Carol’s Carousel

I don’t know what to think anymore. I barely know how to think. Anymore.

I have had to research bump stocks & look up Nikki Haley & John Bolton. I spend time poring over reports about McCabe & Comey to try to understand the current “political scene” when I want to scream at everyone in DC, “Will you just behave?

I am one of a generation which may die off before the changes so looked forward to may even occur (NOTE TO SELF: climb aboard the good ship Hope & stay afloat.) I don’t claim to understand transgender issues, being certain that I am a woman who has never wanted to be a man. Having a penis would really get in my way. I don’t want to leave my stem cells for implants into AI computers simply because someone knows how to do that & thinks it might be a good idea. Hooah!

I don’t get violence. Having been in & around the medical profession for most of my earth-years, I understand physical damage from savagery of any kind: mental, physical, spiritual, emotional. I predict for myself a gradual fade from life after accomplishing as much as I can towards healing on all levels. I’m weary of fighting for the money to buy food for my fridge. I could understand paying taxes if the pothole at the end of the driveway ever got filled; but knowing my money disappears into fitting a fin onto a bomb is distressing. But tax evasion isn’t an option I’ll readily pursue – I don’t look great in stripes. I’m feeling some nervousness about making the monthly payments needed to assure some quality of life, although I have the strength & power within me to work the odd jobs I encounter to earn my way into fresh veggies.

After years of plugging along, pinning slogans like “Be calm & don’t worry”, of framing thoughts like “following my bliss”, or “doing things for the joy of doing them”, I’m slowing down. I’m not sure I’m ready to meet ET’s with golden triangle heads or blue feathers. I have stopped listening to my formerly intensely-followed gurus. I’m cautious about signing up for Starfleet Academy or manning bridges of any kind. Once anticipated, I no longer eagerly await what may emerge from the future to surprise me. I’m really happy to sit in the sun right now, to stay out of the unreasonable desert wind, to watch my little green tomatoes turn into little red tomatoes. Someone once mocked me for “watching the clothes dry on the line” but at this point, that’s quite a satisfying pastime. It indicates the privilege to be clean in a world where so many are not given this option.

I’m happiest when teaching…helping someone figure out something: how to use their cellphone, for example. I live in a town where everyone’s grandkids have recommended they have the latest tech when the “grands” only want to be able to call the kids on Sunday night. “What’s an app?” they ask me, “Can I get the words to come up when I watch videos?” “How do I stop all these advertisements?”

I’m planning to teach a class called “About Email” on Mayday, & the more I research carriers, the more I figure I’ll sound like some paranoid nut when I tell them what I understand about the collection of biometrics by nefarious one-world-government scions, the retention of data by people who are totally not entitled to know that I wrote my friend about how I feel, whether political or pleasurable. How do I help learners to preserve their privacy or get them to understand there is even a need for this in a world where the providers are all-pervasive about control & have the morals of cats in heat when it comes to selling us out? The State does not need to monitor our computers. Seriously, nothing on them is that interesting. For myself, I don’t expect anybody at the State Department to grok my poetry or wordplay. I only have one way to expand into the universe & it is with expression of my personal experience as such. And it comes out through language. If “they” consider RIDING THE LIGHT subversive, my tax dollars are totally wasted.

I know old ladies are disposable as rain puddles. It doesn’t stop me from working towards what I call The Good. It doesn’t hinder me from offering time & effort toward helping others learn how to function at the basic levels of courtesy, kindness, care & understanding, of actively paying it forward. I know at any time some doofus with a God complex can take control of my car & send me over the side of a cliff where others will be endangered trying to retrieve the detritus left by that push-button destructo-mentality.

I guess I can’t explain where I am in the present moment. I had a reaction today at our quite wonderful book club discussion where a totally innocuous book sent me into a red-rimmed rage for no reason I can discern. Reading the book chapters aloud brought me to the boiling point wherein I rushed home & stared wildly about for an hour. It isn’t even a book I admire, but a reaction of this magnitude of anger is totally foreign to me and/or what it should have engendered. WTH? Is it the sugary snack before bedtime that has me so reactive?

