Wednesday, November 20, 2013

When Bad Luck is Good Luck

One of the most annoying things in the world that could happen around the holidays, always seems to happen. Without failure, something breaks, somebody gets sick, a window falls out of your house, your vehicle doesn't pass inspection, or your electric company decides to revise your budget plan for the coming year, in December!
For as many years that this has been a "tradition" in our family, it has also brought some of the best lessons, and brought our family even closer together.
It usually happens around, October, each year. (this is also when my pick up truck is due for inspection)
Inspection went ok this year, with the exception of the gauge cluster dying. That doesn't sound bad, right? Wrong! In my truck, (a Ford F150), the gauge cluster display of course, displays the mileage, and also all of the warning lights, the tach and speedometer, typical gauge cluster...... Until, my husband takes it out and there are no fuses, no wires. It looks like something from a science fiction movie lol! There is a circuit board attached, along with a bunch of tiny, little tongs!! (It does always seem like everything that does happen here, is beyond complicated, it can't be something simple!)
So, after some research and phone calls, and some very outrageous quotes from local Ford dealers, we found a place who could fix it, and since the gauge cluster holds the actual mileage for the truck, we were able to keep the low mileage that is on the truck and have it repaired within a week.
Yes, as odd as it is, the mileage is inside the cluster, nowhere else in the truck. Which is strange, because, once the cluster goes, your mileage will be off.
My options were:
Buy a used one from a junkyard with super high mileage...
Go to a Ford dealer, and have them take it out, charge a fortune, send it to Ford to repair, and charge another giant fee, and then pay them to program, and do whatever magical things they need to do to supposedly get my truck running again.
OR, we could run it to a shop, (in another vehicle of course), and let them have it for a week, to reprogram, repair, whatever they do. BUT, it sure was not even a fraction of the price that the dealer wanted.
We opted for the latter, of course. It saved us tons of money, money we didn't have at the time, since this was the 3rd thing to break in a month.
Now to the "good luck" or "positive" that came from this recent dilemma....
Since the truck really couldn't drive without the cluster, (the battery wouldn't charge with it removed), I had to gather all of our groceries, and make sure that every little errand for the week was done, all in one morning.
That took quite a bit of planning, cutting coupons, and lots of lists!
We live in a very rural area, and sometimes, groceries alone take a whole day to grab. Especially when I want to get actual groceries and have to travel several miles just to get to a store with more then one brand of each product.
We also are down to one vehicle, so, this is tricky. Thankfully, I work weekends, and I am able to stay home with the little ones throughout the week.
Sunday morning was a bit of a struggle, but I was able to knock out each list, in 6 stops.
The rest of the week, for the first time in several years, I was able to stay at home, without having to run somewhere, everyday of the week. That was a vacation in itself!
The kids were more then pleased too. No rushing around after school, or after dinner, for a full week, we stayed home. We had so much fun! I was able to get a few things done on my "project to do lists" that I don't often get done, due to our super hectic schedule, and we had time to sit and enjoy each other's company.
I will take a broken gauge cluster, anytime!
I always believe that something good always comes from everything. Sometimes, it may take a while for it to shine through, but in time, it will. This particular time was almost instant.
For this I consider myself, very lucky, and yes, I do plan on making more time like this, by "pretending" that the truck is in the repair shop again.