Gratitude Sunday: Car Mojo

Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.


Sunday Haiku
Wild wind, pelting rain,
deliver another year’s
holiday season.

Sunday Musings
I am one of those lucky persons who endures bad car mojo. It’s especially distressful during the holiday season. I used to name my cars until I realized I was starting to call all of them Murphy. As in Murphy’s Law. Except I seem to get the double Murphy: if it can go wrong it will and at the worst time.

I’ve had cars die in the middle of the highway on the inside lane nowhere near the shoulder. I’ve run out of gas, had tires blow out, and radiators overheat. I’ve had an improperly tightened lug nut shear off at 55 MPH. Passing a car on the only straight stretch for the next 5 miles I’ve had a water pump blow out 007 style with a blast of water spewing out behind me covering the other driver’s windshield. (I drove it on home; how much more damage could I do?) I’ve driven mechanics 50 miles trying to get them to hear the sound I do, and then tell them to fix what I know is wrong though they don’t believe me. One car repair place that fixed my car after a crash painted the sunroof shut after banging up the side of the car that hadn’t been damaged and denying it.

I’ve thrown a tire and half axle at 55 MPH which flew directly into the path of oncoming traffic. Four cars managed to avoid the hazard before it rolled crazily into the bushes on my side of the road. In the meantime, on three tires, we were pulling over, throwing kids and dogs out of the truck, and putting out the fire in the wheel well. I drove this van for several years not realizing the cotter pin was missing from the steering wheel. I let a friend borrow it and he returned it with a new cotter pin in place, told me what had been wrong, and with a look of respect in his eyes told me I could drive any car of his any time.

One summer day we went for a quick trip to the store. I had on a sun dress. Only a sundress. You know, this was in the day when I looked really hot wearing only a sundress. As compared to average hot now (hehe). We were hit in the front end of the car. The body damage wasn’t too bad but it breached the radiator and released all the water in the radiator. As the hubster raged dealing with the driver and the damage, I dealt with a breached zipper on my sundress, double mechanical failure. Holding the back closed, I ran into the nearest office, which happened to be an insurance office with a woman receptionist. She’d heard the crash and I turned around to show her the broken zipper as I was having trouble finding words. She took me to a private office, whipped out a tiny sewing kit, and stitched me back together. Later, I had to cut the dress off and replace the zipper. Loved that dress, fit great. Loved that woman, so prepared for any emergency and never mentioned my nudity.

That car was hit by other drivers six times until I finally gave up on it. Years later I talked to a man who had worked at the car dealership that sold me the car and he said he remembered the car. It had been damaged in the first six months of its life and shipped from back east after the first repair. Jinxed? Who knows.

A couple years back the cab of my truck filled with smoke so I couldn’t see. I bailed into an empty parking lot, got my library stuff out of the car, and closed everything up. My car could burn up but I wasn’t about to pay for damaged library materials. Called the hubster for back-up, cleared the smoke and drove it home. I have no idea what burned except it smelled like leaves. In the engine? Hmmm.

That same car developed a mystery transmission. You never knew when it was going to shift. Or if it was going to shift. If you were patient you could limp it along but traffic has a tendency to want you to go with the flow. This was the car with the broken driver’s side door so you had to crawl in the passenger side and over the seat divider to get in. Until the divider broke as well. This truck refused to start one rainy day in the middle of the weekly shopping trip after getting me half way through the day, but started right up two days after it was towed home.

Bad car mojo is even more complicated when you live out in the country. You have to develop a network of friends who understand about car mojo and don’t resent helping out. Like coming out to get you or fix your car. All the time. Living in town is a little easier because you can walk if needed, or employ public transportation.

I have not achieved self-sufficiency, the American way. I am dependent on others to provide food, clothing, employment, health care. Few of these services are within walking distance. I think cars should last forever as they are (supposed to be) made of solid metal and they cost a bundle, but anything with constantly moving parts is bound to break eventually. I used to be able to enlist average guys to help fix my rigs but now with computers on board, you can’t hardly fix your car without the help of a professional. I think ahead and attempt to be prepared. But with cars, just because it worked yesterday, or an hour ago, doesn’t mean it’s working now. And there go your best laid plans.

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – you can’t fool Mother Nature as these little green buds know spring is only a winter away; DSCN7253 soft brown weed seed heads against a rusty orange garden bedstead; DSCN7390 these brown and tan leaves look like birds searching for food in the green grass; DSCN6932 the divine pregnant nudity of naked brown lilac branches; DSCN7273 an emerald green moss train on a brown weathered fence. DSCN7326

Current View – half of the first episode of the first season of The Almighty Johnsons (2011, fantasy TV series from New Zealand) about 4 brothers who are always in trouble and/or having sex, then discover they are reincarnations of Norse gods. Interesting premise but after the tenth time a woman called one of the brothers “amazing” I decided I wasn’t in the mood for this series. Paul Blart, Mall Cop 2 (2015, PG) not quite as funny as the first which I hooted at all the way through. Mall Cop 2 struck me as forced, the humor not funny, and the action just a device to make a movie. But I would still like to try a Segue. Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita (1960, B & W, no rating, in Italian with English subtitles), a Cannes award winning classic with Marcello Mastroianni. Interesting almost three hours of viewing wondering what the plot was about, but no, it really was about a week in the life of an Italian news journalist and his exploits. Broadchurch, a 2013 British TV mystery series starring David Tennant. Intense, but then David Tennant. Dishonored Lady (1947, B & W, no rating) with Hedy Lamarr. Hard to beat these old films with their hour and a half run time, tight plots, and vivid characterizations.


Currently Reading – A Dying Fall (2013, fiction) by Elly Griffiths; Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight (2010, health) by Linda Bacon; Just Kids (2010, biography) by Patti Smith. Yes, concurrently.

Two weeks to winter solstice. I better get serious about choosing a Winter Classic.


This week I have been grateful for:

  • Small towns.
  • Spending the night at my brother’s house.
  • Getting home with a misbehaving car rather than breaking on the road.
  • Thinking small for the holidays.
  • Getting a couple corners cleaned out on my time off from my place of work.
  • Bringing home the tree. I love having a real tree for Christmas. It’s a charming little tree this year.
  • Enjoying my little burg’s Holiday Light Parade after dark on the first Saturday of December.
  • Remote controls.
  • Teenage boys and understanding how their “time” works differently from mine.
  • The convenient outside return bookdrop at my local lending library.
  • The feeling of cooler early winter air on my skin.
  • Mary Engelbreit, Susan Branch, Laurel Burch.
  • Indoor lights in the winter.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.


Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

This entry was posted in abundance, Aging, GRATITUDE, Grief, Health, History, Photography, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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