I got my car back! I got the call a little after 11:30 am yesterday...yippee!! She's beautiful. She's now fully functional, thanks to a whole new door panel for the rear driver's-side. That means the whole inside part of the door was replaced. Apparently the difficulty in procuring it is somewhat warranted...seems that most LX Contours have cloth door panels...mine is plastic. The guy at the body shop said this interior trim package is so unique, it must have been special-ordered by someone. (Not me! I ended up with her because I wanted anti-lock brakes, and she was the only one left in CA with that option.) He also said that I got the absolute last non-cloth Contour door panel available on earth, so this better not happen again! As we parted ways, he said, "I hope you don't need our services for a long time!" Amen to that!
Of course, as soon as I drove off, I realized that I'd forgotten to fill up the rental car's gas tank. Nauseous at the though of paying $5 a gallon or some ungodly rate, I turned around and had to walk back into that office yet again. They were very nice, and let me take the car real quick an fill 'er up. Tiny tank. Three quarters empty and it took like six gallons. Anyway, when I finally drove off in my car for good, I had to get used to her layout. After a couple weeks in a different car, things felt a little off. The steering wheel is much thicker, and also tighter to turn. Also, it was very obvious that my car is SO much heavier than that little Rio. One thing I missed sorely was my stereo. The Rio did have a CD player, thank goodness, and pretty good bass, but virtually no treble. Compared to mine, which has separate tweeters...makes such a difference.
So last night, I went to game night at Larry and Carlee's. I didn't count how many showed, but it was at least 15 again, if not more. I had tons of fun. But when I parked, I left the window down a few inches to let the car air out (she reeked of paint). Well, when it came time to depart, I was surprised to discover it had been raining...which means the inside of my car got soaked! Must have been windy, because I found raindrops as far as the center console, and I'm sure the passenger seat got a few too. My car was still basically empty, so I didn't have any towels to mop things up. The steering wheel was wet, as well as the entire door panel, but that was nothing compared to the seat...the cold water quickly soaked through my pants, which as I'm sure you can imagine, was oh-so-snuggly. I hope everything dries out okay. I guess it was a baptism of sorts...for the next 7 years of her life!