At the same time, I am tired of being a spectator; I want to participate in life. I want to travel to see wonders of geography, I want to sit at the feet of a master & take notes on keeping my mind in discovery mode. I want to pay my debts off so the nervousness can re-settle into a joy of life so daily I take no notice of want of any kind. Bread & circuses haven’t interested me in years. It is time for me to expand my thinking to encompass God & the Youniverse to a mystical, uplifting, soul-thrilling vibration. I want to thread that needle spoken about in Scripture, so I can pass through it into either the grace of comprehension or Comprehensive Grace. Isn’t that my birthright?

I am so over Darwin & his purloined theorem about survival. I once read that the word “love” was mentioned 96 times in The Origin of Species, while the phrase “survival of the fittest” appeared thrice.

I once felt I could get closer to the answers of Life’s Questions as I aged. I foolishly thought the world would become more logical, the weather more habitable, my life more accommodating to happiness. I thought I would have friends, if not family, who looked at me with love shining from their hearts through their eyes. But now I rely on the comments of strangers to lift me through the nights. Now I have no ties to what is considered Reality. I opt for helping some with cleaning their houses, offering a class now & then to aid others in understanding the new tools available & coping with their use.

I often tell people I’m allergic to TV, but I still find myself drawn to videos on the computer which show the exotic Cirque du Soleil acts, dancers who can move their bodies as I no longer am able, political commentaries which contradict each other one after the next.

I am as confused as any teenager about my current identity. Who will I be tomorrow? What will my achievements count for…or against? This life made of chapters cleanly divided by time & (at times) geography, by the borders of marriages, the maps of spiritual pathways, the fulfillment of dreams. I’m acutely aware too many of the paragraphs in this blog start with my most personal pronoun. I need to be led into divinity somehow & overcome this tendency to consider myself only human. I used to be able to do that better. How come I’m losing the knack?

The last frontier is never that. Horizons rise & fall regularly. I’m alive so long as I keep moving – even if it is in a circle while the calliope plays corny music. Cuz I don’t know anything, anymore.

Murder Disincorporates

Something interesting happened yesterday as I observed. My friend giggled about a story her husband had “made her listen to” of a woman witnessing a blood sacrifice in the basement of the Vatican. The gang laughed it off with head shakes & grimaces. Everyone “knew” her husband well: he’s a town character. I opened my mouth to begin the long tale of Reptilians, Annunaki in mitre hats, Vatican alliances with evil, ritual sacrifice…& slowly closed it again. Across town, there’s a discussion group where this topic would’ve engaged animated, interested debate. But I was at this coffee, not that one.

I continued sipping my smoothie silently, nursing my own thoughts. I know what I believe. I am interested in hearing their beliefs. What’s the level of disclosure to be reached here? Can conspiracy flourish in a group of upstanding “Christian” believers who entertain discussion with Jehovah Witnesses at the front door while pressing their literature into the trash as they close it?

I’ve learned to choose my battles. I want to see where the line of “getting along” divides & where I might tiptoe over. I’ve defended ideas in this group before. It can take lots of energy to get past the double-sprinkle donuts & open, yet strangely exclusive mindsets. Global nightmare is possibly not to be addressed in a friend’s living room at 8 a.m. over banana bread. But the converse continued on to gun control & how, since we knew no one personally & tragedy has not happened intimately, might be a topic dismissed with a trite, “what’s this world coming to?” platitude.

But really, I see both sides as being of paramount conversational importance…we are not a diverse group, but we are all seniors who have seen war, peace, history & we follow the current news, though not avidly.

We all know on some level that situations mirror each other. I look for “teachable” moments where I can cross over the acceptable lines to engage in fencing ideas with others. We did get to talking about how society seems to be going “kablooey” with opiods (causing mental illness), lousy nutrition (causing physical problems resulting in the “need” for opoids), consuming adrenalized beef products (causing increased aggression), demonic influences (causing claims “the devil made me do it!”), Mercury Retrograde & more.

The only real item of note; however, is how the story ends. Death is a disincorporation – a removal of the physical as the energetic lives on, Too many claim the power of death over life because they own a gun with which they only plan to defend themselves. Violence begets more of itself when viewed in the long-range. Just as many here would attribute the power of handling firearms to only those authorized to bear them. These individuals are supposed to be wed to the idea of defending life through the capability to deal death. And there has been much of note recently as to how this power is brought forth in society, whether amok in demonstration or peacefully marching down Main Street. The results can be dismaying in their sameness when guns are in the extant crowd, no matter the hands or hip holsters in which they reside.

The boundaries become indistinguishable when subsumed into the power of dealing death with the crook of a finger.

