I pulled into the gas station late at night to fill my tank. It had been a harrowing drive, with rain all the way for several hours. I had needed to pay close attention to the road, and on top of that, I was low on fuel. But I had finally made it to within a couple miles of my destination, my mother’ place.
As I pulled away from the gas station, the car experienced an electrical failure. The power windows stopped working and, what was worse, the windshield wipers didn’t work either. It was still raining in a misty fashion, and I didn’t know where my turnoff was. I traveled up and down the road for at least an hour looking for it, stopping occasionally to wipe the windshiled.
I didn’t have a mobile phone to call my mother, nor did I have her number. But I finally pulled into a Holiday Inn, used their wireless connection to check my computer and get her phone number, used their pay phone and was rescued by my mother’s husband. About the time he showed up, after midnight, my windshield wipers and other power began to work again. Go figure.
I have had many such experiences with cars over the years. When they work, they are a wonderful convenience. But when they don’t, they are a huge aggravation. As an expatriate the last few years I have chosen not to drive. This lack of aggravation has been freeing, but I have also missed being able to hop in a car and go where I want.
The most recent incident brings to mind my old Ford (Fix or Repair Daily) Taurus (actually I have had two), my old Honda Civic, an Oldsmobile, a Plymouth Voyager, an old Pontiac wagon, and my dearest love, a 1969 Plymouth Satellite with stuffing coming out of the seats. They all had flaws, just like me and other humans. You just learn to deal with them and move on.