Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Being Friends with my Car

It's the day before another big storm, with 15-20 cm. of snow expected through the night and into tomorrow. I decided if I was going to get out to the store I'd better get going while I still could.

I just had one little problem, was my car going to start. It hasn't been used in a week and is the only car in the parking lot covered in snow, and surrounded with drifts. Poor baby, did you think I didn't love you any more?

Truth is, the car and I have been having some serious relationship issues this winter. It began before Christmas when I was in the neighbouring town, and the battery died leaving me stranded. Okay, It quit in my daughter's driveway, so it wasn't like life or death stranded. Luckily, a friend had CAA and I got a boost and made it home.

I tried to take the car out for some lengthier drives after that, just to let it warm up, but frequent snowfalls and frigid temperatures made it an easy decision to stay home.

Just after New Year's the battery died a second time, and on the day I had to be at a family gathering. My son gave me a boost that day and we had a little tour of the countryside letting the battery charge up again. Now we're at two strikes and three strikes you're out, so where might I be when the third strike hits.

There is a major trust relationship that women, more than men, have with their cars. It comes from women not usually understanding engines and stuff, and a fear of something going wrong when you're alone or away from home.

I had plans one Thursday in January, so in preparation, took the car out on Tuesday. I hoped if the car had a warm up, and a road trip, it would start for me when I needed it. That Tuesday, the car was covered in ice and snow and it took me almost half an hour to get the car cleared off and the windshield wipers free.

I tried a new trick when I arrived home, and left the windshield wipers in the up position, hoping to avoid having them buried in any new snow. The mistake I made was leaving the wipers on, and the heat, and the radio, so when I started the car on Thursday, all those 'ons' drained the battery, again. It was a no go.

So third strike, my faith and trust are gone. For the last couple of weeks, whenever I've gone out, someone else was driving, and I left my car in its parking spot like a naughty child in the corner.

But, I'm big on second chances, so I ventured out today. The sun was shining, the sky a clear blue, and the temperature was only minus 5 degrees Celsius. Compared to minus 20 with a wind chill of minus 26 degrees Celsius, it was downright balmy.

The car started, and I let it warm up while I cleared the two inches of ice and snow. Between the sun and the heaters on full blast inside, the ice slid off in large chunks, making my job easier.

So I ran a couple of errands, holding my breath each time, that the car would not let me down. It did pay me back for my lack of faith though, by giving me a big scare as I drove out of the mall parking lot.

I drive a van, and I hadn't removed the ice and snow on the roof. It loosened with the sun, and as I drove, it slid forward and covered the windshield, momentarily blocking my vision. Lucky for me, it broke off in pieces and what didn't slide off the hood, was low enough I could still drive.

I drove home and it took me three tries to get over the mess in my parking spot. The snow has piled up behind my car more and more with every storm. The plow edges close but my spot looks like a shovelled driveway after the plow has passed and filled the end in.

Finally, I was home safe and sound, errands complete with the trust in my car renewed.

Maybe I should give my car a name, give us a more personal relationship. That's what guys do, isn't it?  Names are important, I'll have to think on that awhile. There's no rush, with this storm front coming up from Texas I'll have plenty of time to think about it.

I won't be going anywhere.

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