About Me

Twenty years ago I asked a Tarot card reader what would I be doing when I was 50. She replied, “I see you doing something so wildly creative, it defies a job title.” Only recently did I realize that was a slick way of saying, “I have no idea of what you’ll be doing.” But that prediction kept me charging ahead to the fifties with zeal and anticipation. Now that the future is today, I’m ready for anything!

Stepping Out on My Mechanic

Out of all the million little changes associated with moving, finding a new mechanic is one of the most traumatic.

A good mechanic knows your vehicle inside and out better than you do. A good mechanic saves you money and earns your trust and loyalty. A good mechanic doesn’t come along every day.

Denny Molgaard, my Dodge Neon, and my husband Mike. 

Denny Molgaard at the Bruno Deep Rock has done all my oil changes since 2000. Under his care my 1996 Saturn would have hit 300,000 miles had a sprinting deer not hit it first. And he continued to service my 2003 Dodge Neon with expertise and care.

So finding someone new was a huge change.

While washing and drying blankets at the Mega Express Laundry in Rochester, I found a newspaper coupon for an oil change at a place called Quick Lane. Armed with my Garmin, I headed over, fully expecting a lecture. You really should think about replacing this car. Washing it every now and then will extend the life of it.

All the guy found was a burned-out license plate bulb and brake rotors with plenty of life left but with grooves worn in.

“For a car with 143,000 miles, it’s in surprisingly good shape,” he said.

“I owe it all to Denny,” I said.

I’m not sure yet if Quick Lane, which is a national franchise, is going to be my go-to service place.  Its four carafes of coffee (two house blend, two breakfast blend) and three types of cappuccino work in its favor. A 1950s-era gas station in a town of 101, the Bruno Deep Rock doesn't serve cappucino, or coffee, or even bad coffee. But they'll be a hard act to follow.

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  1. I love this post Susan, make them earn your trust! I know how it feels to have to give up a good mechanic, it is not easy but the right person will come along. Good luck!

  2. Hi Marcia! It’s always fun to meet a new reader. Thank you for commenting and for your good wishes. Things will work out eventually, the trick is to stay patient. (Not always easy.)

    Your blog, by the way, is very fun and relatable. Especially the post about the bald-headed guys with ponytails! (My husband is one.)

    Thanks again for connecting -- Susan

  3. I so know what you mean--we've had the same mechanic for over fifteen years and he is a treasured jewel. I trust him more than my doctor! I love your blog and I'm now following you.

  4. What a great post! It makes me so nostalgic, we all have the one magical mechanic, ours was Jack. He must have been in his 70's when we found him, he was managing the shop with the zeal of a 20 year old. He passed away years ago, but our family still remembers him fondly, thanks for the memory!

  5. Isra, I’m so glad you enjoyed the post! I can just picture Jack, with white hair and white-hot energy, and his name embroidered on his pocket.

    By the way, I enjoyed your posts on frugality, especially about cooking cheap meat. When my son was little he pronounced the word “cheapskate” as “cheap steak,” a word I prefer! There’s nothing worse than a cheap steak cooked improperly. Susan

  6. Sandra/Jade, thank you for following and welcome to the flock! I value each and every comment because I never know if I’m just rambling or have actually made a connection with readers.

    Your “Dare to Dream Big” series definitely made a connection with me – I plan on sharing it with teachers at school. Susan

  7. I've moved a number of times: California, New Jersey, California, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York. Finding a mechanic keeps me up at night. So, too, electricians, plumbers... basically anyone who knows stuff I don't know about things that can blow up with me around. Doctors, dentists, no problem, but mechanics... sheesh!

  8. Knowing what you don't know, and knowing that you don't want to get involved in it, is in itself knowledge. I took an auto repair class once and the only thing I learned was I want someone else to work on my car.

    Michael, thanks for your comment, and for your email! I enjoyed reading your blog and will be in touch shortly. Susan

  9. Very good story Susan. Trust is hard to come by these days and a mechanic that you can trust is worth their weight in gold as you so adeptly point out in your story. Love your work Susan.

  10. Aw, thanks Marty! I love it when a post strikes a chord with others. A good mechanic is prized by all! Susan

  11. Way to go denny! One thing that your article does not say is that denny (the deep rock) dont raise there gas prices until he has to get a new tank (fill) unlike all the other gas stations around they raise the price at anytime they want because they need to stay competative with all the gas stations around. 5enny fixes my car all the time, i trust him to tell me what needs to be fixed and not come up with things to fix.

    1. Hi Barbara! I didn't know that about the Deep Rock gas prices -- thanks so much for bringing it up! :=) Many businesses take every opportunity to raise their prices because they can. But they're not cultivating customers for the long run. In an area where businesses are few and far between, Bruno residents are lucky to have Denny and the Deep Rock. Thanks for reading! Susan


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