Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘CAR’

STICKERS

Owning a car has many advantages. If you are able to drive, the car expands your opportunity to travel. If you have a dependable vehicle, your options increase. We have a dependable car — it is just older with many miles. Getting a newer car was in my husbands plans. My knees have become a problem. He wanted a car that was easier for me to get in and out of. We decided not to get rid of the older car. That meant we now had two cars. Living in the city adds another expense. We need to help with the cost of the roads, therefore having a sticker on the windshield.

Since my husband is a senior, we get a break on the cost of the sticker. We wouldn’t get a reduced cost on the second car. But I’m a senior also. Taking advantage of my age, we got a reduced cost.

We DID NOT know that the city allows 30 days to purchase a sticker. Sadly we were over the 30 days. BUT since we are SENIORS, we received a reduced cost for that.

I normally go down to city hall to purchase the stickers. I knew I needed my husband to go with me. I thought he might get a reduce fee since he is a veteran. I learned that there was a satellite office near our house. We could drive rather than take the train.

Driving turned out to be an advantage. The lines to purchase stickers were as long as downtown. My husband stood in line while I sat in the car. No parking signs were all over the neighborhood. The office is close to a large terminal for the train. Parking for residents would be a premium if it wasn’t for the restrictions. A bicycled policeman rode through while I sat in the car waiting.

In order to purchase a sticker for the Escape, we needed to have the bill of sale. Thankfully we had the car. Thankfully the paperwork was in the car. The lady who waited on us told us not to wait in line again. If we had the needed paperwork, to come right to her. One more task checked off the list.

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UNPREPARED

I think I mentioned that our daughter bought a new car for us. I know that I was shown were the lights and windshield wipers were. I know I was shown how to access the automatic pilot. I FORGOT!

My husband and I took both cars to the camper. He drove our old car, trunk loaded, Robin helping with the trip. I drove the new Escape, trunk loaded. It was a cool, cloudy day but DRY. When I first started out, I realized I had forgotten how to access the automatic pilot. Evidently I was too tired when the various parts of the car where shown to me. I have driven the car, but in the city I don’t use the automatic pilot. I finally figured out where it was but every time I turned it on, slower traffic made me hit the brake.

We met at the oasis, half way to the camper. I checked to make sure both cars had a pass to get in the gate. We had removed the pass from the old car. My husband found the missing pass in the Escape. I wasn’t ready when my husband was ready to continue. So he wouldn’t worry, I mentioned that I would stop at the store before going to the camper.

I was only a couple of miles down the road when it started to rain. I didn’t know where the windshield wipers were. I didn’t know where the lights were. The car image on the screen showed green lights at the bottom. Red where the taillights were. I thought I had turned on the emergency flashers by mistake. I managed to turn on the windshield wipers. The windows were fogging, I didn’t know where the defrost was. I was in trouble. Then the sky opened and the rain poured down. I stuck behind a truck whose tail light I could see. Reaching a rest stop, I pulled over and phoned my husband. He explained where the lights were. Not driving, I found the defroster.

As soon as I found the missing items, the rain slowed to a drizzle. I’m still not sure how to work the radio and the rest of the gadgets. I planned to read the manual and acquaint myself with the car. It hasn’t happened yet.

SEARCH

Since the end of February my husband has been searching for a new car to replace our Taurus. The Taurus is a 2001, with over 200,000 miles. It has served us well and I’m not really ready to get rid of it. But my husband is concerned on many issues. First it is the mileage on the car. Second it is my trouble getting in and out of the car. My knees don’t work as well as they used to. It takes me longer to get out of the car.

He has been searching for a SUV. He thinks I would have an easier time getting in and out of the car. The Internet and the computer has made the search more interesting. Not only can he look up the make, model and mileage of the car. He can also see the rating of the dealer.

For many reasons I have NOT been in a hurry to get a new car. First of course is money. Our budget is already strained and car payments would not be easy. I spent some time examining our resources and really did NOT come up with a good solution. Our son suggested to his sister’s that they help us get a new car. His suggestion was picked up by one of our daughter’s and my worries concerning money ended.

Still searching my husband spoke to a couple of car mechanics whom he trusted. They shared their knowledge, removing a couple of cars from my husband’s list. Cost of repairs being one.

And the search continued. I planned to go with my husband to look at a couple of the cars he found. The day he picked to go hunting, I only had three hours sleep and I was TIRED. Our son went with him instead. He said it worked out to their advantage because they told the salesman that I had to approve the car and I wasn’t with them. Therefore no high power sales pitch.

