Now, if you recall, the bus was still at the shop last week. What I didn't mention when I blogged last week was that our Mazda 5 was booked in for some work, too - she started making the classic sputtering noise of a misfiring engine (think cartoon jalopy) on the way back from shooting a session in Elk Island on May 24th, but we couldn't get her booked in for service until May 29th (Friday). We finally got news last Wednesday that the Bluebird was ready to come home (as predicted they had to rip out and replace most of the electrical between ignition and the starter), and so in the perfect world, we would theoretically have had both the Bluebird and the Mazda returned to us in near-perfect working order last Friday. What actually happened was Clementine didn't want to start despite her new pieces parts, and the Mazda was so sick, the computer at our local mechanic was unable to get a read so we were advised to take her directly into the dealership.
But wait. It gets better.
Being unceremoniously dropped on my ass by the would-be new tenant just 10 days before my exit date from the Studio made for a frantic move-out on Saturday. Adding to the excitement was the fact that because we were so close to month-end, there wasn't a rental truck to be found anyplace other than at Home Depot. Which ironically didn't matter anyways because it appears both Bill and I have misplaced our credit cards so even if we wanted to, we would be unable to rent any vehicle. Translation: despite aggressive selling on Kijiji and Facebook in the weeks leading up to the move, the remaining contents of the entire 1200 sq ft were moved to the dump, the Goodwill, and the house in about 8 carloads in the little sick and sputtering Mazda. They are currently all sitting in our living room, which is a little too reminiscent of summer 2012 when the gap between moving out of Point A and into Point B had me storing copious amounts of excess stuff in my house. Right down to having to gate off the living/dining room area to protect stuff from our stupid pug in case he felt a sudden urge to mark his territory and subsequently piss all over my things.
Because we have had pretty much nothing but rain for the last 2 weeks, the yard work is still not done. We have weeds growing from the dirt pile that still needs to get spread around, a lake of mud where the former garden sat, chunks of concrete from the sidewalk we removed for grading still laying all over the yard, and the perennials from the front flower bed are still sitting in pots and random flower beds everywhere waiting for the creeping bellflower situation to be remedied. So, even if the bus HAD been ready to come home this Friday, it's dubious we would have been able to put her in the yard. Which is OK, since even if the yard work was done we wouldn't be able to rent a vehicle to bring home the plywood for her on sit on anyways, what with being credit-card-less and all...
For the last 12 or so years I have done the programme for North Country Fair. It has always been in direct conflict with the Relay for Life, in which I have participated in some capacity for I think about 9 of those 12 years. Because of the unexpected move and the sickly vehicles, the occurrence of the Relay and the Fair this year were really stressful. They are both commitments I have said I was ready to drop a couple of years ago but kept going out of loyalty despite feeling the tug to spend my volunteer energy in different directions. I made the resolve some months back to make this my last year but holy hell, if I'd have known how difficult leaving mentally would make it... I feel like since I left in my head already, my heart's just not in it. I feel like I did a half-assed job with the Relay and as of this morning we are officially 2 days past the final last call sudden death print deadline for the NCF programme.
But wait. It gets better.
While we still don't know what is draining the battery on the bus, it's not hard to see what's draining the bank account - we got news back from the dealership today how much the car is going to cost us in repairs and may I just say, Cha-ching~ $3000 is the low estimate. The repairs are, I believe, costing us more than the vehicle (a 2006 with ~250,000kms) is actually worth. Unfortunately, while ditching her in favour of another vehicle sounds tempting she's pretty much worthless as a trade-in until she's fixed up, and once she's fixed up we may as well drive her, right? Of course, the parts won't be in until Friday at 2pm and I have a wedding to shoot out of town on Saturday. Of course. Thankfully the service manager is a fellow photographer who took pity on us and gave us the service loaner so I can go shoot my wedding this Saturday. We still don't know when the Bluebird will be ready to come home, much less if we will have time to get her clean enough to take up to the Fair on the 18th of June, we can't physically get into our living room, the weeds are thriving, I still haven't had time to sit down and finish filing our tax return, and with all the money we have to dump into the Mazda now (conveniently during the month property taxes are due, I might add) it's highly likely most or all of our summer travel plans as well as the first year of renos on the bus are about to get modified. And by modified, I mean cancelled.