and take a look.  I tied the remaining shreds up out of the way (from dragging on the tire) with some tie wraps and call the dealership.  “Hey, I’m heading to my mom’s for the weekend and a grenade went off in the wheel well, can you guys take a look?”  “Sure, bring it on over.”

So we take a detour to Georgetown.  We get there, still packed.  The guys put it up on the rack and call me in.  The only damage is to the wheel well.  I ask how much.  The mechanic says “Not very much, we should have them in stock cause we’re a body shop too.”  Really??!?!?!  Well go find out young man!!!

He came back, while the missus was on the phone with the insurance company.  Me and another mechanic went over the rest of the undercarriage with a fine toothed comb.  I didn’t realize it, but the Subaru’s have a nearly complete undercarriage.  It’s not a steel drag plate or anything, but it’s solid up under there.  Specifically so stuff like that debris doesn’t destroy the engine, transmission, drivetrain, etc.  Yay for Rally!

The first guy comes back.  Fifty eight bucks.  Awesome.  Can you do it now?  Sure, it’ll take me about half an hour.  Thirty minutes later and $130 poorer, we were on the road to mom’s again.

I really feel I’ve grown as a person.  Previously, I would have ranted and raved about it.  This time, I just fixed enough to get to the shop and I was thrilled that it was so minor.  I’m also very, very thankful that I can now afford it when issues like this crop up.  Even a few years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to.

There were some further adventures at my mom’s place, but they weren’t very interesting.  Suffice to say I did a lot of manual labor, installed a screen door, recalked a tub, fixed the hydraulics on another door, replaced some light bulbs and siding, and several thousand dollars worth of IT work.

Now we’re home and I’m ready for work, with nice relaxing, nearly impossible deadlines.

BTW: If you’re going to by a car, I can’t recommend Subaru enough.  The cars are awesome and (if you’re in the Austin area) Georgetown Subaru is fantastic, from the dealers to the service people.

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