By James Breckenridge. I got home on Saturday and as I was putting things [keys etc] in their proper place so I could find them Sunday [provided the Universe didn’t translocate them overnight] I found my cell phone was not in its holster. Panic time as I sped out to the car to see if I dropped the phone in the car; no cell phone and I rushed back inside, with visions of having dropped my cell phone somewhere in the Real Canadian Superstore.
I invoked the 5 minute rule [timeout if I have not found what I am looking for within 5 minutes] picked up L. E. Modesitt’s new book Antiagon Fire, read and relaxed. Going to get some water I spotted the cell phone lying in plain sight on the floor by the door. Better yet it had not been stepped on in my rush to check the car.
Sundays are a day of respite, of reflection and recharging spent at home doing … whatever I am moved to do. For some reason this Sunday I felt the need [was nagged by the need?] to take the binder with WIP [Words in Progress] and a MP3 player and go get a coffee, listen to music and get some of the words on the four items currently in progress out of my head onto paper. Plus give some thought to items for The James Commentary.
Getting dressed, rounding up my WIP binder and music I head out to the car to search out coffee, listen to music and write. The 5 year old across the street tells me my car door has been open all night. In the panic of looking for my cell phone I failed to take my time and make sure the door was shut. Sigh, I leave the car unlocked all night and in the morning … it is still there to haunt me.
Getting into the car I employ the Breckenridge Emergency Ingress/Egress Method to close the driver’s door, make sure to fasten the seatbelt [having to use the rope to close the door has changed my rhythm and I have started to drive off without the seatbelt on several times], insert and turn the key and get a rude click-click-click. With the clicking the first thought is the need to replace the starter – AARRGGHH!!.
I lean back to take a deep breath and see the dome light is looking a little pale and decide that if I am lucky the door was open enough to have the dome light on all night and all I need is a boost.
As I get out of the car I decide to go with a positive attitude and tell myself it was lucky I decided to go out or I would have found myself scrambling on Monday to get the car running in time to make it to work.
The Universe’s reply to this positive attitude was for an insect I didn’t see, to bite/sting me; a bite/sting that burned with a distracting level of pain for over an hour.
Among the ‘protection when the Universe is toying with me’ or ‘out of sync with the flow’ crisis intervention accouterments in the car is jumper cables. Which was handy as the friend I called for a boost didn’t have jumper cables. The cables were hooked up, the jump she was given and – voila – car starts with no hesitation.
Being short on gas I decided to drive by my friend Tom’s place to borrow his battery charger, since it does a much better job of Battery recovery, and to [wisely] borrow his floor jack as well since I need to change out the small spare tire, a tire that is clearly marked “Temporary Use Only”.
Returning home I gather and lay out the items I will need – the two extra Thunderbird tires sitting on my porch, tire iron, pliers, screwdriver and Tom’s floor jack.
As I am about to start the 5 year old from across the street comes out to ‘help’ me. Fortunately his family was going to see a movie. Unfortunately they didn’t leave until he had ‘helped’ with 3 of the 4 tires.
Yes, I could have chased him away or screamed at him when he once again got to close to the car when it was jacked up. But he needs to know how to change a tire and perhaps will benefit from hearing about gravity, heavy objects jacked up and the propensity heavy objects like cars have for falling. Besides, raising a child is a community responsibility.
Four tires because I needed to put the two Thunderbird tires on the back, using a back tire to replace the spare. I know, that is only three but the passenger side front tire had noticeably more wear than the rear tire I had replaced with a Thunderbird tire. With the driver side front tire delaminating as I was starting onto the Mission Bridge I am feeling cautious.
Cautious to the point of removing the front tire and replacing it with the rear tire, even though the rear tire had a slow leak. Why tempt fate over the possible need to change the front tire if the leak worsens? Especially the way things are going with me and the car.
Lifting Tom’s heavy floor jack into and out of the trunk may have been a chore, but the advantages of using a floor jack to change all four tires made the effort a wise decision.
Fortune also favoured me in having put the extension cord, when last it was used [to power the battery charger to charge the battery the last time a car problem had resulted in a dead battery] in one of the two rational places to put an extension. This fortunate turn of fate, putting the extension cord away in a rational location, at least made powering up the battery charger straight forward.
Of course as I sit here putting the finishing touches on this latest instalment in the ongoing saga of me and The Cougar I can feel in my muscles and joints that I am going to pay a price for changing those four tires tomorrow and probably for an additional day or two. Did I mention I had to reach into the back seat of the Cougar and pull out the folding stool because I needed a rest break (or two)?
Oh to be five again – but only if I get to keep lessons learned and wisdom gained.
This brings the tale of the Cougar up to Now.
Leaving me without a great deal more to say except – HELP, I need to find a replacement before something not easily repaired grounds the Cougar – and me – or before they come to take me away Ha-ha, Ho-ho, Hee-hee-haa-haa to the funny farm where life is beautiful all the time …