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My Jerry, had me spoiled a lot.  I never had to worry about car issues, house issues etc.  

I am evidently really hard on my tires, or maybe it's the South Carolina pot holes that never get fixed.  Anyhow, early on, one of my first thoughts were who will I call if my car breaks down and leaves me hanging out on the side of the road.  What if I get a flat tire?  Sure, I can call my 80 yr old dad.  I can call friends who will call their husbands....  None of that is something I'd want to do.  It might seem like a trivial thing to more independent minded women.  I'm not the independent type (although I am going to learn, okay I hope to learn...), I have some real phobia's one of them is being stranded and broke.  To me those are real possibility's. 

Getting to my question.  Did you worry about things like that?  What did you do? 

I have ordered a AAA card.  I am now wondering if it's even worth it.  I have already tried to use it to get a discount only to find out their discount was also the regular price.  Hmmm, I feel like my very first proactive decision  PJD (post jerry's death) is a bust.  I already feel taken advantage of.  

Do you have AAA?  Has it ever came in handy?  Did you really get that promised 10% off?

Onto house hold issues, I need some work done.  The same easy peasy things that needed to be done when Jerry was here.  I procrastinated.  I didn't call the handyman when I should have so now, that it's on ME to worry about it.  The very minor things that didn't bother me before are piling up and making me feel overwhelmed.  Again, it's my anxiety and not that big of a deal.  I've been told I can replace the seal around my toilet, I can replace the kitchen faucets.  WHAT? 

Can I really?  Should I try?  I'm told I'll feel empowered by doing these things,  could it be true? 

I didn't even mention that the central air is trying to crap out.  I know this by the extreme whining and wailing noise it makes in protest of having to run.  Now, this I cannot do.  Jerry was going to buy a new unit when it finally gave up.  However, Jerry isn't here.  Rainy can't pay for a new until.  On the bright side, I happen to know a AC/Heating man that owes Jerry a favor as per their work agreement...... Is it tacky to call it in?

I edited this to add:

What are some of the off the wall but, very real  questions/concerns did you have?  How have you handled it?

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Hi Rainy,

I think your big question is how are you going to manage this new life? I imagine we all have or are struggling with that.

I do have a AAA card and have not used it but I consider it as insurance and help when I need it. My husband actually used it more than I did! So it's there if I need it.

I am getting an automatic generator because in these winter storms I have great anxiety as to what might happen if I lose power. If I never use it, I consider it an investment.

I managed all the house finances so I didn't have to learn that. Ah but repairs. I was so thrilled when I was able to replace a difficult light bulb!

I moved from the home we had to a townhouse. On the other side of the wall live a nice youngish couple and B. the husband does all my plowing, mowing, and home repair! I pay him but it's very reasonable and so convenient. I am very very lucky to have him. I joke - who needs a husband when I have a B!

But I still struggle with making some decisions - no one to discuss with.

I probably do worry about some of the small things but I try not to.

Oh and not tacky at all to call in favors! I would if I had any!

Hugs and hang in there. Try not to have the concerns rule your life- hmmm I should listen to myself!

Susan, funny you should mention tricky light bulbs.  I have some that are going to cause quite the situation when they burn out.

I was lucky in many ways.  I've always managed the money- Ron was an English major and I was a Math major and have been avidly interested in investing since I was young.  So, it was pretty much "business as usual" with the finances.  I've also got a strong feminist streak and HATE classifying anything as "men's work" or "women's work". Having said that... Ron always did the grilling.  I barely knew how to turn the thing on.  I had a friend walk me through replacing empty propane canisters and getting it lit.  I was happily back to enjoying grilled food before it got so cold I retreated back into my kitchen!   Ron also took care of the car maintenance.  He used a place close to where we used to live but now over an hour's drive- a good, old-fashioned, honest place but with a grungy waiting area.  I've now got a local place I THINK I trust although both they and the dealership I use near where my son and DIL live (DIL used to work there) earnestly claim i should bring it in every 3 months.  I checked the manual and talked to some guys I trust about cars- every 6 months is fine.  My brother, bless him, just changed my spark plugs, saving me $200.

Home repair- I have limits.  I tried replacing a kitchen faucet years ago and ended up calling a plumber.  Nothing ever comes out or goes in as neatly as it's supposed to.  I HAVE done floor tiling but paid someone to take out the toilets in the 2 bathrooms, then put them back in after I was done tiling.  YouTube is a great resource for getting a feel as to whether or not you want to take something on. 

I do long-distance charity bike rides (35 miles) during the summer but, sadly, have given up long bike rides as a workout.  AAA picks up bicyclists in some states if you have a flat- not in mine.  I know I have the native intelligence to learn how to replace a tire- I just don't want to mess with it and don't want to pedal around with a spare and a flat-fixing kit.  I used to just call Ron and he'd come and get me!  I did OK with keeping up my gym workouts so I was still in shape, and got through a couple of charity rides.  I was more confident on those because they have teams on the course to help if you have trouble.  I have AAA, by the way, and do get occasional hotel discounts, but for me it's insurance against car problems and I wouldn't be without it.

So- it's a gradual process with baby steps along the way.  Ron died in November, 2016 so I've had some time to develop new ways of doing (or delegating) what he did. 

Thanks, I'm feeling a little better about the AAA.

