Saturday, March 14, 2015

Friday the 13th

I'm not really superstitious, not in the pure sense, but I did joke yesterday that I was experiencing a day reminiscent of the fabled occasion.  But today, looking back at the events of yesterday in better perspective, I'd like to share with you the many blessings God granted.

When my tire blew out on the way to work in the pre-dawn hours, it was merciful that I was located very near to a Go-Mart where I could safely call for help.  And Susan, the manager at the convenience store could not have been more helpful.  She sympathized with my situation and helped to make a connection with the tow truck that would arrive later in the morning.

My co-workers, too, are a kind and loving bunch of people and quickly made a plan for someone to pick me up...even though this meant a 30-35 minute out-of-the-way trek.  My delay also meant my 7:30 a.m. patient would have to reschedule for a later time;  he was most understanding.  In fact, when I was able to see him later that afternoon, he said with a smile, "it was no problem at all [to reschedule] I am just glad you are ok."   How's that for a blessing?!  Such a generous heart.

At noon, when the tow truck brought my vehicle to our office, I quickly realized I would need to purchase a new tire.  The do-nut spare would not be sufficient to make the hour and half trip to my daughter's basketball tournament after work.  I had to scramble during my lunch hour and was dismayed to learn the first two tire stores I called were so busy they had no time to help.  And then I spoke with Wayne - at the tire store closest to our office - who was very calm and understanding.  He told me that although he didn't have my exact tire, he was certain they could find something that would be suitable- and most importantly, in a time frame that allowed me to make it to my daughter's final game of the tourney.

All told, three different colleagues drove me around yesterday, getting me to and from the tire store, waiting on me, going out of their way ...and all with a smile and patience.  I am so blessed to work with these people.

By 6:30 pm I arrived at the basketball tournament to see the Patriots in full defensive mode just before the end of the first half.  My daughter was on the court, face red and eyes alert -- giving it her all.  I sighed with delight just to be there.  After only 10 minutes or so, my bliss was interrupted when I realized I didn't have my car key.  It wasn't in the usual place in my jacket pocket nor in my purse.  Maybe I left it on the table when I paid my admission?  I quickly walked back to that area and asked the attendants if I had left my key.   They said they hadn't seen it, but the warmhearted gentleman offered to help me look for it.  I felt panicked.. did I drop it somewhere in this packed stadium or dark parking lot?

Retracing my steps to the front door, within minutes, I saw my key laying on an empty table by the entry.  Someone obviously found it laying on the ground and put it there where it might be discovered.   The gentleman smiled and we both chuckled at Providence granting this mercy.

The girls went on to win a very hard fought game and I was there to see my girl make two baskets!!  Worth the struggles of the entire day.

Coming home that night under heavy rain, I was thinking of the many people who brought compassion and a measure of God's grace to my trying day.  And, it isn't lost on me that these petty struggles are nothing compared with the suffering of others that involve much more serious life events.  That perspective is a gift from above.  And one that sustained me through the night... even when I was nearly run into the side of a bridge by a speeding tractor-trailer.

I have never been so happy to see the cozy interior of my home and receive the unconditional love of our fur-kids.  My anger, too, was short lived when I saw the trash strewn all over the kitchen floor by those same two faithful companions.  C'est la vie.

I will recount my blessings and remember the important stuff of life, like relationships, how we treat one another, patience and knowing that God bestows grace through those that love Him. Behold the rose, not the thorns.  Thank you Alicia, Bob, Jamie, Sherry, Wayne, Della, Susan, Amy, Melody, Eric, John, Kindhearted Gentleman for lifting me up on a day that was pulling me down.  May God shine His face upon you!

Glory to God for all things †

Monday, March 9, 2015

A Review of John Howerton Honda in Beckley, WV

John Howerton has been our "Honda home" since 2012 when we purchased a 2012 Odyssey van.  We had a good sales experience then and more recently, in January of 2015 when the van needed some repair work on the piston rings.  Thankfully the repairs were covered under warranty.  The service staff was excellent.  From the first time I called to make an appointment for the problem I was having, I was met with professional courtesy.   The issue took longer to repair and test than I expected (nearly a week in the garage) and even though I grumbled about having to rent a vehicle, the service department did everything within their power to explain what the trouble was and to offer a helping hand in renting a car and giving me a ride to Enterprise-Rent-A-Car.  

I picked up my van on a Saturday and by the following Monday, my service engine light was flashing again.  I immediately took it back to J. Howerton Honda.  Once again, the service department was courteous, moving me to the front of the line and taking my van in right away to evaluate the problem.  Since it was going to be more than an hour wait, they also offered a vehicle to me to complete my errands that morning.   That considerate gesture went a long way to make the extended wait worthwhile.  Upon returning, it was discovered that I had a loose wire related to my fuel emissions.  It was fixed and I drove away without further issue.

February 2015 brought heavy snowstorms to our area and I revisited the idea of trading the Odyssey for a 4WD Honda Pilot.  I was happy to learn that a white Pilot was available at another dealer and that John Howerton Honda could obtain this for me.  I spoke on the phone with the sales rep several times over a week to work out a deal agreeable to both of us and exchanged text messages to confirm it.

On a Monday morning I went first thing to the dealer to check out my new ride.  It looked great and as promised.  We spent a long time going through all the preliminary paperwork such as settings for the vehicle, license and insurance info, etc.  I'm sure you know the drill.  After nearly an hour I was presented with the legal financial documents which did not show the agreed upon purchase price.  I stated the amount was wrong and showed them my text messages with the sales rep.  Thus began a 30 minute or more haggle over the price and down payment.  I should have walked away, but I didn't.  I took the offer closest to the originally agreed upon purchase price.  I paid more than what was promised.

I filed a complaint with the BBB, not just because they did not honor the previous agreement, but because they attempted to place the "misunderstanding" on my shoulders rather than acknowledge their fault in promising one thing and delivering another.

So, all in all -- if you need service for your Honda, I highly recommend John Howerton Honda service department.  If you're looking to make a purchase, I suggest you deal elsewhere.   I hope my experience can help you.

"Good judgement comes from experience.  Experience comes from poor judgement."

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