New year, new car

dashboard display

I apologize for the recent cold snap. It is all my fault. The Seabolt family bought a Ford and, accordingly, hell has gone ahead and frozen over. Before I get hate mail from Ford fans, let me state for the record, I don’t have a problem with Fords. Some of my best friends drive Fords. We are just a Chevy family, is all. Have been our entire married life.


Our first Chevy pickup lasted from early dating, to our wedding, drove our firstborn home from the hospital, and only gave up the ghost in the back field when that same baby then 16 years old, was learning to drive in the back field. When the frame broke, it had well over 200,000 miles.

Our current Chevy fleet range from two trucks, each sporting almost 300,000 miles, and a sedan that tangled with a deer almost 10 years ago and is still chugging along. Rounding out our buffet of automobiles for a family of four are two Hondas (made in Ohio!). Each of them is also well into the 250,000 mile range.

We haul boats, campers, firewood, mulch and so much more. Our driveway is roughly one thousand feet of muddy ruts held together with a smattering of gravel. We cannot have anything nice. Our vehicle allegiance is borne more out of habit than hate. We don’t dislike other brands. We just stick with what works.

Not flashy

Suffice to say we are not flashy or splashy new car people. We aren’t even flashy used car people. We are the folks who drive em till the wheels fall off, literally. At the risk of sounding blasphemous, this is just like when you have always been of one mind and then cross the aisle. This is like that time I sat on the wrong side of the aisle at church.

Speaking of voices from above, I am probably the only person you know who had to say “I’m sorry I was late. My automobile started talking to me and I didn’t know what to do.”

That, however, really happened. I was pulling out of the driveway on day two of owning this fancy, new-to-me vehicle. Suddenly a voice boomed out, “please speak clearly.”

There I was in the driveway, my head whipping around like a chicken. Confused as to where the disembodied voice was coming from.

It kept saying “Please Speak clearly.”

“Umm … Ok? Hello? What do you want me to say?”


For the record, I am not a technological idiot. I work with digital media and the internet for goodness sakes. I have an actually condition known as text neck and my hand is almost cramped in the shape of my smartphone. I love technology. Yet there I was trying shouting into the air, trying to get me vehicle to understand me.

Minutes later, GirlWonder called me and when I answered the call, her voice was inside the car. Her name also appeared on the display on the dash. How does it know? I could scarcely speak. What if the car was listening?

For the record, it was. I have gone to this, overnight, from a c.1999 pickup truck with door locks that didn’t work reliably. Or, worked too well, randomly locking us out and not opening again until it darn well felt like it. That kept things interesting.

Bells and whistles

The new vehicle has all the bells and whistles and a lot of beepers as well. It also has power running boards. I kept stepping over them like a primitive fearful of the magic. Mr. Wonderful finally got tired of laughing at me and just turned them off until I get used to such luxuries.

I know the spirit of Christmas and the New Year is not to be measured in material goods. It is health and happiness that make life worth living.

Speaking of which, last night as I was lying in bed my vehicle sent me an email. That’s right. My car emailed me a little update on her state of health. Tires good. Oil good. Mileage good. No idea if the vehicle is happy but health-wise, it seems to be doing very well.


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