Elegy for a Saturn

Saturday morning as I drove to Council Bluffs, I could tell something was wrong. My car was shifting weird. And at first I thought it was due to the cold, but it kept struggling to shift the rest of the day…and Sunday…and Saturday as I drove it to three different auto places to get a diagnosis.

The verdict? My beloved Saturn’s transmission is failing and will cost $2500 to fix.

The past two years have been a little rocky for my Saturn, so I have decided to put it out of its misery. This is problematic for several reasons: money, money, and um, money.

I’m saving for Japan. I’m paying down debt. I’m saving for a new car…that I had planned on buying in July at the earliest, but was really hoping to wait until December 2013. And I had increased my flex spending contribution and now the payroll tax is expired and I’ll gross $1,000 less than I’d planned.

The timing just sucks.

I’m not mad at my Saturn–it’s 11 years old and I just turned 129,000 miles Monday morning (I was really hoping it’d last until 150,000)–but I really am quite sad.

This is the car that I bought after the accident that should have killed me. It made multiple trips between Utah and Nebraska. Multiple trips from Nebraska to San Antonio. Multiple trips from Nebraska to Ohio.

And then the best trip: from Nebraska to Ohio to New York to Amherst to Boston to Vermont to Rhode Island to Connecticut to Pennsylvania to Illinois and back to Nebraska.

I cannot complain.

But I can be sad.

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