bunt sign

Thursday, January 16, 2003

Yes, I'm doing the Happy Dance. I still can't fully realize all that's occurred in just the last three days. I think about it, and I get a knot in my stomach as if all I had to do was clear my throat and it would all go away. It's hard coming to terms with such a big change. It's been almost three years since I moved, and I'm only now getting used to that. I still think of this as "the new place."

So far I've overcorrected while turning just one time, and I haven't had to slam on the brakes at all. That's a sign that either I'm doing pretty well in making the big adjustment, or I'm being way too cautious. Maybe I just haven't gone anywhere much. I need some new places to go, but probably not during the work day less than a week before an audit.

After the audit I'll have only ten days to the end of the month, with a ton of tax stuff left to complete, so finding time for long drives isn't in the cards. I have a new car and I'm stuck behind a mountain of spreadsheets. Somehow, though, I think I'll find a way to get behind the wheel, if only for a brief jaunt.

green flash

The 2003 Saturn Ion, in Medium Green.
And all mine, too (although I haven't paid a penny on it yet).

For example, tomorrow I have to go to the office supply store, because I can't possibly get through the next two weeks without office supplies. And I have this huge trunk that'll carry oh so many office supplies. I might have to make two stops, at Office Depot and Office Max. And then there's a Borders right down the street, and Best Buy and Target. I could put a few miles on the Ion in parking lots alone.

In a way it's good to be stranded. The temptation to roam is strong, but I'm getting a special treatment put on the car next Tuesday, inside and outside. It protects all the finishes and the upholstery, and it also extends the warranty. I really don't want to accumulate any bird droppings or tree sap on the roof until I know they won't make permanent marks.

And I haven't invited anyone to eat chocolate ice cream in the back seat. There are still stains in the Honda from the distant past, when we couldn't make it all the way home from a baseball game without stopping for a gooey treat. That car was old even then, when David and his friend Miles were ten. I'm going to miss those stains, but there will be no gooey treats in the Saturn until the super-Scotch Guard is applied.

green flash

With the gray ghost in the background.

I should be sad to abandon my old Honda, after fourteen good years (and a few so-so months). It carried me almost 207,000 miles during that time. It was the perfect car to get me through those years when I was commuting from Santa Rosa to Napa four or five days a week.

In my sense memory I still have the feeling of rolling up and down and around the hills between here and there. It was like gliding on air currents. That sweet sensation was spoiled long before I stopped making the drive, though, by traffic and new developments and someone's decision to put up stop signs every mile and a half.

The blessed freedom I felt on those roads became a chore, a nightmare that ate away at my soul, and the car became a symbol of the change. I hated starting out in the morning, knowing that by the time I got home it would be dark and I would be tired and frustrated. I don't think I would have lasted these fifteen years if I hadn't started working at home more and driving less.

Still, I never got so tired of the mousy old gray Honda that I would have tossed it aside. It had to let me down before I could let it go. And by the time I'd gone through several months of uncertainty with it, I was ready for a new car. I just wasn't ready to make the effort to go out and buy one until I was left with no other choice. Now I'm excited, but it was really a matter of practical necessity.

I didn't have to get something as cool as my new Saturn, though. That was just the way the wind was blowing at the opportune moment. I listened, and the voices spoke to me. (Oh, that was you, wasn't it?)

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It worked! She got the job! Congratulations, Colleen.

Congratulations also to Denver doug on the third journalversary of The Wondering Jew.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Distracted
"Mother Nature dropped a little spring into my winter today. I'd like to thank her for it, but I'm afraid she'll realize her mistake and take it back."

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