As it worked out, I wasn’t with my husband when he bought our new car. We were visiting our daughter in Central Illinois. After shopping in horse country, I stopped at a local store to get some supplies. My husband spoke to the woman in the car next to him. She used to sell cars and recommended he talk to a friend of hers at the Ford dealership. She spoke highly of the Ford Escape which was on his list.

I was tired from shopping when he and my daughter went to look at the cars. They came home with a beautiful red Escape. I had the pleasure of driving it half way home. I probably could have driven the whole way but once again I was TIRED! We stopped at the Ford dealership to get some information. I met the saleswoman and shared information on some of the things that is helping my arthritis: Arthocin, bone broth and tart cherry juice. I also saw a flyer on the play: Sound Of Music, at a high school in their area. Our granddaughter was singing one of the songs when we visited.

I LOVE shopping with our friends in high places. THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP!

STILL SHRINKING

I thought I had the perfect title for a thought ramble, until I looked to see if it was used. YEP! Sadly the date wasn’t listed on the file. Great idea, I just didn’t think of doing it until now. Just for giggles, I read the thought ramble. Everything listed is still true. In fact, I was amazed at the writing. I know for a fact, that I am the one who puts down thoughts in these rambles. So often, I’m pleased with what I have written. I don’t feel the need to take out a red pen and revise. Of course, I will admit that I have unseen editors who influence what prints. If “they” don’t like it, it either disappears or won’t save until it is fixed.

This thought is not what inspired the title. Of course searching for a title is becoming harder and harder. When a thought ramble shares the same title, I might add a number. Shrinking #2. There are many different ways that shrinking is used. As time passes, a loan might shrink. Days pass, a vacation is nearer or the ending of the school year. The number of classes that is required to graduate or get a degree also becomes less. I wouldn’t might if my shrinking referred to my weight. Sadly I keep reading about people who have lost 20, 30 or 100 pounds. Sadly I’m not one of them. I used to try each new diet, hoping for a GREAT result. Even if I stuck to the diet without cheating, if I lost ONE POUND, it was a miracle. I have finally reached the conclusion that it doesn’t matter how much my height decreases, my weight will remain the same. Now if I added diet or regular soda to my eating, or cakes, cookies, candy, and then gave them up I might see a difference. I don’t need to gain extra pounds in order to lose extra weight. For the most part, I eat a healthy diet.

I decided to increase my exercise. I have restarted Jane Fonda Fit and Strong. I was hesitant to do so. I remembered the various exercises that was in the second part and didn’t think I would be able to do it. I had forgotten how many GOOD exercises were in the first part. The first part fits my body better right now. Many of them are seated. I will admit that many times my knees don’t like what I have done. Jane says that the exercises will get easier. I’m waiting impatiently. Thinking back, I’ve tried to remember when my neck lost its flexibility. I don’t remember having trouble turning my neck, Suddenly, I do. Are the exercises helping? I don’t know but in order to drive, I have to be able to turn my neck.

I can’t stop my height from shrinking, but hopefully I will be able to regain my muscles. I want to have strength to open a can, lift a pot. I’ll gladly leave the heavy lifting to those who have muscles, just so I can do the things that are important to me.

BROTHERS

I have two cousins. They are brothers. They share the same mother but have different father’s. We are four years apart. Roy, the older brother, was born on August 18. Bob, the younger brother, was born October 18.

Roy had extreme allergies when he was young which affected his mental capabilities. Because of his asthma he never learned to drive but he knew maps and the streets. When he was young, he endured many tests for allergies and was able to change his diet to manage his attacks. His mother took him under her wing so that when she passed, he was able to live an independent life. He loved to go to Great America and ride the Eagle or other roller coasters. He learned how to get there on the train. He also liked to take tour buses and visit various places. He had a few friends who traveled with him to the covered bridges and other tours.

Bob, was eight years younger and had his own challenges. He married, and had both a son and a daughter. Both of the children married and moved out of state. Bob had problems with his health as he aged and had a knee replacement which had problems. Bob helped his brother with tasks that were too hard for him.

I was in the middle, difference of four years. I would love to say that we were very close but sadly that was not the case. As the years passed, we drifted apart. It was hard to get a hold of Roy, he had trouble hearing and often didn’t answer the phone. I had trouble getting a hold of Bob also. Life was busy.

