KARMA OR MAYBE CAR-MA

It was a lovely crisp Saturday morning. I was heading north out of New York to visit Garry in Boston. I don’t remember which car I was driving. Probably my turquoise VW Rabbit, my personal pocket rocket.

72-ROADS_09I am not a slow driver, though I try to be a careful one. If I see a wide open road and I figure I’m not going to get a ticket, I’ve been know to put pedal to the metal. Perhaps a tad faster than the legal limit. Which is why I was surprised, as I drove along in the left lane of the limited access highway, to be passed on the right and cut off — leaving just millimeters spare — by a vehicle going so fast he nearly sucked the doors off my car.

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I was a bit shaken, especially since he had no reason to cut me off at all. The road was empty. He had plenty of room, so he was just being an asshole. I hadn’t even seen him coming.

“Go tiger,” I murmured, looking down at my speedometer. I was going a smidge over 80 MPH, so how fast was he going? He passed me as if I were standing still.

“People like him,” I muttered, “Give all of us a bad name.”

I continued on my merry way, made merrier by the music playing on my radio … until I saw flashing lights ahead. I slowed. Then I slowed more, until I was crawling along.

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Blue lights were flashing everywhere. This was no normal speeding ticket stop. It was not one or two police cars. There must have been a hundred or more squad cars, motorcycles, and a couple of vans.

It was a genuine cop convention!

My favorite speeder and all around dangerous driver had plunged right into a convoy of law enforcement officers on their way to an event.

The fellow, a young man of unimpressive demeanor, was standing on the shoulder of the road, hands in the air looking terrified. Officers stood near him, several of whom had telephones to their ears. They had bagged a good one and were clearly having fun as only a convention of cops driving official vehicles can.

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I was happy. Justice, so rarely served, was coming to one who deserved it. In such a memorable way, I doubted he would ever speed again. I couldn’t see whether or not he had (yet) wet his pants, but I could hope. I gave a thumbs up to the cops standing around the road writing out tickets — I wonder how many they gave him? To me, they gave a collective thumbs up.

I was laughing the entire remainder of the trip to Boston.

ANOTHER ONE OF THOSE DAYS

Yesterday was one of those days. Get up early and keep running until you fall down. Nothing major happening, just lots of little things.

We had to take the new car back to the dealer to get the windshield replaced — a two-car excursion. The chip in the windshield would only get worse when the weather gets cold, so the sooner the work gets done, the better.

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Next stop was the insurance agent. I had to give her the papers she needs to write the new policy. It’s easier to take the papers to her office than to mail them. Her office is closer than the post office.

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We also had to drop prescriptions at the pharmacy, which ought to be easy, but isn’t. All summer long the weather was dry and not terribly hot. We had almost no rain in July and none in August. The town did absolutely nothing about the roads. No pothole repair, no storm drain installation.

As soon as October hit, someone said to someone else: “You know, winter is going to come and we haven’t done any work on the roads.” The town went into emergency mode, promptly dug up Main Street. Brought in cranes manned by dangerously inept crane operators. Made driving into town pretty scary.

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Someone must have pointed out that cars can’t duck and maybe the combination of cranes and cars was awesome in the wrong way, so today, they had the road blocked. An unmarked detour took us around on Route 16, but eventually we found our way back into town.

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I promised to take some pictures because Garry is sure this is proof positive — finally — there’s a conspiracy to drive him crazy by destroying roads while populating them with slow drivers who are talking on the phone and texting … while weaving all over the place.

We had to do a quick bit of shopping too, since the pharmacy is in Hannaford. Which is in the middle of town, as is the dam. Autumn is at peak — about a week late — so I asked if we could stop and take some foliage shots — and I promised not to forget to take pictures of the roadwork, too.

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Garry hadn’t brought his camera, but our cameras are identical, so I took some, then he took some. Then we went across the street and Garry realized the leaves are always brightest in the cemetery. Shh. Don’t tell everyone!

Then home, stopping to take pictures of the ongoing road work. There was actual work going on, which is unusual in Massachusetts where they close the roads with heavy machinery, after which everyone takes a break and comes back at closing time to lock up the machines before going home.

