In The Driver’s Seat


I usually try to fit more into my days than can healthily be squeezed, thus my sleep section of each 24 hours gets short-changed. I must remind myself to slow down, put this problem in check and say “NO” more often.

An appointment one morning for my brother Tom to get the cast taken off his broken leg was not one of those, but a priority. I planned to stay over with him so we could get an early start.

At Tom’s appointment, the X-rays that showed his well-mended leg and ankle also showcased pins and screws, which did nothing to improve the picture. It was mentioned that, perhaps, part of this hardware could be removed in time.

Tom put on two shoes for the first time in weeks and hobbled to the car using one crutch. I drove from the doctor’s office to a newly constructed dialysis facility nearby to check out the building where Dad might be treated if and when it opens for business. (There have been several delays.)

As I slowly cruised the deserted parking lot, Tom was inspired. “Hey, let’s trade places and we’ll see how I get along driving.”

It was a perfect place for a test. His ankle was stiff but pressing the accelerator and brake didn’t cause any pain. He took it easy, and he drove us home.

I had been using Tom’s car for a month, since he was not driving it, while I contemplated how much repair money should go into my old van and I looked at newer used cars. I had not yet settled my transportation situation, but it was time for Tom to have the car back.

His car has no power windows or door locks. I’m used to them in my van, and, though I need more exercise of some kind, I determined that having those features in my next vehicle is highly desirable. Straining my short arms across the car to lock up was literally a pain.

His car’s 4 cylinders are much easier on gas than the 6 in my van, but running the air taxes his little engine. My van blows cold air and can still move out without much trouble but it drinks up the gas. Always up for a compromise, I need to find something between the extremes of our two vehicles.

My van had been awaiting repairs at a local shop where I’d been considering a trade. I decided against it, so we picked it up. Since I don’t want to invest much more in the van, I’ll get it tuned-up and keep driving it until I test something that feels right (and has a tolerable price tag).

I told the repair shop owner I sometimes wish I could revert to a horse and buggy. He said he’s heard that before. If I really consider that, I see that I’d have to spend another chunk of my sleep section of each day to feed and water the horse and clean the stall. I’d guess I’d better find something road worthy to keep pulling up to the gas pumps.

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