There used to be a largely acknowledged absolute that said, “Thou shalt not kill.” But that already was weak in a society that slaughtered animals for food. And yes, there are any number of rabbit holes to travel down with a statement that general. But it does involve a death which comes under the topic of discussion here.

Killing of any kind will never be a viable response to continuing to live well – individually or as a society. Dealing in death doesn’t pay off in affirmative life. But I nibble at this gargantuan topic with a toothpick & a salad fork. It just gave me pause for where I engage life, how much I am given to do so, why I choose my belief systems & how each individual fits into an overall scheme fringed all about, ultimately, with death.

Truth or Consequences

Some home-town photos…

We have a local trail, called the Healing Waters Trail. It started out at the edge by the informal dog park along the Rio Grande when folks got together to mark off a trail with rocks. It has evolved into a “real” trail with picnic tables, a bench & some pea gravel – whatever has not blown away or been marched away by walkers. Here’s an overlook as one starts climbing. The river is running almost green in the back; the Elephant Butte Dam is letting water out for spring planting. This water will travel to irrigate crops, being controlled through local “acequias” along the way, down to Mexico. (The photos are from Easter weekend 2018 – ignore the incorrect camera dates, please.)

 

 

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Overlooking T or C –

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Mysterious Creature Found Along The Trail:

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The sun in a cloudy iris:

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Some views of town:

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Originals: (Note the prospecting pony painted on the wall over the truck’s hood.)

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And shots of Mary’s fence. (Fence art is BIG here!)

Below these are the story of how I met Mary.

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I was reading my book one night in my little studio apartment when a knock came at the door. Upon opening it, I found a tall woman in a broomstick skirt, looking quite distressed as she clutched her pocketbook. “I can’t find my car!” she wailed; “I don’t know where I left it.”

“Well, just a sec here, let me get some shoes on & I’ll help you look,” I said. “Did you happen to notice anything around you that stood out when you parked it?”

“No,” she said more quietly now, having garnered help. “Someone told me to come here & see this place. I figured the best way was just to park & walk around,”

“Ok,” I said, having tied on sneakers, “Let’s go!”

We walked around for about twenty minutes until Mary spotted her car on Austin. I waved as she drove off. Next time I came to town, she had her own property & is hiring out as a fence decorator! (This, over the course of five years or so.)

T or C is life lived on a Vortex as powerful, tho not nearly as scenic, as Sedona. It can also be a strange experience if you’re not ready for anything. I’ve lived her on three separate occasions & this one I love the best.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the quick tour, the one vignette, the snip of history & the pictures I took with my sister’s camera.

Love,

Carol

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nods of An Approaching Dream

My fears have left me, one by one

Waving farewell over sharp shoulders

Each attached to a dream instead

Rendering sleep the final exploration.

There are cats in my dreams now

And family

People walking carelessly by

As I point at their shoes.

Sometimes I am skyclad

Uncaring as I should have been awake

During daylight I dwell in my home

Neat as the proverbial pin

While my dreams stack in errant piles

Rising as my eyelids fall.

—————–

The me reflecting in you

Is not the one in my mirrors

Or my mind…

—————–

There are no borders, no barriers

To living this adventurous life

There is me upon the shoreline

Of an ever-shifting sea

Or me, blown before desert winds.

The news lays its crumbs into my blender

I have dusted these from sore fingers

I favor the surprise now, shedding

The peremptory of unknowns

For even the news is familiar from my dreams

Ever the known, unloosed & traveling by rail,

The windows scrubbed with sunshine

And the light behind my eyes.

—————–

Local journeys for a local girl

I only need hold the rails of life’s Ferris Wheel

To be lifted above perception

To be found by angels entertaining unaware.

Life circles ‘round, cycles seem uphill mostly…

On coasting down, the mileage varies

Everyone must master the Dances of Transition!

——————

It feels increasingly good

To close my eyes now

A moment of distance

Is a reverie by any other name.

The house responds to wind’s awakening

I no longer react,

Letting silence pool in my ears

Slipping through the backdoor of that dream

Just to look around.

——————–

The front door is left open

The tan-white face of an artificial Siamese

Stares unblinking, from directly across the room

(I named him Mitts.)

He has inquisitive ears, he tilts his head

As we each await the other to speak.

—————–

Blessed is the silence.