I thought about getting AAA but I have roadside assistance through my car insurance (Geico). Frank and I always did the financials together so I knew as much as he did.

 My big problem was a few weeks after he died, I needed to buy another car. That was scary but I managed. I could have paid cash for it but a few weeks before he died, he wanted to move some money out of our savings account into a retirement account. I got financing but when I saw how much I was paying in interest ($100 the first month) I paid it off, I had gotten his life insurance by that time. Luckily I have a great mechanic who used to be our neighbor before we sold our house.

As for replacing the kitchen faucets, go for it. I did it once, it is an easy job. Toilets I am not so sure about.

Fortunately I now rent so maintenance is not my headache any more. I find the main problem is, when I run into a problem, even a minor one, I feel overwhelmed and the tears start to flow. Like one thing piled onto another. But I just tell myself I will get through it. Hey, I did the taxes all by myself last year - now that was work!

awesome Barb!

I have Geico too, and it is cheaper to use them for rd side asst.  however, i got the AAA for 40.00 the intro offer.  They suckered me in with the hotel and flight discount offers.  sigh, oh well if that's the only mishap I have along the way I'll count my blessings.  

as for the other things, I'll keep ya'll informed.

I DREAD buying another car.  This one is a 2012 so hopefully it will last. I last bought one myself in 1991.  Ron even shopped for one and sent me the pictures after he'd narrowed down the choices while I was out of the country!  The times I've bought a car on my own, I've felt ripped off in one way or another.  I was pretty happy with buying from Enterprise Rental, which is where we got or last 2 cars, and will probably do that when the time comes, and arrange financing elsewhere, maybe with a HELOC.

Athena, I have to buy not one but 2 car's cheaper used ones which to me is even scarier than going to a dealer.  I am going to have to call in the big guns and borrow someone's husband for that job.  I can't have my girls driving around in money pits.  I think I'm planning on spending 3000.00 per car.  Depends really on if they get some of their dads life ins. 

Those problems face all of us that are homeowners. It takes time to put together a list of people you can call when problems arise. I try to deal with locals but there is always Angie’s List. It’s always a bit frustrating just to explain certain problems but we have to get used to it. I use electricians and plumbers probably more than handymen, but will call one when I need to. I have lawn service during the warm months but I trim and take care of bushes, flowers and do all the mulching. 

AAA is great, in my opinion. I have used them a few times over the past several years. Once when I had a dead battery inside the garage— they came and charged it so I could get to a repairman. Recently, came out to change a flat (they put the donut on) so I could get to the garage. They are primarily there to help get you out of a jam or back on the road so you can get to your repair shop. They actually come out quite fast— I would not go without AAA. There are different plans and the lowest one is less than $100 so IMO, it is worth the peace of mind.

As far as those other things you mention, yes, there may be some things we can learn to do but we need to feel confident and taught how to do it. Otherwise, I think calling someone is better than attempting to do something we know nothing about! I mean, there are some things we can figure out on our own, like disassembling and cleaning the dryer vent but other things, maybe not so much.

As far as the A/C, I don’t know what the favor involves but maybe talk to him and see where it goes. Maybe it only requires maintainence? I don’t think talking to the man would be tacky but if you’re unclear of what the favor actually was I might tip-toe around it a little and see what he has to say. No harm in that.

Thanks Calllie, I'm feeling better about the car situation with the AAA card.  

I do believe Jerry did work for him and instead of payment he was going to get ac work done as/when needed.  However it wasn't enough to cover a new unit!  I'll keep my fingers crossed....

Hi Rainy,

Welcome to our group.  It's a terrible thing, but this is the best place to be.  You can ask, vent, rage, and even laugh and we will all support you.

I bought a membership to the AAA.  Out here where I live, and with the mountain passes, large amounts of snow and blowing winds frequently in 

the triple digits, I figured that I might need to be pulled out of a snow bank, or out of a ditch, and I may have a tire go flat.  All those things and more

are covered by the AAA.

As far as things around the house are concerned, that depends upon you.  If you know hand tools, and some basic things, then try the repairs yourself.  I'll bet

that you can always get on here and ask a question and receive the help you might need to do just about anything.

There are books available at places like Home Depot, Lowes, True Value on common house repairs that include plumbing and other things.

They give step by step instructions with really good photographs or drawings.  Before you jump in the pond, do get one of those books and

look through the needed tools, and read about the job. If it is to complex or foreign to you then call someone.  The stores I mentioned above have

folks on call that will do those jobs for you. 

Replacing the "Halo" (seal) under the toilet is a simple thing and once it's done, you smile and be able to help someone else who has not done that before.

Even with the water gone, the porcelain toilet is heavy. You will probably want some help lifting it up (braking the seal) and moving it off to the side.

Within 6 months of marrying Susan, I left on a 9 month cruise (I retired from the Navy).  During that time we blended families. I came with two boys 4 and 11

and she came with one boy 13.  Two months after I left the toilet started to leak around the base (the seal was gone).   She went to the Home Depot,  talked

with the guy in that department, bought a replacement seal, and with the three boys, pulled the toilet, replaced the seal, and reset the toilet.  

I was so proud of her!.

Examine the problem and solution, and if, after discussing it with the folks who know the job, you think you can do it...Go for it!.



Thank you Frank.  I'm feeling so much better about roadside issues.  However, I'm still a little tentative about the household upkeep.  We'll see. :)


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