If you see a whole thing - it seems that it's always beautiful. Planets, lives... But up close a world's all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life's a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern. - Ursula K. LeGuin

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Driving Zippy

Growing up in the City of Pizza and Bagels means growing up in a car-less life.  No one in my immediate family owned a car or knew how to drive.  Not many of my friends had cars and none of us learned to drive in high school.  In my late twenties I started to travel for business and not knowing how to drive was a huge inconvenience.  Outside of the city, not knowing how to drive made me feel like a child.

I started taking lessons when I was 29.  The City of Pizza and Bagels is not a fun place to learn how to drive.  I was terrified every time I had a lesson.  One of my sisters started taking lessons at around the same time.  When it was time to take our road tests, she passed and I failed.  I took some more lessons and waited a while for my next test and then I failed again.  After that I pretty much gave up.

Then I started dating b and cars came into my life.  Well one car did: his small Isuzu truck.  We used it to get out of the city to paddle and hike.  We eventually used it to find a small house about an hour north of the city.  We packed up our belongings, Angel, the cats and Pupzilla and moved someplace where the nearest store was 15 miles away.  Not driving was not really an option.  b taught me to drive in that little Isuzu truck and I used it to pass my third road test.

When b got a bigger truck, I got the little Isuzu.  I loved driving that truck but it was old and one day she broke down on the side of the road.  The cost to fix her far exceeded her worth.  We went shopping for a car and b found Zippy.  She was 10 years old but had a lot of get-up-and-go.  The only catch was her manual transmission.  b loved driving stick but I had never done it and she was to be my car.  Keep in mind I was still a new and very nervous driver.  We bought her anyway and somehow b managed to teach me to drive stick in a nearby parking lot.

That was almost seven years ago.  Eventually we moved down to SouthLite and b's truck died shortly after we got here.  I had to share Zippy as she became the family car.  Last year when b finally got a new car, Zippy reverted to me.  I love driving that car.  She's old, she's banged up (I managed to back her directly into b's truck twice shortly after we got her), and she is far from attractive but I love her.  We have replaced many of her parts over the years and I know we are reaching the point where it doesn't make sense to keep her going.

Today the clutch didn't want to engage, repeatedly.  With a little patience and a lot of dogged determination, I got her to and from the gym.  Once I made it home I didn't want to risk another trip out.  Her mechanic is closed for the weekend and b is away so I have no one to give me a real diagnosis but I am not hopeful.  A new clutch in a 17 year old car is probably not a wise decision to make and I'm worried that may be what I'm facing. 


suzy pepper said...

Poor Zippy. Poor you. I feel you, sista friend.

Joan Kane Nichols said...

Poor Zippy. Old, banged-up, far from attractive, parts going. I can relate.

paddlingOTAKU said...

In all fairness you only backed into my truck once. Angel did it once also though. Fortunately you both hit the same spot on both Zippy and Mongo.


Catherine said...

How ironic that I, the sister who passed, rarely drives and is scared every time I turn on the ignition. Sorry to hear about Zippy.

urban muser said...

poor zippy.