The hollow stairwell

Offers no fixed direction

The hats hang from hooks below

The single bed is still made above

All locks engaged, safe in the Gratitude

I sleep.

——————-

I said yes to the soup

Behind my fluttering eyes

To the dream that was that close…

I never noticed there was no spoon.

This page is spotted in dots

From my nodding pen, my nodding head

A tired hand holding itself up at end of day

Pecking at a poem.

Wishes (An Effort in Circular Thinking)

We all hope our wishes come true. Sometimes, tho, we don’t know how to handle it when they do. Recently, I told a friend I’d like to do a container garden in my arid backyard. Now that the light is changing, with the sun rearranging the shadows, I find there is enough light to do this. The best spot would be by the gate, but that won’t work since I need egress. It was a lovely bubble of a thought, but little more than that. An idle wish.

Of course, the entire idea is made more speculative since I know zero about container gardening in specific, & gardening in general. Everyone tells me, “Oh! It’s easy!”

My friend found a huge tub at Tractor Supply & happily gifted this to me. Now that I see the “container,” I’m even more tremulous. First, I’ll need about 60 pounds of soil. This means putting the tub where it will not need to be moved Ever Again (unless I buy a tractor from Tractor Supply & I don’t think the yard’s that big.)

So, choosing a spot comes first. Then the fill-er-up. Then seeds or plants. I checked ‘container gardening’ online & the search turned up beautiful flowerpots trailing pansies & vinca vine along patios upon which Home & Garden subscriptions have been lavished for decades. My yard is layered stone-on-dust & somewhat anti-lush while being dry to the point of acrimony, not to mention uneven. The desert sun cooks growings to the same effect as a microwave melts plastics. Besides, I want to grow edibles.

After these decisions…seeds or plants? I love the thought of a fresh salad, leaves moistly green, plucked from the backyard pot with a few cherry tomatoes & maybe sun-warmed stringbeans…but out here ants eat seeds, as do deer. They contain moisture.

T or C does have a community garden by the library. I’m not serious enough for this league of growing among experienced amateurs. Plus, we have one guy who spritzes his plot with what is suspected to be Round-Up, of recent cancer-producing fame. When confronted, he says, “It’s mostly water.” Before adding, with a scowl & a pointing finger, “You name me ONE person who died of Round-Up!”

I guess even if his plot is clear, he figures those nearby could use the public service of a spritz or two, including the rigorously organic patch farmers of T or C in the singular favor of his Rescue Efforts. I figure he’d be gardened to death & used for fertilizer if the participants found him out.

When your plants are in his Zone, although the consensual farmer’s agreement is never to use such chemicals, the finer points can be lost. It’s rather like Monsanto suing nearby ranches for growing the GMO crap they manufacture because the wind blew their seeds over the fence. One must ask, “Cui Bono?”

But, back to my tub. The expense & labor of toting all that soil, finding seeds/seedlings, plus the need to borrow an oil rig to put drainage holes in this heavy-duty plastic are beyond my budget in the moment. Now, I understand most wishes can be expensive – otherwise it’d be so much easier to make them happen, right?

I like little wishes that are simple enough to easily manifest: Here’s an example of one such happy ending. In the 80’s, I listened to a show called “Echoes.” It aired late at night on the university station & featured unknown, esoteric, mildly weird music (which I now refer to as “massage music”). I longed to buy the CD’s from the show, but at $25 + shipping, these wouldn’t fit my wallet. Recently, some local has been divesting himself of a collection of “Living Room Concerts” as they were called, at our local thrift. I have gotten Volumes 1-7 for twenty-five cents each. The music is just as good now as then, still unearthly, still eclectic.

So, you can see I am enamored of wishes coming true; however, timing has much to do with it. I wouldn’t, for example, too much appreciate getting a pony for Christmas anymore. Nor could I afford the gas it would take for a plum Challenger. A house is off the List: I’m not allowed any pets here. So, the Wish List is entering the Reader’s Digest Abridged Version in honor of practicality, space, time, effort & cost.

I can get $5 rebate on my Walmart bill, though, with one more credit card purchase before the end of this month. That’s at least one bag of soil. See? This is how my mind works. And after three husbands’ worth of pointing out illogic & inconsistency, it is still how my mind works.

So maybe I’ll just go check their stock today. Maybe I’ll bring home a couple of bags of seeds. Maybe the landlord will lend me his heavy-duty drill. Maybe I’ll even invest in a jar of poppy-seed salad dressing to keep the dream alive.

