License Plate

So… my license plate is broken. Well, the plate itself is not broken. But one of the screws / bolts that holds it to the car has come out, and so it hangs down.

My car kind of looks like that. Well, minus the fact that my car hasn’t been completely smashed up. Oh, and it’s not that kind of car at all. Hmm and I don’t ride around with a pair of gloves in my hood and the hood up. And my license plate is Ohio instead of Washington DC. But that’s kind of what my license plate looks like.

So, this has been going on for a few months now. I have it on my list of “things to do some day” to fix this, but have not really gotten around to it because it’s not a big deal for me.

But for some reason, people love to stop me while I’m driving to point this out to me. I’m sure they are just trying to be helpful, but what are the odds that this has just happened and I’m unaware of it? At least one guy mentioned something like “I’m sure you probably already know this but…”. The other day, as I was driving to work, a big truck stopped. It looked like he was trying to turn left across traffic so I was inching up to allow him room to turn into the shopping center (I was stopped at a red light). But no, he yelled at me again and wanted to let me know about my rogue license plate.

I find it odd that the impetus for me fixing this is likely to NOT be the actual license plate itself, but just to stop people from pointing it out to me.

And yes, for those of you who live in Cincinnati and see me on a regular basis, please point this out to me whenever you see me and my car. Because you’ll think you’re being funny, but in fact, you’ll be like the 500th person to point it out which will make you, in the immortal words of Jerry Seinfeld, quite LAME!

Blessings

So, one of the things that I would like to do on this blog is chronicle times in my life when I feel like I have felt the hand / influence of God in my life. I seem to recall hearing someone talking about this in church – for some reason I keep thinking it was Heber J. Grant – he would read his father’s journal and see the various blessings in the day to day life of his father. I may be completely making that up but it seems to have some nugget of truth.

Anyway I would be remiss (and other weird phrases Mormons like to repeat over and over again even though nobody really talks like this – kind of like I would like to bear my testimony or inthenameofjesuschristamen all one word or “nourish and strengthen us” etc.) if I did not share what happened yesterday.

As I mentioned the other day our van limped into the driveway on Saturday evening. We were able to take a look at it and determined that it was the van’s drive belt that had come off. The belt itself looked to be in good shape, but my car-savvy friend and I (well, mostly just him) were not able to get it back on all the assorted pulleys and such.

We were able to jump it and get it running enough to take it to Midas. I also took in my new tires so that they could put them on. And early Monday morning I called in and spoke to my main man Don who is now the manager over there (last time he was the assistant mgr. I think). I told him what was up and he said that he would take a look at it and let me know. Don and I have worked together several times in the past. And of course by work together I mean that I take him my car and he works on it. We first kind of connected a few years ago when I had brought one of the cars in for something and we got to talking about Madeira – he grew up there so he said that he’d give me a break. He has continued to take good care of us and has been very reasonable price-wise.

So he called me around noon and said that he looked at the belt and there was nothing wrong with it, and he also inspected the pulleys and said they were fine. He had put the belt back on, put the new tires on and rotated them, and also changed the oil. I had been meaning to start changing my oil myself but just hadn’t gotten around to it and so while it was there I decided to pay a few extra bucks to have them do it.

I asked him how much he had charged for putting the belt back on and he was like “Oh I didn’t charge anything for that”.

Okay – so hold that thought as I move on to some separate stories from the day. I will tie them in at the end.

Today was the drop off day for one of Carolyn’s diaper studies at P&G. Basically they pay you to evaluate new diaper ideas. These ones were pull-up kinds and so we were supposed to evaluate them and check for leaks or red marks and such. We also had to weigh each diaper (on a provided scale) and log that. For that we get 3-4 weeks of free diapers plus a $55 gift card. It can be a hassle but not too bad. So today was the drop off day so we picked up a $55 Meijer gift card.

But that is not all, oh no that is not all. Randomly we got 2 checks in the mail from TriHealth, one for $30 and one for $20. We still do not know what they were for. They were addressed to two different of my kids, too. Does that last sentence look weird? I was just trying to use all three variations of to/too/two correctly in the same sentence. Anyway… :-) . The best we can come up with was some sort of visit where we paid a co-pay where we didn’t have to so they refunded it.

So the net of it was that after worrying for a day and a half that something was seriously wrong with the van, to the tune of us having to figure out a way to come up with at least several hundred dollars, we ended up being able to pay Midas with the money that we had already budgeted in auto maintenance (the total ended up being like $58 something, after $5 printable coupon, natch). And maybe you can write off the $55 gift card since we knew we were getting that. But to also randomly get $50 in the mail for no explicable reason?!??! Call it a coincidence if you want, but to me, it’s the hand of God taking care of us. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands