PERFECT PAY-IT-FORWARD.

I have a handful of irrational fears that I can't seem to shake. In no particular order: that someone will break into my car, that the one time I leave my wedding rings at home, someone will break in and steal them, that Jesse will get a speeding ticket when we are driving on the freeway, and of recently, that I will get pulled over by a cop (or meter maid or security officer) for having my right front headlight out. I need to do some Freudian analysis on why almost all of my fears are centered around cars!

Our front headlight has been out for quite a while, since before New York, so I guess it's been a month, or so. EVERY SINGLE TIME I get into my car at night I think to myself, "Oh boy, this is the night I'm going to get pulled over by a cop and get a fix-it-ticket". I can't help but imagine the scenario in my head: I get pulled over and I muster up the strength to not cry and then I try and use my pregnancy as an excuse. I'm usually home in time before the scenario can fully play out, but I'm pretty sure the cop says, 'you don't look pregnant to me, but I'll let you off this time because I know your parents."

For the past month, my dad has been urging me to get the light fixed. Honestly, the only reason why I hadn't done this simple task sooner is that I always have a million things on my to-do list and didn't feel like this was a top priority (it's so hard to get to the dealership and it turns into a full day process). Which actually doesn't make sense because if I was spending so much thinking about this, you're probably wondering, why don't you just get it fixed, lady!

So, I finally did! Sort of impulsively, to tell you the truth. I was running the usual errands on 24th Street: bank, Walgreens, and flower shop, when I decided it was worth a try to pop into Noe Valley Auto Works. I can't take all of the credit for having such a great relationship with this local spot; my dad has been taking all of our family cars to get serviced there for decades. Between my parents' cars and all of the kids' cars, we have seven cars and honestly it feels like one of them is always in the shop. We joke that we single handedly keep Noe Valley Auto Works in business!

So when I popped in to ask about scheduling an appointment for them to check out the headlight, I wasn't surprised when they said my dad had been there earlier in the day. They said they would look at car, fix the light and call me in twenty minutes. So I obviously went to Terra Mia to paint the handprint and footprints of my niece Clementine I made last month as a surprise for my sister (don't worry, she won't find out from this blog- she doesn't read it). When I came back to Noe Valley Auto Works twenty minutes later they said they were finishing up on the car and I see them hand washing it!!!

I obviously felt like a complete schmuck because the car was filthy! We had just been in Bodega Bay and went hiking at Armstrong Redwood Forest so there was a ton of sand, dirt, and leaves in the car- not to mention trash! On top of the speed and care, the bill was less than $40 ($16.99 for the part and labor)! I was SO grateful! They thought they were fixing a simple headlight, but they were actually helping me end my daily struggle with my crazy mind games!!

So, naturally, I went next door to Patxi's and ordered a large pizza to be delivered to them as a surprise! Honestly, the way they treated me was so kind I was in shock and deeply touched. Maybe it's the pregnancy hormones and my motherly instincts are kicking in, but I can't help but have this new part of my heart unlocked and open to feeling the kindness of others. I can't even imagine how I will feel when Baby Coco arrives. I've heard the expression before, "my heart is full" and I don't think I've fully understood it until recently. Well, the real surprise was when I received the thoughtful text from the team, pictured above. 

I've been really lucky because situations like this occur often in my life and all I can feel is gratitude. It didn't even cross my mind to share this story until I talked to my dad on the phone and he said, "that's how businesses are supposed to be" and I realized I wanted to share how wonderful Noe Valley Auto Works truly is.

Do you have a favorite place in San Francisco or the city you live in that runs like this? Please share!!

Happy Wednesday! Maybe I'll do a giveaway for a pizza because it makes everyone's day!!!

caroline curran