Mechanical Monday – Motorized Mayhem

We already knew we’d be pressed for time to get our son to his Monday therapy group. The husband planned to head home to get the boy while I was teaching, so that we could rendezvous at the therapist’s office. I did not expect to get this text message when I got done with my class.

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Naturally the engineer uses the term ‘failure.’ Equally naturally, the scientist understands completely.

My husband did manage to get the car safely to a lot at his office, but the concept of getting our son to his therapist went out the window.

I picked him up. We drove on to pick up our son, who scowled because he quite enjoys his group therapy appointments and it was totally our fault that he wasn’t going to make it. We’re terrible parents, aren’t we?

While the boy went inside and moped, my husband and I assessed our car situation. It’s laughable, really. Here we are, an engineer and a scientist with real high-falutin’ jobs, but at home…

Two chicken coops made from converted vacation trailers and seven cars in various states of functionality lined up in the back yard.

Yes, you’re right. We did used to have eight cars. Thanks for asking. We decided to sell the Jeep. We just didn’t have the time to get it running again so we sold it to someone who did.

But now, one of our two dedicated winter cars was stuck in the city with a dangling gas tank. The other winter driver, lovingly called Crusher, has over 330 thousand miles on it and possesses many ‘features’ associated with its age. For example, you can no longer open the driver door from the inside. It’s a little sketchy to drive. Frankly, I’m a little surprized it’s still on the road.

The car I’ve been driving lately, a Honda Civic hybrid, is a year-round driver and probably our best car, comparable only to our Altima that only gets driven in the summer.

After that we have two trucks, one a massive 4WD truck I use only in the summer for field work and the other a smaller half-ton that we haven’t been able to get to start for a few years.

Then there’s Rusty, which is a parts car for Crusher. That car  will never be on the road again.

We need two operable and safe vehicles for daily functions at the household. We needed to figure out which vehicle was going to stand in for the wayward one that still sat beside my husband’s office.

Crusher has been parked for a week or so, and was buried under a foot of snow. It’s an option, though its ‘features’ always make me a wee bit nervous.

The massive truck is another winter option, but driving it costs about – what did I figure? – maybe $20 per day in gas. And it was buried under about two feet of snow. (Have I ever mentioned that it snows here?)

The Altima has been parked since November. I suppose it could work – I’ve done a winter in it before – but it’s automatic transmission always makes me uncomfortable in the snow.

Ultimately, we decided to shove the snow off Crusher and off the truck. Both are reasonable winter vehicles and we’re glad to have access to them again. Which one actually gets used will probably depend upon the day and the driver.

Moving all that snow was an unexpected workout. And now my arms are sore. And my legs. And my sciatica is acting up. Oh, and hey, there’s my knee.

At least now I don’t feel so bad that I skipped my regular workout this morning. But boy, I’m not going to be moving well tomorrow.

I wonder what car I’ll drive?

Published by paleololigo

Scientist (Paleontology, Geochemistry, Geology); Writer (Speculative and Science Fiction, plus technical and non-technical Science); Mom to great boy on the Autism spectrum; possessor of too many hobbies.

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