Sunday, April 8, 2012

Spring Things Both Happy and Sad

It is safe to say that I am not having the best spring ever.  This post is about reasons to be sad and angry, but even better reasons to be happy and optimistic.

Between the two of us at my house, one of us has been sick for the last 3 weeks.  This ruined my spring break, caused me to cancel class for two full days after break, and has kept me from training for my 10K.  The only cool thing we've managed to do since Christmas, it seems, was to go fishing on Boulder Creek while I corrected papers on a blanket.  Dave has been working nonstop since New Years, including many nights and weekends, so we haven't taken any cool trips like we usually try to do. 
Fishing-- and the last picture of my car.

This picture is the last picture ever taken of my red, 2000 Ford Explorer that I've had since 2004, right before I moved to Colorado.  On April 4, I returned from work at 5:45PM to find that my car was missing from the Park and Ride and all that was left was my passenger-side glass, shattered all over the asphalt, and a cup holder that the criminal must have kicked out of the car while trying to find my spare key, which he did.  I considered for a moment that I had parked elsewhere and that my cupholder, still filled with a carmel stain on the side, just happened to be laying in a pile of glass.  I hit the panic button a few times on my key chain, but no honking.  I called Dave and said, "Someone stole my car."  I had to repeat myself a few times because you can imagine this is not the type of thing you say or hear very often.  After he understood, I started crying in the parking lot and told him I didn't know what to do.  Call the police was the obvious answer that Dave was able to tell me while I was in shock.  Yes, so I hung up with Dave, who would come down and pick me up in his new Westfalia Van (from 1980) and called the police.  I stewed in the parking lot for an hour with Dave before the police got there to take my report.  He looked around the lot and said, "Well, that is low income housing over there, and here is a church that was housing homeless people last night because it was cold out, and even though it's an official RTD (bus company) parking lot, there's no surveillance."  He suggested that someone went for a joy ride and that it could show up out of town.  They'd call if they hear anything.

Let me list a few reasons that my car was stolen
  1. There was an empty purse on my front seat.  I got a new ipad and needed a purse with a zipper that I could carry it in so it wouldn't get wrecked in my school bag (filled with rice chex crumbs and dirty kleenexes) or rain/snowed on.  I had my usual purse, but it didn't have a zipper, just a snap, so I took a zippered purse out of my closet and ran to my car to go catch the bus.  I threw everything from the non-zippered purse to the zippered purse, then left the empty (except for ipad charger) purse on my passenger seat as the bus pulled up, and ran for the bus.  Yes, there was an empty purse in my car when it was broken into. 
  2. I had skis in my car.  I was going to go skiing with my cousins and uncle the last day of my Spring Break, but I came down with a terrible case of awfulness that woke me up at 6am and put me in Urgent Care until noon on a Sunday, may last day of spring break.  Dave was loyal and skipped skiing to sit in a waiting room all morning.  We didn't go skiing.  The skis were in my car because, well, I didn't take them out.  I have been feeling like garbage, holed up in my house blowing my nose every 2 minutes, and I just hadn't spent any time outside, particularly any time where I might be inspired to clean out my car.  The skis were in ski bags, so the thief didn't know that they are old skis that no one would buy. 
  3. I have a key pad on the side of my car, which allows me to type in a code and get into my car without my keys.  Therefore, I kept a spare car key (and house key) in the glove compartment.  This was nice for many reasons.  I've had several friends benefit from the use of my car while I wasn't around, buy just telling them the code.  It also saved me several times when I couldn't find my keys.  This allowed the thief to break my window, glance in my glove compartment, and realize that he had just scored a free car without having to do any funny-work to the starter.
  4. My car is old.  It's a 2000.  It parks in a lot with lots of new, shiny cars of the business-men that I bus with every day to Denver.  My car had no alarm system, unlike the several cars that were parked around me that were worth more, but went untouched.  
  5. I live 2 miles from the park and ride where my daily bus to Denver picks me up.  If I wanted to park at a different park and ride, I'd have to go about 1/2 mile further every day on the way to work and then back home.  The other parking lot is on the wrong side of the road, and a further parking lot is a ramp that is usually full by late-morning when I catch the bus (9:00).  Both of those lots have a homeless population that sleeps nearby.  My parking lot has a homeless population that sleeps in the church that owns the lot.  They usually leave by 7AM, I parked that day at 9:30AM.  I never trust my car in this lot overnight and park in one of the other lots during long vacations where my car will sit for a few days.  This crime happened between 9:30 and 5:45 PM in the middle of the day. 
Where does this leave me?  Well, annoyed and without a car.  I can't drive stick shift, so I'm out of luck on borrowing Dave's car(s).  Wednesday night we ran to Home Depot and bought new locks for our house in case the creep found my spare house key and my address, which was on everything in the car, including my GPS system.  $50 down the drain for new locks and piece of mind.

