Surly, I sorely half-eavesdropped on the success story’s parting instructions. Let the car run for x-amount of time to recharge, and it will be fine. Seemed like standard advice.
After sliding the truck back a few feet so fixed guy and his happy car could drive away from our odd little coincidental group, the AAA car-whisperer came back to me. Contemplative, he decided to jump aboard my unrealistic optimism train. As evidenced, the jump box wasn’t the problem. So, we tried again. Cranked, the car weakly sneezed and let out a light aluminum wheeze.
Towman theorized I had an ignition problem or a faulty starter that was de-juicing my battery.
He headed for his rig in search of what I thought would be some other sort of stronger hook-up jumper.
My mind immediately flitted to those pesky ignition-recall postcards I’ve been receiving for about 5 years. The alert cautioned my 2007 ignition could malfunction if the cumulative weight of many keys and an abundance of dangler/flash on a keyring were too heavy. My own personal and very wise car advisor told me not to worry about it years ago, too. He’s super smart and logical, and cares about cars, so I always listen to his vehicular wisdom.
Once my geriatric Pontiac was cabled to the heavy-duty truck’s engine, it slowly woke up and chugged itself into a running engine. Revivification and relief!
After unhooking and putting away equipment, the fixer came back with a clipboard. I’d seen him check the VIN on the car next to me, so I asked if I should get out so he could get in. “Nah,” he replied, going on to infer that it was unlikely after all this time spent together that I was stealing the oldie and someone else’s cat in the back-seat.
“Didja hear what I told that guy?” he asked me. “Sort of,” I said.
“Well, that doesn’t apply to you.”
He advised I go straight home without stopping anywhere, without turning it off. Additional recommendation included backing the car into my driveway or garage, because it’d be easier to hook up if I needed a tow somewhere, later.
I decided it’d be smarter just to take my car straight to Ron’s Garage.
I called, explained my recent car odyssey and asked if I could drop it off. As usual, they gave me an easy ‘yes.’
Incident behind me, conclusion in front of me, I set out on my HBlu-barking trek home. 10 miles later I dropped the little struggler off.
I had briefly entertained the notion that it might be wise to ask the next-to-me car dude for a jump. By then, it’d already been a little over an hour. I considered it probably wouldn’t be that much longer. Besides, the slowly lowering slouchy-ness just didn’t seem that approachable.
Shortly, the tow truck rolled in. I opened my door to wave and saw him see me. Making a loop around the parking lot, the driver pulled up directly behind me. Absolutely, blocking the other guy in.
Just as the driver jumped out, the door on the car next door swung open. The pretty blues and purples caught my eye as I watched the owner exit, shoulders a little high.
“Oh, no,” I thought. “He’s gonna make a scene because now he can’t get out.”
I jumped out of my dead ride and called over the roof, all cheerful-like intending to diffuse whatever. “Hi,” I waved. “I’m the one who needs help…”
“I know,” the operator called back. “I couldn’t believe it! What are the chances that two people parked next to each other would both need a jump and both call AAA?”
Holographic car guy turned around to look at me. Astonished, I told him that I had almost asked him for a jump. He said, he’d almost asked me for one, too.
Pulling all of the necessary cables and gear behind him, he stopped at my car first. A few fumbles later I pulled the correct lever hard enough to unlatch my hood. A quick hook-up and a crank and… a flock of moshing, honking-seagulls made themselves known.
“Hmm.” There’s nothing as quietly unnerving as a mechanically inclined person looking down into your car guts muttering, “Hmm…” (I take that back. It’s much worse when a doctor does that to you.)
A little tinkering movement later I heard, “Try it, again.”
Optimistically, I did. The cymbal smashing squirrels made a half-hearted effort, their odd exuberance was dying.
He stepped away, shaking his head and toting his gathered equipment over to the azure-royal morphing carriage parked adjacently. I called my phone-a-friend-back. “You’re never gonna believe this,” I stated, filling her in on the so-far status of my latest adventure.
I got a little creative in my thinking, at that point. Was there some kind of magnetic suck coming from the holistic health for pets place? Were we near a malfunctioning transformer?
Obviously not, since pretty-car started to purr right away. Yeah, on the first try.
The first two words were never something I imagined ever saying in conjunction.
The third, well… I’ll get to that.
Here’s a not-so quick kitty update.