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When we finally inched our way home, there were packages from Amazon and mail to open. We had bought a couple of pots of chrysanthemums. Garry carried them to the deck and took away the now-dead fuchsias for a proper burial.

I put away the groceries.

Then, while Garry caught up with some old black and white movies, I processed the pictures, which turned out to be more than I thought, especially since I took a bunch more after we got home. The light was awesome.

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Then they called from the dealer to say that they couldn’t finish the windshield installation because they don’t have the trim. I said they might as well keep the car through Monday because it’s easier than bringing it home for the weekend, but I need it Monday night.

We have stuff to do on Tuesday and Wednesday and need that car. The service guy sounded dubious. I said “We need the car Monday night” and he said “We can arrange a loaner” and I said “We NEED the car Monday night.” And then we both hung up. I will call on Monday. Why does everything have to be so complicated?

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Garry eventually had to drive back into town to pick up the prescriptions, weaving his way through the maze of detours and earth-moving machinery. I was still processing photographs.

Tomorrow is another day and I think I’m going to sleep through it.

A NEWER CAR

Now, we are definitely ready for our closeup!

We’ve been agonizing about this for months especially since the “new” car has been having problems. We bought our PT Cruiser in 2007. Finished paying for it a year and a half ago. Been luxuriating since then in not having a car payment.

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But each winter, when our driveway becomes the bunny slope of our personal ski resort — which would be more fun if either of us were ski bunnies — the car won’t get us up the driveway. Not even when there’s just a little bit of snow, much less a big one or a blizzard.

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With tonight predicted to be the first hard freeze of the year and winter lurking in the background, we bought a car. Not a brand new one.

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The price of new cars has gone way above our pay grade, but we got a newer car. With four-wheel drive.

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We spent most of the day at the dealer … which is why I was missing pretty much all day. We were talking. Negotiating. Then signing papers, talking to the insurance agent, signing more papers. Then, more papers … and then … it was ours.

It’s a 2012 Jeep Patriot. Red. Cute. Bob Mielke, who now lives here, had the wit to bring a camera when they delivered the car. Yes, they delivered the car and drove away the old one. Here are Bob’s pictures.

Blow ye north wind. We have a car that will make it up and out of the driveway, even after the snow flies. We will need to pay for it, of course, but life carries a price tag … and we needed a car.

GENTLEMEN, START YOUR ENGINES!

CEE’S BLACK & WHITE PHOTO CHALLENGE: THINGS WITH ENGINES OR MOTORS

This week’s topic is Things with Engines or Motors (cars, planes, trains, fans, air conditioners, lawn mowers, etc). Your photos can show the actual engine or motor. It can also be objects that have motors or engines. So there really is quite a wide variety of possibilities for this week’s challenge.

And I have lots of candidates just waiting for this challenge!

ALL AROUND RED

MY FACE ISN’T RED … BUT OTHER STUFF IS!

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So you want red?

The last time my face was really red, I had a terrible sunburn. I’m not much of a blusher. Lacking a hugely embarrassing story to brighten your day, here is red of the world.

In flower, cars, trucks and the leaves of autumn. Barns and carousels, bricks, cranberries, and peppers. Red, redder, scarlet. Bricks and bright fabric. Red, my favorite color that isn’t black. Back “in the day” (whatever that means), my favorite “semi-dressup” was a black outfit with a red blazer.

I haven’t worn a blazer in years, but I think I still have a dozen of them in my closet. No wonder I can’t find my tee shirts!

ON ROAD AND RIVER – WHICH WAY CHALLENGE

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CEE’S WHICH WAY PHOTO CHALLENGE: 2015 WEEK #15

Welcome everyone to Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge. This challenge subject is all about capturing the roads, walks, trails, rails, we move from one place to another on. You can walk on them, climb them, drive them, ride them, as long as the way is visible. Any angle of a bridge is acceptable as are any signs.

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And this week, the snow is gone and the roads have reappeared. It’s a brand new world!

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