Fresh food will give me the energy I need to earn from my odd jobs to pay the credit card(s). As one hand washes the other, I’ll wind up with an immovable yard decoration full of dirt all winter. But rocks are free in the desert. And I’ve always wanted a really nice rock garden.

 

Adventures With Cars – Part II

I would tell it from the beginning, but the beginning is rapidly losing itself in an ongoing saga. But, best shot here: the Beginning was when the engine light came on in my Volt. Diagnosis showed the battery was overheating. Headed to Bravo Chevy in Las Cruces where there is a resident Volt tech – a true rara avis of mechanic breed. Chevrolet Central has twice sent them the wrong battery. I believe they use short-armed men from China to row these over because it’s been just about a month, now.

That was early February. They gave me an innocuous loaner, a Malibu, which I describe a bit in my prior post. What I didn’t mention there was that the second time I drove the Malibu, headed out of town to visit a friend whose sole connection to the grid is a shared telephone line, the Malibu’s engine light came on. It was 4:45

This conversation ensued:

Me: Ray, the engine light just came on in the Malibu!

Ray: Oh no, Miss Borsello. Just stop driving it!

Me: Ray, I’m halfway up a hill heading south out of town, and…

Ray: No, no! get it to a dealer right away.

Me: Well, it’s the “stabilitrak” light that came on, with a little wrench beside it. Are you sure I can’t just keep driving?

Ray: NO, no! The car will start going 30 miles per hour because the engine light is on.

Me: We have one dealer in town – Whitehead Chevy – the ones without a Volt tech. Ok, I’ll turn around & bring it there.

Ray: give them my card, we will take care of everything, no worries.

Me: Y’know, dear, I’m not so much worried as getting a little excited about the fact that I need a reliable car right now.

So I tuned around, drove 30 mph to Whitehead & hitched a ride home. The next day, I waited until about 4 to call them. Was it THAT serious, it took all day? Was I going to have a car at all? WC said they had had an exciting day; their service manager’s last day was two days ago & they are really catching up on things…so they just forgot to call me. They would come out right away to get me. The did. The Malibu needed to have something beeped at it to turn off the light. There was nothing wrong.

I overran the Malibu’s 500 mile allowance, but the next car – the Impala – was a dream &, like all dreams, it has faded already into something expensive & pensive both. You see, they were giving me 500 miles per loaner vehicle. But most loaners go to folks living in town. They don’t have 200 miles used of that 500 allowance just getting back/forth to the dealership. I need a large reserve which is difficult since some of my jobs are 60 miles round-trip from where I live. Or 20. Plus regular back & forth here to friends. I drove like Danica getting the Impala back to the dealer before their 5:30 closure time. I had to thread in & out of legal traffic with two Texans who ignored the speed limit like it was a noncommittal fantasy…Now there are two theories that go with this risky business on my heavily-patrolled highway: One is that if both in front pass the trooper, they will scout him or her out, lights flashing, sirens playing Doppler – while I get to slow down behind. Two is that I’m the last one of the three & I get the Statie on MY tail as (s)lowest fruit hanging. But I was game. I made it to the agency at 5:18.

Ray got me over to the Hertz agency where I waited for others to finish sobbing their stories about not enough on their debit cards to rent anything. (Not a joke this, b/c there’s a $200 deposit & a car might cost $238+tax for four-five days…) The young feller finally turned to me. I handed over my license, insurance card & a $50 bill. That was my day’s pay. YF slipped the $50 right back, gazing up innocently from under his billed cap to say, “We don’t take cash here.” I handed over my debit card instead (rent due tomorrow & I have $3 over the rent in the bank, O Lord)… I refuse to worry. Spirit has my back on this, I can only hope they have my wallet as well. I noticed a sign placed high above a door, clear out of sight for most customers, that said: “You fill it, $2.39/gallon. WE fill it, $9.99/gallon.” I shuddered & took a mental picture. “Good, I thought, “everyone must fill them before bringing them back. I’ll do that, too.”

After “topping off” the Impala with $30 in gas (remember, I only earned $50), I asked him for an economy car, but not a subcompact. Most drivers in NM drive F150’s if they don’t have vans or SUV’s that scrape 15’ high road signs. I want something that will at least show if it gets tangled in their wheel wells.

