It started out a hunt for a Christmas tree and ended up a litany of farewells. With Christmas trees costing what they do, I decided it would be a good idea to stop at The ATM. I’ve written previously of my fondness for walking Marcos through Depew Park, and his reciprocating fondness for leading me out of Depew Park and all over Peekskill. Well, the bank is smack dab in the middle of downtown Peekskill and as I parked the car, I thought of last Christmas and how we faced the cold and wind but yet we trudged on. Marcos was always a dog with a mission A sad wave of nostalgia passed through me as I resigned myself to the fact that those days are gone forever.
Don’t worry Marcos is still here, but late last summer he let it be known that he prefers to spend his days differently .
With my money safe in pocket, I headed toward the highway and happened to pass Miller’s Motors to whom I entrusted both Truckito and my motorcycle for regular maintenance. But last spring, Truckito (perhaps in cahoots with Marcos?) gave warning that long trips would not be a good idea. So May saw me bade farewell to Truckito.
And in case you’re surprised at my mention of a motorcycle at my age, be unsurprised. Gone, too. I sold the bike in August. All my riding friends have either moved away or given up riding. I decided to tempt fate no more. The selling experience was phenomenal. I posted an ad on Craigs’List on a Saturday night, accepted an offer Sunday evening, and had the cash in hand Monday evening.
Farewell Ninja. May you and Donovan B. enjoy many idyllic rides.
All this nostalgia and I still hadn’t left Peekskill. In a pensive mood I continued on to the Tree quest. When I got to the farm in Hartsdale, there were fewer trees than in past years, and those they did have were huge. Wide huge. Fine for my living room if I planned to move the love seat and recliner into the dining room – but I didn’t. Also, prices started at $85. Change of plans. I’d run a few errands and head back to my local Home Depot. I was pretty sure they still had some trees.
Well, somewhere along the way. My Monkey Mind made the decision. t had something to do with the fact that it had grown dark and I had no energy left to deal with the tree stand that seems to prefer presenting trees that lean. So into Home Depot I walked and out I came with a tree that cost just as much as the ones at the farm … but it’s the last time I’ll have to buy a tree. Goodby lifelong tradition of live Christmas trees. Artificial isn’t so bad.
Now here we are in a New Year and far be it from me to start it with sad farewells. Similar to the saying that whenever God shuts a door, he opens a window, let me say that each farewell makes way for a corresponding hello.
It may be farewell, brisk walks in Depew Park….
……….but hello, recliner and giant coffee mug.
Farewell, Truckito but hello buying ten gallons of gasoline once a week instead of 14 every five days.
Farewell, bike but hello,more room in my shed……..
Well, there was more room for ……..about a week.
May 2013 be filled with happy hellos for us all. Change is good.
Friends have been asking that question since 1969.
My answer? Pick one
- I don’t feel like I’m driving if I’m not shifting
- It gives me better control in the snow
- It’s all I’ve ever driven
And recently, I’ve added a new one:
Car buyers today,for the most part aren’t even thinking about a standard shift car. Most have no experience with them. So when one of us rare birds walks in, the car salesman may be cringing inside but his smile is just as bright and reassuring as it would be if he were dealing with a normal person. You’re given your preference in color, accessories, trim but you never get to drive the car off the lot right away, or even the next week. That’s because once they have your signed sales order, by hook or by crook, they have to come up with a car.
My frugal ways make it a bit easier. My requirements are always the same – nothing extra – just the basics: wheels , engine, standard transmission, seats, and anything else that’s free. Computers have made the search a bit easier. A few clicks of the house and my salesperson was able to find that there were still 41 standard shift Hyundai Touring wagons in inventory – in the country. I narrowed her search somewhat – find one a gray one. It took her five days but she found a dealership in NJ that was willing to swap. The search back when I purchased Truckito took much longer – nearly a month.
And here’s the sweet part – in my case the cars always have more accessories than I ordered. But since meeting sales quota are of the utmost importance, the dealer is willing to eat the cost and I get a car loaded with bonus surprises.
Truckito had fancy wheels, a sliding back window and an upgraded stereo system,
but Mighty Mouse came loaded up with more, and fun ones at that.
Remember my woes with Sirius radio?Initially I thought all cars came with a Sirius receiver, but a co-worker of mine who just bought a fancy schmantzy Nissan 380 Z (or whatever number they’re up to) left work a few hours early the other day. Why? To go get satellite radio installed – after market. Woohoo! Mighty Mouse, you rock.
Bonus # 2
Free pinstriping. Nice touch huh? One of the salesmen told me it was a $700 plus add-on.
And how about Bonus #3?
No idea what it is. I’ll give you a hint – that’s my glove compartment.
Another hint? – see AC. No? still no idea?
Okay I’ll tell you. Mighty came with a heated/ cooled glove compartment. Now I can keep a slice of piazza warm until I get home, or a bottle of iced tea cold. Will I? Probably not – but you never can tell
And the surprises keep piling on. Not all of them pleasant.
Last week I was parking in the gym parking lot, trying to back into one of the few shady spots since I don’t use air conditioning, despite the heat and humidity of our NY summers. I managed to stall the car. The shifting pattern is my only beef with Mighty. Reverse is one of those anti-theft secrets – under first , not always easy to find the right spot and since first and third gears are very close together, it’e too easy to put it in third when you take it out of reverse.
(Ask the parking valet who had to put it in neutral and push it out of its space at a restaurant last month.)
But that’s his story, back to mine.
I stalled, started , stalled , started and finally decided to just chuck it all go forward into a sunny space. Satisfactorily situated, I took the key out of the ignition, gathered up my stuff and opened the door – starting off a staccato honking of the horn and syncopated flashing of amber lights.
What the heck, I thought, it’s as if I had an alarm.
I shut the door to fig, trying figure out what to do; maybe if I started it up and moved it. But it wouldn’t – start up, that is. And the brakes, they felt like they were frozen stiff. The car was dying before my very eyes – either that or having a temper tantrum. Finally all the hub bub stopped cold. I opened the door and oh, no, it started all over again.
A good Samaritan tapped on the window and asked “Do you need help?”
Does a tiger have stripes?
A leopard, spots?
He asked for my keyless entry, which I handed over promptly. So what if he was a car thief – or a kidnapper, if he could shut the car up, he was my hero.
He instructed me to put the car in neutral than pushed a few buttons and ah, isn’t silence golden?
this sticker is for real!
PS Sirius and I are still an item. As of today we’re on day 100 of our 90 day trial marriage, er, subscription.
Did they forget about me? Sh-sh-sh.