Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Tunnels ... and lights

There is light at the end of the tunnel!

My father's car needed it's annual safety inspection. Yesterday he took it to the neighborhood service station, where the mechanics told him once they replace the master cylinder and the rear brakes (from the drums out and for a hefty price) they can tell him if the car can be certified safe. He said, "No thank you." and drove away.

He announced at lunch today that he was going to get a safety sticker on his car. Mother decided that was one of the funnier stories she had heard this week. Then she proceeded to tell me about the bootleg certificate he got a couple of years back. Immediately the images started racing through my head: my father in an automobile accident, maiming or killing some innocent person while driving a vehicle that we ALL know should not be on the road, followed by a lawsuit that wipes out everything they have accumulated over 94 years of living and nearly 70 years of marriage. When the Nissan pulled back into the driveway 2 hours later, all I could say was "Oh, s----."

He had gone to Midas, expecting them to make him a better deal than the neighborhood mechanic. The Midas Man showed him the worn out master brake cylinder and the completely destroyed rear brakes. He pointed out problems with the front wheels, and the transmission that is about to die. He commented on all the body rust, the doors that won't open, the exposed electrical system in the passenger area ... you get the idea. He said the car was not worth putting any money into and is certainly not safe to drive as it is. It has no resale value except as parts.

On the computer I found that Hertz in Honolulu has a front-wheel drive (not 4x) Ford Escape in their current resale inventory, printed it out and gave it to my dad with the comment that if I were going to buy something, that vehicle would be a strong candidate. He responded that he really had better start using a taxi, he really would have a problem learning to drive a new car, and that he really doesn't see well enough to be driving. This is a huge admission for someone who values his independence.

Give thanks! Keep praying ....!!


  1. I read this post half crying and half laughing - remembering what my life was like ten years ago. My Dad was still driving and really should have given it up; but not Mr. Independent! Finally, after a serious illnes, Dad decided to give the car to our daughter, Erin. As we retitled the car, I discovered a series of repair bills for front end damage. It appears Dad watched the lady joggers in the neigbhorhood and frequently ran over the low curbs to the side of the road. No one was hurt, but the front end alignment was always out of wrack! Needless to say, Dad never said anything and our son John's comment "Way to go Grandpere!" has been a family watch word since.

    You also need to know that we think of you and Ray daily as we go geocaching - high tech hide and seek - with a GPS unit. We're looking for things hidden in the woods or around town. In the woods, Jim always uses "Ray", Ray's personal cane with the honu carved on it, that Ray gave Jim when we visited in Groveland. The cane is Jim's support (in lots of ways) and is sure to start conversations with other hikers. Mahalo, Ray, for your continuing friendship and support!

  2. I am so suprised that your Dad the reserve Police officer would get a counterfit certificate!!! Too much, you have to love them.
    Tutu Linda

  3. Gene and I both chuckled. Having seen the car, met your dad...well...! Perhaps this should be reassurance that you dad does, indeed, have common sense hidden under all that stubborness. Worry less, enjoy more, my friend.


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