Blu’s back is messed up and has been since we were on our regular morning cat leash-walk and encountered an unleashed large dog this past summer. The vet had been asking if he’d had a fall. Turns out he did; from my arms, after shredding my chest. He hit the ground hard, sort of on his side, but jumped up and ran straight home. He was there was waiting at the door to be let in when I caught up. It took me forever to remember that because he seemed fine for quite a while after.
Anyway, the cat chiro is a bit of a drive and requires wrangling that selectively wily Blu cat in his carrier. Illogically, the carrier is where he likes to sleep in the daytime. Somehow, all I have to do is silently think, “It’s almost time to get going,” and he lumber-sprints. This pending trip, the little booger bolted and wedged himself under the basement stairwell.
I had the fore-thought to warn my hunched-over self, “Ok, when you get him, just don’t stand up because you’ll bonk you head.” Grabbed him, rolled him up in my ratty don’t-care-if-you-shred-this-any-more-than-it already-is-holey sweater, aannnd… stood up. Quickly, moving with significant force and speed, which resulted in stars and swearing and a lumpy bluish front forehead bump.
After being blind-folded and jostled up the stairs, he took being pushed into his bag rather mildly. He even rested quietly while I changed out of my not-to-be-seen-in-public top, but, then, began thrashing while I put my shoes on.
Shoes are another trigger. He associates them with leaving the house, now. Sir Harley is fine in the car, until it begins to move. Then, it’s 20 minutes of whiny-boy crying and me apologizing, asking for forgiveness. Explaining, I really do love him and that’s why we’re doing this, again.
I got a little turned around on the way there this time which added an extra 5 minutes travel and yakking. Luckily, we were going to be early. Arriving just on-time at our destination, all is quiet again as soon as the car’s set in park. I call-in to let them know we’re waiting.
The vet briefing is over the phone, and then someone comes out to take him in. I really dislike this COVID necessary scenario. I want to be with him and see how he reacts and ask a million immediate questions. Instead, I’m stuck in my car along, sitting sandwiched between two other pet parents.
It’s a little chilly, but I turn the car off. I’d cranked the heat on the way and wearing a ridiculous-looking but ridiculously-warm bright red, branded but free, puffer coat.
I’ve reached the necessary age of Michigan Non-Vanity, adopting the Who cares how I look? I’m not shivering! way of life I probably should have years ago. I suppose the fact that it’s 36 degrees in December, categorized as only ‘chilly,’ proves I am indeed, somewhat adaptable.
A plan for reviving and renewing and recommitting.
But, Sunday was a sunny day; way more interesting and way more convenient.
As usual, half the battle was getting ready to go out in the cold.
How cold is cold? How warm will I get? Light gloves? Heavy gloves?
Scarf? Hat? Leggings under jeans? Sweatshirt, sweater, long-sleeved tee?
Over-thinking is my specialty. I was still tying my footwear of choice when my fellow adventurer arrived.
It’s always easier with two. Especially, when easily distracted by catch-up tales of Christmases. Hunting for fairy houses beneath the tropical foliage, discussing and longing for ways to economically and realistically grow tropicals here in Michigan.
It’s funny how quickly you can identify and obliterate your own ignorance. I’ve never wandered through a desert. The closest I’ve come might have been the short succulent aisle at a local garden shop. Or, maybe it was that time I asked someone to pull over so I could get a little closer to a real-live, dead armadillo in Plano, Texas. The green giants there were distant enough, but at least they were alive. I think.
Anyway, the point is, the cacti were stunning. In case you didn’t know, they’re not all green. They’re not all upstanding or towering, either. They’re gorgeous little symmetrical growths and odd-shaped tubular spikes. Subtly variegated, boldly striped or pin-painted with impeccably placed galaxies of dots.
Outside, crisp coldness was a welcome antidote to layered heat-retention. This had been my draw all along. A self-challenge to stop daydreaming about snow photography, and just do it. Stationary and kinetic sculptures, lightly dusted with snow, stood out and peeked out along dirt rows and paved paths. Photo-happy me, scuffled along discovering treasures. Which, is how it came about that we logged 3.5 miles. Slightly over our virtual 5K goal, but a sadly short 22 active minutes.
Lamenting that, I stalled. Standing there in my steel-toes, still caked with the mud of Katrina, this thought crossed my mind: Those were note-worthy years. Some years just aren’t. Obligations, expenses, losses get in the way. In times like these, self-focused isn’t necessarily a negative way to go.
Since its the end of the year, I’ll accept the insignificance and aspire elevation. The good news is the new one begins today. The better news is, new days are plentiful; each with new opportunities for future note-worthiness.