I just had to share this with someone, and it might as well be this lovely group!
My dh and I had a car that we bought new back in 05. We drive a lot, and at the time, dh was in real estate, so he was really driving a lot. That car, in addition to commuter miles, drove us on our vacations--SF Bay Area to Vegas multiple times, cross-country, SF Bay Area to the Sierra Nevadas, and finally the mountains to the Bay Area when we moved up to the foothills. Late last year, the car crossed the 200k mile mark.
Shortly passed 150k miles, the car started having some trouble shifting gears, and repairs became more frequent and expensive. We limped along, hoping the car would make it to a more affluent time in our lives.
Back in February, we took it in for a routine oil change, and the mechanics noted that the brake rotors were getting thin. DH talked them into machining the rotors, and they told us that those rotors would need to be replaced in 6 mos or so. Fast forward to this summer, and we were thinking about dealing with the rotors, meanwhile the transmission problem was getting worse. Then, in August, we got stranded on the side of the road with an engine problem. This, a few days after the transmission utterly refused to engage.
We had the car towed, and the mechanic at the dealership said (to our suspicion) that the problem was a dead battery. For the next two weeks, the car worked beautifully. It didn't even have problems with the transmission. Then the car died again, and again. We parked it in the driveway while we figured out what to do.
Meanwhile, my mother had been to visit. She had been sorting through paperwork and come across some treasury bonds my aunt bought me when I was little. When I looked up their current value, they turned out to be precisely what we needed to pay for a transmission rebuild. We cashed out the bonds and planned to do the rebuild, but the car died the final time the day before dh was going to take it in for the rebuild. This time, it was clearly engine trouble. We didn't want to sink that much money into repairing the car without a guarantee it would work afterwards. We just counted our blessings that we hadn't wasted money on rotors or paying the full registration for next year (due in October). We used the money, instead, to make a sizable down payment on a used car from a dealership.
So we started looking at charities that take donated cars. We settled on a Sacramento adoption agency, and called to schedule a pick-up. We ran into various bumps along the way. Finally, we were going to schedule it yesterday. Since dh was the one on title, he had to do the scheduling, so he asked me to email him the number at work. I totally forgot.
As I was getting ready to take the kids out to run errands yesterday, this guy stopped by (literally right before we were going to leave. I'd needed to pop back inside, because I almost forgot something) and asked if I knew who owned the car. He explained that he was interested in buying it. I told him it didn't really run, but he was looking for a junker to fix up. So I let him look under the hood and rev the engine, and I told him what I knew about its problems. He wasn't fazed. How much did we want for it? I told him that $500 was what we had been offered to sell it for scrap, and I gave him dh's phone number so they could talk it all over.
This morning, dh arranged to go to work late, and the guy came by to look over the car more thoroughly. They just finished doing the paperwork, and we're $500 richer! He's got a car he feels comfortable fixing up for his wife to drive. Everyone wins.
Dh asked the guy why he thought to stop and ask about the car. He said he and his friend were lost, and they saw ds1 standing in the driveway. Since I had popped inside, he didn't see any adult, and hoped that the boy would be all right. Then, and he didn't know why, he noticed this car that didn't look like it had been driven in a while, and decided to ask.
The whole sequence of events is just too perfect to be anything other than providential. Some things just can't be explained.