The plucky Dill Pickle – and God’s great faithfulness

Here’s the email I sent Scott on Friday.



What happened:

About 3:30 this afternoon, Andrew called me from somewhere in Branson, concerned that his car was making a weird, bad noise and felt funny. Something about the front tire(s) or wheel(s). I told him to drive it to Taney County Tire, ask them to look at it, and have them call me to tell me what was wrong and if it was safe to drive home.

The diagnosis:

Jeff called a few minutes later to tell me that the only way he could allow it to leave their lot was for it to be towed or repaired, that it was NOT at all safe to drive, and that he was amazed Andrew had gotten it there without having a very bad accident.

The right front strut (the thing that attached the wheel to the frame of the car) had broken. The whole thing was so loose that the wheel could have fallen off.

The left front tire was so worn on the inside that the interior wires or threads were poking through all the way around. The right front tire was nearly as bad.

The left front axle is broken.

When I went to pick up Andrew, Jeff showed me all these things. It’s quite bad.

Our options with Taney County Tire:

  1. Repair it. When one strut is replaced, you always replace them both, so the repair would involve replacing:

– both struts

– two front tires

– front left axle assembly

When Justin calculated the estimate, it came to $1200, but Jeff told Justin that we were good customers and “we have to help her out.” They agreed to do it all for $1000. I told Jeff we had paid only $500 for the car, knowing it was an old clunker, so given its oil drinking habit and its lack of A/C, it may not be worth repairing. I told him I would have to talk with you over the weekend and let them know.

  1. Trash it. If we decide not to repair it, I can take Jeff the title, and they will take care of hauling it off and getting it junked at no cost to us. Jeff said salvage yards aren’t buying cars. They are getting less than $100, if any, when they do that.
  2. Buy a car from Jeff. He has a car sitting there that a lady needed fixed. He did all the repairs and got it fixed up, and she couldn’t pay for it, so she gave him the title and he wants to sell it for the $1700 he has put into it. His comment to me was that it’s fixed up, it has A/C, and it’s safe. He said, “I would put my kid in it. Finding a car for $1200 is not easy. If you want this one as an extra car for $1700, let me know and it’s yours.”

He is awaiting my call to let him know what to do with the one Andrew has been driving.

Please contact me so we can discuss this and decide what to do.



Scott and I talked, and we agreed that Option #2 sounds best to both of us, so when Andrew asked this morning, I told him that. We’re not sure exactly what that will mean in the near future, but we did two cars for three drivers while Matthias and Jessica used Scott’s car for their honeymoon, so we know it’s possible.

Andrew and I had pulled all his stuff out of the Dill Pickle when we left it at Taney County Tire on Friday, He was very quiet then, but now he seems sad and rather wistful about relinquishing “his” car. (“It’s my first car, Mom. I have a lot of memories about that car.”) I let him talk. He said he wants to watch it get smashed. Wow. Now that would be tough for me, and I don’t know if we can even reserve a spectator seat for such an event, but I’m thinking that if it’s possible, it would be a healthy grieving thing to do.

Since Friday, Andrew’s been very helpful and considerate. He’s been giving me a lot of hugs. I think the realization that he (and/or others, including friends of his) could have been very seriously injured has made a big impact on him. I am still amazed that it held together long enough to get him to the repair shop with no accident or injury. When he got there, Jeff’s mechanic tried to drive it a bit to figure out what was wrong, but he only went a few feet – not even out of their lot – before turning it around and telling Jeff, “No way! It can’t be driven. It’s not safe.”

God was watching over my boy. I am deeply grateful. Damaged cars can either be fixed or junked. Not so damaged sons.


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