It was a bit of a frustrating day yesterday.
Friday was my planned day to take off from work. I had worked on President's Day and was going to take the holiday on Friday instead when my dad would be here.
We all got up early in the morning. We consoled the kids with "Cheer up! Just one more day and you'll have your winter break."
Michelle, Dad, and I planned on going to the 7:30 Mass. We were especially interested in going because we didn't know if this weekend's storm would interfere with going on Sunday.
So the three of us hop in my Jetta and drive to St. Patricks. When we arrive at the parking lot, I notice that my car won't lock via the remote. Hm. Someone must not have closed a door all the way. In any case I decided it wasn't worth worrying about as Mass would start in a couple of minutes.
After Mass we head back to the car and it won't accept my key in the ignition. By that I mean it'll only go in about a millimeter or two. When I look in the key hole I see a plastic nub that won't get out of the way.
I'm thinking to myself, "okay, what stupid thing am I forgetting?" VW has some quirks in their design. For instance, if you stall a VW engine, you must turn the key back to the off position before it'll let you engage the starter motor again. I give dad my car manual and I try various things. Later I use my phone and search some forums. They all say the same thing: that often you can use a light lubricant and a small flathead screw driver to get that bit of plastic to snap back into place. I tried that several times with no luck. There were also a few mentions that sometimes it just needs to be outright replaced.
In the end about an hour later a tow truck arrived and towed it to my mechanic. Thank goodness it's a stick shift car or we would never have gotten it anywhere if it had been stuck in 'Park'.
With most of the morning gone the three of us went for brunch at Cafe on the Oval. I should also mention that Michelle got an early lift home to take Timothy to school while we were fighting the lock mechanism in the parking lot.
Once we got back home we did some of the things I had planned. I gave the primary wood stove a thorough cleaning. Dad and I watched “Lincoln”. For him it was his third time, but he didn't mind since it's a great movie. Before long the kids were home from school, happy to start their nine days of winter break.
In the spirit of Lent we had a simple lentil soup supper. Since Timothy had just finished reading "City of Ember", he'd asked if we could now watch the movie version of it. Daniel had also read the story a couple of years ago for school, so he was also familiar with the story. Meanwhile the girls begged to be allowed to go to the Manchester Mall. Ah the anxieties of letting your new driver push new boundaries.
Overall yesterday I was frustrated over how something so small could take my car out of commission for several days. There were no hints that it would fail so suddenly. Those key lock mechanisms are not interchangeable. You need to have one customized for your keys so I won't likely see my car until Wednesday at the earliest. If I'm lucky.
Michelle was able to see a bright side to all of this. Usually I take that car on long commutes to Boxborough. And today we would have taken it to downtown Boston. At least it failed here locally in town, and not an hour or more away from home. Towing your car a mile or two is much cheaper than towing it between states.