Well, I was right. My perfectly fine looking tires are cracking from the inside out. Two hoses and one belt (or was it two belts and one hose?) also need replacing due to age. The front brakes need relining, and a broken fan is the reason the air conditioner isn't cooling when the engine is idling.
Before I took the car in this morning, I made a checklist of all the things I wanted them to inspect. Basically, the list included everything that's old enough and/or worn enough to potentially break down and leave me stranded away from home. I'm too old--and the weather is too hot--to take unnecessary chances.
Some of the work on my checklist didn't need to be performed, but most of it did. Since the repairs will take the better part of the day, they offered to drive me home, so here I sit, cool and comfortable, with nothing I need to do, no place I need to go. Being stuck at home without transportation usually makes me feel antsy, but not this time. My patience this time stems from the knowledge that I'll be safer the next time I get behind the wheel.
It's funny how vulnerable one blown tire can make a person feel.