Now, YF had asked me if I wanted insurance. I innocently replied, “Well what’s the coverage?” He said, “Full warranty, bumper to bumper.” I said, “That sounds like enough.” He reached again for my debit card saying, “OK, it’s only $21.99 per day.” I gripped his hand with my massage-hardened fingers & slipped the debit card from under it in a smooth movement, hissing, “Can’t you see the notches in this already? I meant what’s YOUR coverage?!” He replied, “Your insurance.” I said, “OK, good enough.”

He said, “I’ll drive it to the front of the hotel, just go out that way.” So I did.

Another gent was waiting outside while his wife arranged for their room. We talked about the wind picking up, the dark closing down, the huge full moon. When I spotted a cute little silver minnow cutting around the portico, I inadvertently murmured, “Lord, I guess they didn’t have any whole cars to give me.” The kid tossed me the keys, reluctantly came back when I asked how to open the gas cover (which has been a challenge in each & every car)… He pushed a button, flashed a grin & sped through the heavy glass doors of the building. The kind gent helped me turn the lights on (embarrassed to say I didn’t remember how to do this as I’ve had a car for three years & loaners for a month which had lights on with ignition.)

Then I adjusted the seat so my nose was a bit above the horn, turned it on (a key? Really, you use a KEY?), drove ten feet into nearest parking space & looked around in wonder at this darling miniature vehicle. I found controls for the windows and the mirrors. I guessed that the eight buttons on the steering wheel had to do with cruise & some other things. I gingerly pushed every button in the car since it was blowing heat from the third ring of the Inferno out all available ice-cream-cone-shaped vents. Maybe YF was trying to overtake the bad perfume of the last driver permeating the vehicle. Turning on the a/c slowed the engine alarmingly. I heard the hamsters under the hood exchanging cowboy boots for Keds with tiny squeals. I pushed the defroster button & two or three of them started chanting: “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.” Fortunately, we don’t have moisture enough to need a defroster in NM, so I turned that one off as well.

I mounted Betty Lou, my faithful Garmin GPS unit on the dashboard. I realized it took up a good quarter of the available window space, so moved it lower by the gearshift. I wanted to get to Olive Garden for some salad before hitting the road – something between breakfast & home right now would be good; it was 7 p.m.

I hoped that since half the Nissan is “Missan” (I will only apologize once for the bad puns this car has induced in me, so here it is.), I’d get good mileage. It had some pep. We made it to the light for my left turn to I-10. Across the street from the intersection, a train horn was rising in volume. All traffic was stopped on red lights as the arms floated down. I watched in jaw-dropped amazement as one of those F-150’s NAILED the accelerator to the floor, making it around the corner & over the tracks as the arms struck sparks from his truck bed & the burnt rubber rose about him in a demonic shadow. I even timidly backed up a little in case anyone else wanted to perform any similar maneuvers. I counted 110 train cars & two more red lights before I got an arrow, but believe you me, I was not about to move until I got that.

I was unsurprised to find Sirius radio available & happily spun the dial looking for Classic Vinyl, Deep Tracks, Bluegrass or Classic Rewind. I hit on Tom Petty station & noted the screen wasn’t even big enough to put up all the letters. “It’s Good To Be K” said the screen, by “Tom Petty & the Hea.” Ok. Economy, I get it.

When my sneakers began to smell of burning rubber, I figured it was time to locate the heat button to turn it down. That took a couple of miles. Olive Garden was well in the rearview mirror as I just wanted to go home now. “Home, where the h” by “Simon & Garf” was playing. It made me sentimental.

Once well onto the highway, with only 60 miles of pretty empty road, I lowered my right arm onto the .. the … what? No hump there in the middle to rest my arm? I could hang it so my hand fit into the tiny cupholder (no jumbo drinks in here, Ma’am). Back to ten to two position. Just nail the sucker & go home for God’s sake.

One thing YF said that I did hear loud & clear was “Unlimited Mileage” so I took advantage of the fact to plan a drive to Socorro to my favorite market today. (Socorro is about 70 miles north.) I turned on the car and an engine light came on. (No, I am not kidding.) Fortunately, this one was simple. I drove to Whitehead & got the guys to adjust tire pressure. Then I hit I-25 & headed north, did my shopping, got some lunch & headed home. I had found a wonderful relaxation CD for 25 cents at the thrift & plugged that in, humming softly.

