Posted by: Andrew G | December 11, 2009

And it was Good

The winter weather has descended upon us here in Central Ontario. The direction  labels for Ontario have always confused me. In part it is due to the irregular shape of Ontario. Northern Ontario is a real broad term meant to capture the entire top half, and where maybe a quarter of the population live. Western Ontario is probably the most southern part, really. Eastern Ontario makes the most sense, at least it’s all East. But even Central Ontario is a somewhat imprecise label because it hugs Lake Ontario and the wet border to New York State.

Anyway, we first got snow. And then we got rain. In the end, we got ice covering everything. This makes a mess of driving. My car must have known this because it decided to get sulky. It wouldn’t start.

To be fair, it’s a 13-year old car and not in the best of shape. Turned the key and nothing, no sound, no whirr, no lights. A-ha! moment. Battery.

I looked out the window at the car beside me. Oh! moment. The red parts car.

Last spring my red car was, well, how many cliches can I put together here? Going downhill towards being put out to that great pasture in the sky and had bought it’s ticket to the last train in order to buy the farm where it would bite the bullet and start pushing up daisies. Hmm, my car, the farmer. Maybe that doesn’t work.

Three trips to the mechanic was a clear enough message to me that something had to be done. That, and the mechanic essentially shrugged when he looked over the car, and explained fixing it would cost more than what the car was worth. Uhmm. Ok, I can take a hint.

There is an abundant world of opportunity in a mechanic’s world. “But come here a minute, I’ll show you something,” he said to me.

We went to the parking lot and there was my car, but gold. It smelled of pine-tree air freshener. Same make and model. The mechanic explained that he had done some fixing for someone else but didn’t get paid for the work. Instead he sort of ‘inherited’ the car and it had been sitting by his garage for two months. He wanted his money out of it and the former owner didn’t want it.

So I came to a decision. I could buy a car that works, and park a car for emergencies. Shannon explains it better. She says “Ursula is donating her organs so that another car can live a longer, better, happier life.”

Ursula. The red car. It was a car. Then Shannon named it and it became part of the family. The gold car that I now have is named Charlie. It was a car. Now’s it’s Charlie, because Shannon says it looks like a Charlie.

So I got a friend. Hmm! moment. We agreed we could change the batteries. We both went to get tools and then reconvened back at the car.

Some grunting and puttering happened. Ha! moment. The job was done.

And so we tested it. Smug moment. Problem dissolved in the face of preparation, teamwork, and monkeying around.

The lesson today? Be prepared, I guess. And, sacrifice isn’t just a human thing. Even cars can sacrifice themselves for the betterment of other things. And, things can live on in the actions and uses of things they contribute to.

Not exactly the entry I was planning today. But sometimes life just happens, you know? And so it goes.

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