We were in the country when I received the phone call that Bob had passed from a massive heart attack when he was at Wal-Mart. I knew he would have had immediate medical help. I learned that Roy had fallen and been taken to the hospital. The day after Bob died, Roy passed away.

I thought that Bob must have discovered how beautiful heaven was and called his brother to join him. The double passing made it harder for Bob’s wife. The rest of the details of the passing are private and will remain that way.

I wasn’t able to attend the services. We were in the country, a hundred miles away and our car’s check engine light had come on. We had an appointment for service on the day of the wake.

FLEXIBLE

I lost it. Where did it go? In the beginning of summer, I was able to WALK to Mass. It wasn’t exactly easy, painful knees were a problem but I was able to do it. Now walking a block is exhausting. Knees don’t hurt, but my right hamstring objects. Exercises that were easy are now either challenging or impossible.

I hurt my right hamstring at the beginning of July. The injury caused me to remain butt down and feet up for almost a month. We were in the country so I did minimal walking with Robin in the morning. I tried to continue with water exercise but I soon learned that I was doing more harm to my body than helping it.

I didn’t drive our car for over a month. When I did, I learned that using the automatic control hurt my body. I was able to drive manually, exercising my right leg. I was afraid to ride the scooter, afraid I would do more damage to my legs.

FIGHTING BACK — not at all happy with my limited ability. I started to drink a cup of bone broth every day, hoping it helps my various body parts. I have returned to doing Tai Chi EVERY DAY! I have also added 15 minutes of yoga along with the arm exercises I used to do.

I’m looking for improvement — ANYWHERE. The pain in my knees has diminished. My hamstring continues to be a challenge. Some days it behaves, others — the smallest step will cause pain. One of my daily exercises is for the hamstring.

Many of the exercises that were easy for me are no longer possible. If I get down on the floor, getting back up onto my feet is a challenge. Getting out of a chair or off the couch has also been a challenge. Recently I was able to rise from the couch unaided — improvement!

I’m being reminded that I need to improve my strength and my muscles. I have some DVD’s that are designed to help muscles. So far I haven’t been brave enough to try them.

In the city I have more stairs to climb. I’ll admit that I climb up and down the stairs more slowly. I also use the banisters or other handholds going into the basement. I don’t know if I NEED to use aids or the memory of falls makes me more cautious. In order to remain in our house I HAVE to be ABLE to do the stairs.

Step by step, day by day — I’m working to become more flexible.

DELAYED

I know I have mentioned before that I’ve been delayed in what I am doing or planning to do. Often I’ve learned that being delayed prevented me from being in an accident or stopped on my journey. Often the delay causes me to think — “Do I REALLY WANT to do or go or spend?” Sometimes the delay causes me to change my plans. Sometimes the reason for the delay remains hidden.

Friday — at the camper — I experienced a delay. It started with a broken pot. I pulled it from the cupboard, the edge struck something and shattered into shards. One of my favorite pots, one I used often — not every meal but more than once a week. Not only broken pieces but shards to pick up. It took awhile, not only were they on the counter but escaped to the floor.

Once I finally cleaned up the mess, we were heading out for breakfast. Except — delayed again — my scooter was returned. The speedometer cable had broken and it had been picked up for repair. It was supposed to be back on Thursday but plans changed. Finally heading for breakfast, a half hour later. I saw an unusual sight outside the restaurant — a bicycle with bags strapped to its wheels towing a small trailer. I was intrigued. The bike belonged to Mr. Alan Thompson, a 68 year man who wanted to ride around the perimeter of the United States. He started in Ohio in 2015, made it as far as Portland when he returned home to rest for a year. He started again in 2017 in Portland and was finishing his ride. It was August but it felt like Fall, the temperature that morning was a balmy 55 degrees. I asked him if he spent the night in a motel to stay out of the cold. Thankfully he did. He was riding for Habitat for Humanity and Save the Children. Both worthy causes.

Next appearing at the restaurant was a group from a classic car club. I started to chat with them but they had only taken a bathroom break and the gentleman was requested to rejoin the group. I didn’t even get a look at their old cars. My husband has an old car and we both were interested in the group. They were the Summer Knights Car Club — meeting at Buona Beef in Glendale Heights, Il.

Next taking a bathroom break was a group of police men and woman. They didn’t stay to eat either. I was glad that the man riding the bike had stopped for something to eat. I really enjoyed hearing his story. He wasn’t accepting money but I could make a donation at his website: usperimeterride. org — his blog or apt@bex.net.

It turned out to be a very interesting morning.

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