Yesterday, May 08 07, I met a friend for lunch at Whole Foods Market, an organic grocery store. The car I drive has been having trouble with its transmission. Many of you have seen the car either up close or in one of my newsletters (when the fuel pump went out near Stevens Pass). After a great lunch my red vehicle was acting worse that it has been but I figured driving from downtown I could just make it home like I have so many times recently and then I could figure out how bad it was. Well... it didn't go that way.
I broke down downtown next to a French restaurant called "Entre Nous" (between us) on Stewart St. between 3rd and 2nd Ave. I was blocking traffic and the drive gear wasn't doing its job, but thankfully the chef and waitress were outside to help me push my four wheels into the nearby alley. I during my wait for a friend and a tow the garbage man came by to collect the garbage bins in the alley I was blocking. He was nice though he helped me push the car out of his way and across the street where I was towed to a place to say goodbye to the car. The red Ford Tempo won't be driven anymore we knew the transmission was going out and another would cost more than it would be to replace the car.
So yesterday I had to leave the ease of 'automatic cars' behind. Thankfully my family knew that the car was dying so my brother-in-law found a $300 five speed Saturn. He also gave it a needed engine rebuild something that is still far beyond me. I've loved the idea of learning on a manual transmission and it has been one of my goals as in France all anyone has is standard cars. The year I was in France I wasn't able to get a hang of the manual, so going back full-time driving is a must.
Today I went out to practice the five speed with my friend Scott. We started and stopped to get the whole coordination thing down (coordination isn't something I pride myself on). I am getting it and this evening I stalled while on an errand. So if you are in Seattle and something maroon and stalled is in front of you please be patient with me. It takes practice.