About 35 miles out of Socorro, where there are no towns whatsoever & no services to be had, the cute little gas pump light came on. I called Hertz. I asked the Other Young Feller on for the day if they tank up the cars when they release them. “It all depends on the car,” he hedged. I said, “At $10/gallon, you don’t take advantage & refill the cars?” “As I said, Ma’am, it depends on…” at which point I cut him off to rumble, “It depends on how much you want to weasel out of this call, you coward.”

I hung up & hung onto the wheel. Now what? I have AAA. I was not worried. I had food to eat if it took until full moonrise to get a truck to me. I was thinking of how to make room in the glove compartment for a peeler & a can opener. I read each sign avidly – T or C, 41 miles, San Marcial one mile. (San Marcial is a farm.) I found out that turning up the relaxation CD to full volume does nothing for relaxation. And then a blue sign with a gas pump on it. OMG. My angels are on overtime & I will gladly put feathers in their tanks on demand! This is the ONLY gas between T or C & Socorro & I [literally] stumbled into it.

The gas station had two pumps, just tagged for pickup by the Smithsonian (or the hoarders, whichever arrived first.) See photos below. I believe there are two burros underground hoofing a tight circle to actually pump gas into these antiques. We aren’t talking including the “M” of Modern here, just the “o dern!” But it was gas in the desert. I waited for the septuagenarian at the pump ahead of me to move her truck from dead center of the two available pumps, which she kindly did & returned to filling up her eight red gas cans. I charged into the store & paid $15. The gal said, you need to move to the other pump because the one you’re at isn’t working. Now, there are only two pumps here with three hoses each, two sides of each pump. And the dance continued. After four tries & with the help of two others, I got gas into the car.

I’m home; the groceries are stashed, the blog is written, the photos mounted. Later, I need to drop off some picked-up items to a friend. If you hear a loud boom in a bit, it’s because an engine light came on when I started it up. You might want to cover your ears.

 

 

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Whoo-Wee, Now That’s A Car!

WHOO-WEE, NOW THAT’S A CAR

Listen up, now boys’n’girls, I have a tale to tell. It is the beginning, middle & one of the truest endings of the American Dream. And it’s all about a car.

I never, in my most crazy-assed dreams, thought I could feel this way about a vehicle. Cars belong to the practical means of achieving an end: getting from one place to another. Basic, yeh? Other than earnestly desiring a plum Challenger in my earliest married years, I cannot recall paying much attention to the auto industry.

I’ve had any number of cars & all have been memorable. From the second-year Honda hatchback from the days when they came only in gray & maroon & the guy I asked to check the oil opened the hood said, “Hey! This engine’s sideways!” I have not attempted to stay afloat in the sea of car fashion. I’m a firm contestant in the dog-paddle Olympics of Intramural Car Ownership. So, you get it, right? Economy, fun-drive, limited but sporty, serviceable…a landau roof being the big splurge on decorative touches.

But my Chevy Volt is in the shop. And it needs special handling. I think there’s about maybe three techs in NM certified in Volt repair. Something about the battery containing the energetic potential pulse of a nuclear reactor & the battery light is what came on. They need someone gloved, aproned, safety-spectacled, etc. The Volt tech at Bravo Chevy in Las Cruces must be in big demand. I’ll lay odds he wears a cape to work & his button-up blues have a big, red, triangular ‘S’ on the back.

Well, while I miss my li’l Sparkle Plenty, topaz blue, four-stroke, low-to-the-ground baby, I have achieved the playoffs of driving here. First, they loaned me a new Malibu. It was so silver-grey, it disappeared in full daylight. At night, it was a gleam with red lights in the rear. The doors opened so widely my short arms wouldn’t reach, I had to undo the seatbelt, lean out, grab the door & apply some bicep to close it. (You may scoff at this, but my passenger had to do the same thing.) I tell you Truth. The Malibu had a lot of class, some great features, one of which being a back-up camera I couldn’t decipher ‘cause the lines made it look to me like checking the end zone for a touchdown run…backwards. Good car, but of limited comfort for staid little ole me.

The guy at the agency hadn’t pointed out the 500-mile limit on the contract. So, when I called a week later to check status on my car, he asked if I was close to that. I ran outside to check, and yes, I was within 71 miles. (The agency is 83.3 miles door-to-door from my home, & I wasn’t at home.)

