Monday, August 8, 2011

AAA: Angels All Around

So... Saturday I drove down to Brandon for a funeral and Jackson to visit Mom, and as I was leaving to return to Memphis, my car started making a loud, knocking sound. Then it started missing. Then it started slowing down.... just as I went past the County Line Road exit. (That was the last exit for Jackson.) I knew it was several miles to the next exit, so I started praying. It was HOT outside and I was picturing myself standing by the side of the road in the heat, waiting for help.

I know my guardian angel was with me, because the car made it to the Gluckstadt exit and into an Exxon station, where it puttered to a stop. I called AAA, and the first thing the lady said was, "Are you in a safe place?" She was efficient and kind. "Joe," from the wrecker company was there in 30 minutes and towed the car (and me) back to Jackson to a Toyota dealership, where the service department had just closed. But Joe was super nice, and might even buy the car himself. And the two and a half hours I spent in the (air-conditioned) Toyota showroom weren't so bad. I did some research on cars and read half of a book on my Kindle, which I keep in my purse most of the time for days like that one.

Fortunately, some other friends who had driven down for the funeral were still in town and gave me a ride back to Memphis, where I've been waiting for the bad news from the service department, who just called. The engine is gone. It's a 2002 Camry (which I got brand new in April of 2002) with 132,000 miles, and a used engine would cost about $4000. I'm going to miss her... we've been on lots of wonderful road trips together.

Here's my dream car. It's an '86 Mercedes-Benz 560 SL. (A friend Photoshopped me into it a few years ago.) But I'm probably looking for another Camry, maybe just 2-3 years old with low mileage. I looked at the hybrids but was sad to discover they have hardly any trunk space. No way it would hold my stuff for beach trips!

So, we're doing our homework again... Kelley Blue Book, Carmax, Auto Trader, and the dealerships.... Maybe I'll have a picture of me in my new ride for Wordless Wednesday. We'll see. Today I'm thankful for AAA and answered prayers.


Mimi said...

I love the trunk space in my TDI (diesel) Jetta and get great gas mileage.

Having said that, my parents are huge Camry fans.

Carol Henderson said...

Did you know that AAA also sells cars?

When my 1998 Honda Accord was pushing 200,000 miles and seemed to be in the shop every week or so, I checked out the sales division of AAA on line. This was last month.

I liked the looks and the price of a 2009 Honda Civic. AAA delivered the thoroughly-inspected car to my house, gave me a decent trade-in price, drove the old car away, handled the registration and title details--and the car is guaranteed for a year.

Voila, a nifty new-to-me car and the nicest service people ever. And I never had to leave my home office.

I'm going to write an ode to AAA!

Susan Cushman said...

Mimi: makes me feel old, that your parents are Camry fans and it's my favorite car:-)

Carol: That's awesome--I had no idea that AAA sells cars. What a terrific service. We've been researching for days and tonight we settled on a 2009 Camry at Carmax and plan to buy it tomorrow, but I'm going to look at AAA's website to learn about their car sales. Thanks for reading and commenting!

Shivana Alexis said...

I'm totally with you. Miracles happen and prayers are answered! I've often experienced it in my own life. Good luck with getting your dream car!