It’s been a month, now, since the U.S. President declared a national emergency due to COVID-19. Many of us have been confined to our home since then. More recently, we are required to stay home aside from essential work or errands. That means, we’re not driving as much. I can’t even remember the last time I got gas for my car (Gas prices?!!). Just because you aren’t driving your vehicle, doesn’t mean you don’t need to keep up with it’s care…or maybe because you aren’t driving your vehicle that’s all the more reason to attend to it.
There are several opportunities to get on top of your vehicle’s needs and some of them don’t even cost a single penny.
As we watched from the other side of the world, we sent our “thoughts and prayers” to China as COVID-19 swept their nation this past December and into the new year. I, like many, thought, “Oh, that’s sad,” then moved on with our daily lives as the news drifted in and out of our fast paced lives. The virus quickly travelled west as Europe started putting up red flags – Italy getting hit especially hard. Various international business and parenting Facebook groups that I follow cried out as they were quarantined in their homes with their family – children especially going stir-crazy. These virtual group members supported them and offered ideas for passing the time and expending pent-up energy.
She answered the phone with a smile. Sitting in our old paint-faded Corolla with my little boy in the back seat, the increasing vibration was really stressing me. The calm voice at the other end reassured me that Andrew had plans to sort it out. It’s not often I get stressed about the vehicles I drive because, after all, I am a mechanic’s wife, but cars need what cars need. Mechanic’s cars are no more immune to needing eventual repairs and maintenance and repairs than a hairdresser needs a haircut.
Are you unintentionally becoming best friends with your mechanic because your vehicle is in the shop so much? You go in for an oil change 2-3 times a year and then in-between you end up going back for maintenance and repairs. It really adds up! While we’ve connected at a friend-level with several of our customers, we’d rather continue that relationship over dinner than under their car. The good news is that there are things you can do to regain control over the time and money you spend on your vehicle.
For the Marinellis, this is the most “normal” Christmas season we’ve had in a long time (even with our son getting sick on Christmas Day). If you take a look back on this blog, you will see that it’s been a long while since anything new has been published. Let me be honest, it’s been a long while since our business or our family has had any kind of normalcy since beginning this business five years ago, particularly in the past 18-36 months relatively speaking. The point of this isn’t to go into detail of family or business ups and downs, and there have been an overwhelming amount. The point of this is to share with you that, despite our many challenges, we’re not giving up.
“Awe, look at that little mechanic in the making!,” is a comment that Andrew and I regularly hear from people when our son is in tow. In an effort to be polite, our response is often something like, “Well, we’ll see.” We realize people are just making “daddy’s little boy” conversation, however, it’s actually a challenging issue for us.
I love to travel. My photo albums and passports are evidence of this passion. I’ve seen a lot of amazing places across the world and across our country and have a desire for more. It’s not just about seeing the places, it’s about the people you are with, the people you meet along the way, and the memories you make. Different places are great to visit at different times of the year. Sure, you can fly pretty much anywhere, but nothing gives you the true experience of your journey like getting in the car and hitting the Interstate. I tend to forget to enjoy the journey and then wish I had taken notice of all the places I traversed to get to my destination. If you are thinking about taking a road trip this summer, or wish you had planned one and have a goal to plan one next year, here are my top picks…
It’s Thanksgiving Day, 2016, and I’m 6 months pregnant. Andrew and I had just bought a used pick-up truck for the shop and after doing some repairs, was excited to drive it to his brother’s wedding…three states away. I mentioned several times that I was six months pregnant and, “Wouldn’t the Toyota Corolla be more comfortable?” But he really wanted to get the truck on the road and see what it could do. “Fine,” I relented, “Let’s take the ‘new’ truck.” Halfway to South Carolina the check engine light comes on. Then it starts flashing.
I’m a woman (surprise!) and I love it when my husband takes me out on dates. We don’t get to go out much because we’ve always been tight on cash and we kind of enjoy just curling up on the couch with a movie. The longer we’ve been married, the harder it’s been to get out on a “real” date.
We own a new business, Andrew works really long hours, we have a toddler, and by the time we have a moment to breathe it seems like too much of an effort to actually go somewhere. When we do finally get out on a date, you might think we were traveling to some exotic place by how excited I get, so I want to make the most of it. So, I want to share with you what I like as a woman out on a date. When my husband does these things, it helps me to enjoy the date that much more. So, whether you’ve been married for 50 years (way to go!) or are nervously looking forward to your first date, please take these dating tips to heart and woo your woman!
I’ve often heard that when a quiet person speaks, listen. With Andrew, this couldn’t be more true. I frequently wonder what is going on in that head of his. If you look in his eyes you know, the wheels are always turning, but with what? His level of focus is remarkable and his attention to detail is inspiring. It’s like he conserves his energy in the stillness of his concentration and then bursts into action to get things done. And when he opens his mouth, the value in what he says is staggering. What goes on between the silence, the action, and the speaking is beyond me – and I’ve been married to him for six years! – but whatever it is, it drives him to get things done no matter what it takes.