He said, “BRING IT BACK! We’ll get you into another loaner!” Now, to me, there’s something eco-unfriendly about driving 83.3 miles on a mileage allowance I’ve already inadvertently exceeded, to get into another car where I get a second shot at 500 miles. Don’t they have a fax machine? In New Mexico, everything of any high brand name quality (Natural Grocers, anything other than “Wonder” or “Ferdinand” as movie of the week, Staples, Lowes – you get the picture) is 70 miles one way. It’s not like I wasted the miles I was given. But there was that one joyride with my girlfriend when we went to Las Cruces as she needed a jeweler other than Walmart to assess a collector’s item. In my defense, I didn’t know about that 500-mile clause then.

Yesterday, I picked up my favorite passenger & headed for the stadium lights. Car sales is as much of a sports contest as any NFL game, so the wattage seems appropriate. It was late in the day when we left. We planned a dinner out of town & a stop at aforesaid Natural Grocers.

My service rep, with whom I am developing quite the relationship, cheerfully calls me “Miss Borsello,” causing me to look over my shoulder for someone else – I’ve been “Yo! Carol!” for a long time now.) Anyway, he put me into a brand-new, nipple-hardening bright white, 8-cylinder Impala. We’re talking top of the line here. I felt my canines growing immediately upon adjusting the seat so I could see out the windshield & over the steering wheel. Then it got more serious as my right foot developed a lead coating & I think a penis started to sprout somewhere down below. (Sorry for the sex analogies, but I am talking such a sensuous experience with driving this car, it was one of huge proportion for my Life Without Hormones since the 80’s (when I went through menopause three times while withdrawing from HRT.)

I do believe any American between sixteen & eighteen years of age will tell you the same, with perhaps more forceful language. There is utterly nothing in my life that got to me like driving this car at this time & I’ve been married thrice. My friend said, “Carol, I think we passed the turn for that Italian restaurant two streets back – you need to get into the left lane.” I was in the third lane over at the time from left-most. I smiled, said, “No prob!” And goosed my new “John White” on the green light…we made the next left. Lead can be worth more than gold sometimes, yeh?

Coming home, the Sirius radio offered us some, like, polka from Japan, so we listened to comedy. I’m annoyingly picky about music. I hate Steely Dan, can’t tolerate Frank Sinatra, & set fire to EZ listening CDs for kicks. We listened to comedy which we carefully turned down while going through the Border Checkpoint 20 miles out of town, lest we unintentionally smile.

But after I dropped my friend off at the meet-up parking lot & checked out the stations, I found Pink Floyd. I was GONE. I felt like I was in my personal jet en route to some island. I turned it up beyond ear-splitting (OMG! Actual volume without winding it up to a max 32!) I pinned the volume button, applied my right foot & passed my friend who was already tooling down the highway before I began my research. I think her car spun around a couple of times. A languid wave of a lifted hand, a murmured “Hey” & was at the exit for town in a blink. Going 40 after getting off I-25 allowed me to find a few more stations. By the time I pulled up in front of my apartment, I sealed the windows, closed my eyes, tried unsuccessfully for even more volume & blissed out on “The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys” as the car & I vibrated happily together.

This morning when I woke, I thought to walk to our regular Wednesday Coffee Klatsch at B’s house. Then I went outside. My salivary glands overflowed, my canines extended over my bottom lip, my hand involuntarily flickered over the remote fob. Devoid of conscious volition, I pushed the ‘unlock’ button. John White responded with a flirtatious flicker of the lights & walking was suddenly stupid. Who needs exercise?

We coasted down the hill. What a shame B only lives 1.5 miles away. I was ready to take a serious bite out of that 500. Parking demurely, still humming “Locomotive Breath,” I stroked his flank as I left the car, went inside, had my coffee, chatted up friends on topical stuff & left. All RIGHT! Let’s go to the library (sadly, even closer than 1.5.) I forgot my library bag, & when I realized I hadn’t returned my movies, I immediately drove home, turned around & took them back. Don’t want to be late on returning them, right? I only had 13 more days until due, after all.

I love my apartment. I love my little car. I love my life. I just have this fantastic Grand Opportunity at the Publisher’s Clearinghouse of cars in my immediate future. Who am I to argue such a present? I don’t know about looking a gift horse in the mouth, but, baby, I ain’t even opening the hood on this one!

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