07:20:14 am on
Thursday 25 Jul 2024

Transmission Christmas
Jennifer Flaten

Last year our kitten broke his leg, in early September. In order to pay his medical bills, we dipped into our savings aka our Christmas fund. By the time December rolled around, we were referring to the kitten as ‘The Cat Who Stole Christmas.’ On Christmas Day, we just slapped a bow and some lights on the cat and stood around him singing carols.

A medical emergency expense free Christmas may be in the offing.

As the holidays approached this year and no medical maladies befell any of our pets, I began to get excited for Christmas. Well, as excited as you can get when it is 52-degrees outside. Yes, thanks to that mythological beast global warming, December in Wisconsin resembled September on a bad hair day.

I swear, if you woke up from a coma and looked outside on Thanksgiving you would have thought it was Easter. Never mind the pumpkins, on the front porch; I usually have those up in Easter anyway.

The weather was so nice. I convinced myself that winter was just going to skip us this year. Lucky, the kids winter coats still fit from last year because I totally kept putting off shopping for new ones. I mean really, how to convince a kid to try on hot and heavy winter clothes, when they are out in shirtsleeves. Now that the snow has finally arrived, it is bikini season, so I couldn’t find a coat if I wanted one.

On to the Christmas shopping, I was actually looking forward to buying gifts this year that didn’t include a cast for my cat. When what to my wondering eyes should appear: a giant bill to have our car fixed. That’s right; the transmission gave out on our primary car. The damn thing just up and fell out of the car. Okay, not really but it felt like it did. As the car recuperated at the local repair shop, we relied on our other car to do all the heavy lifting.

I mean a g-r-e-a-t-d-e-a-l.

I drive a great deal as it is. Somebody always needs to be picked up or delivered somewhere. Sometimes two people need to be on the opposite side of town at the same time.

Having only one car added extra trips I didn’t want to make. Each trip was in the rain. I kid you not; it rained steadily for one whole week. I really dislike driving in the rain, at night, but I did it 57 times last week.

By the end of the two weeks, my kids were referring to me as MomUber.

My car, angry at all the extra trips, tried to get a day off my dropping its side mirror off. That’s right, I got in the car for one of my many round trips and looked out the side mirror, except the side mirror was gone. I found it dangling pathetically along the side of the car.

No, it wasn’t ripped off, the car was in my garage and I know what a ripped off mirror looks like as I’ve ripped two off my car. On a side note, portable basketball hoops, despite their name, are an immovable object.

Nope, the mirror just gave up on life, as the kids say. Okay, there is no crying in baseball and there is no way I’m going to be late picking my kid up because the mirror fell off. I got out some black electrical tape and taped that sucker securely to the car. Then I spent the next 25 minutes reminding myself I couldn’t roll down the window no matter how bad it smelled in the car; please, don’t ask why the car smelled poorly.

I stopped at the trany shop to visit our car.

I stopped by the auto shop and had them “Frankenstein” the mirror back on the car. While they were riveting it on, I visited with our other car. I gave it some balloons and a get well soon card, hoping to speed its recovery.

Our car is home, again. Thank goodness, as a blizzard is set for this weekend and I hate driving in the snow more than I hate driving in the rain.

Christmas, this year, will be my husband and I pretending to exchange presents and exclaiming “A transmission! You shouldn’t have. I love it is perfect.”


Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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