Insurance will cover $30/day towards a rental vehicle, but I only use my car for 4 miles a day, of which I can substitute a second bus or a bike.  The second bus increases my commute by 30-60 minutes a day.  My usual commute was already 2 hours a day.  I also don't know how large our deductible is and if this $30/day would really be coming out of my pocket, should the car be found.  I have to wait 30 days before I can get a check for the blue book price of my car, which is a small amount of money compared to what it is worth to me.  My car might be 12 years old, but it is flawless with only 60-70,000 miles on it.  It was a car I could have kept for several more years without issues.  If they find the car in that time, then I will spend our deductible money to pay for the damages that the creep did to my car and have to replace the locks.  If they don't find my car, then I will buy a Subaru Outback, a car I've wanted for a while due to its reliability and better gas mileage.  If I buy a new car, I'll probably fork out $8,000 out of pocket to get a vehicle that would be worth investing in.  I'm not even sure who gets my stolen goods bill, my renters insurance (which I only took out about 2 weeks ago) or my car insurance.

I am frustrated that crime is expensive.  I am frustrated that I can't trust the people who live in my city.

Dave is going to take me grocery shopping today before he leaves for a trip so that I don't have to carry back too big of a load on the bus by myself.  I have plenty of friends who function perfectly fine without a car.  I admire them and look forward to being more like them in the coming four weeks, using my bike, being patient with the bus that follows no schedule that goes by my house. 

I have a few more sources for life anxiety right now, but they will have to play themselves out before a mass-sharing will be appropriate.  Still, I can use all the support I can get!

Spring is here, well, I won't bore you with the climatology, except to say that spring has been here a while.  March was the driest and second warmest March on record in Denver.  March is usually when we get a few feet of snow, but not this year.  My garden looks like a pile of sand, but I planted a few lettuce and pea seeds anyway.  I also started my seedlings.  I grabbed $3 worth of small pots at the hardware store and some Miracle Grow soil.  I scavenged our garage for small pots from last year's bought seedlings.  All together I ended up with about 50 small pots.  This is just enough for the garden and then the huge number of large pots I keep on my porch.  I filled them with all different kinds of heirloom and non-heirloom tomatoes, peppers, and tomatillos.  They are doing extremely well.  I bring them outside when I'm home on the weekends so they can get exposed to the intense sun and wind that Colorado has to offer so they don't die their first day in the ground, Memorial Day weekend. 

Labeled pots with seeds near our sunniest window.
Seedlings basking in the sun.

Plum tree-- having a really hard time these days, perhaps needs more water?  Branches are very brittle!

More seedlings.

I planted tulips two Novembers ago, but they don't seem to come up very well.  Perhaps they are too shallow?  Still, we've got one just about to bloom!

Dave caught this picture of a Robin.
I think the best cure for a sour, bitter mood is sunshine and exercise and I look forward to getting both of these this next week, even if I'm still suffering from a sinus thing.  Okay, that was my attempt at optimism! 


Alisa said...

Oh no! I have been off of Facebook the better part of the past week and look what I've missed! I'm so sorry this happened to you and YES, it SUCKS! But, no it is not your fault. I don't care what you left in your car, that doesn't excuse someone breaking in and taking the car and everything in it. I'm super glad you had someone in town to come help you out and that YOU are safe!

I really hope things start looking up for you soon!

Shelley said...

Tell me who said it was your fault and I will beat them up for you. :). If you need anything while Dave is gone DON'T hesitate to ask. Seriously!!!

NavyGirl said...

Yeah, I'm flabbergasted that anyone would be rude enough to tell you it was your fault or you deserved it. Obviously you're smart enough to look back and have perfect hindsight about what you may have done differently, but how is that helpful?!?!?!? Argh. Anyway, hopefully you're done with all the bad luck and now you're due for some good things to come your way!