Sunday, December 9, 2012

Freedom Jr's last stand?

Freedom Jr. (FJ), the self-proclaimed name I've given my green Mazda Protege, has reached its last legs...I think. As I continued on my road trip back out to Colorado from Pennsylvania last evening loud, physically animated protests of disgruntlement were voiced as FJ finally quit and died 7 miles outside of Urbana, IL.

Freedom Jr.: "I can go no further! Tow me." 
The faint noises, first heard emanating in eastern Ohio from somewhere low in the front of the vehicle, gave way to loud, washing-machine-in-spin-cycle-headed-for-Outer-Space-type sounds. At this point, near 400 miles past when the first noises where observed, FJ's check engine light flashed, then turned solid - signaling its final surrender. I had pushed, and pushed hard: often keeping the volume of music up as to not hear the audible complaints for 4 hours on end.

After the tow truck came and took my car, and the subsequent rescue by my sister and brother-in law (thank goodness they lived close!), we arrived to their house around 11 pm. When the task of unloading my belongings - 2 bikes, a desktop computer + screen; hockey skates, stick, helmet and gloves; a spider and Jade plant; books of many types; clothes, shoes and all - was finished, I settled into a long concentrated space of thoughtful amazement. I began to journal, to capture what had just happened. To try and make sense of what little I could comprehend. I was bewildered by the rare happenings of the past few hours. I had taken the car's growing complaints into consideration, but knowing that on a Saturday - late in the afternoon - that my chances of getting my car looked at by a mechanic were slim. So, I drove on; knowing that if I made it to Champaign, where my sister lived, that I'd be able to spend the night and get my car assessed on Sunday or Monday. Alas, though, it ceased-up just short of town; signaling to me that it was spent, finished, kaput.

How is it that I made it that far? Did Freedom Jr. give me everything it had before it quit? I know it is just a cold, hard machine without a consciousness, but as I laid down to sleep a little past midnight, I was still in a daze at the effort that transpired. If the car had quit say 100 or 200 miles earlier, I'd been in for some sort of interesting night - not to mention that assistance of the mechanical sort was miles and miles away. It still has me wondering...

Nonetheless, here I sit in my sister and brother-in law's house, warm, fed, and loved. I'm not exactly sure how Freedom Jr. will fare. That could have been its last ho-rah. Hmmm. I gotta chalk this one up to the powers that be for watching over me. That, and the love and care my family was silently uttering for me from afar.

Thank you for this. THANK YOU, INDEED!

Alan

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