13 September 2010


I drive an old car. About 10 years old. Nothing fancy. It’s a transportation tool, not a luxury item or source of entertainment. I might feel differently if my car was, in fact, luxurious. But it isn’t.

On my first real job, I once had an assignment to join my department manager to give a presentation to another business unit located across town. He offered to drive and when we arrived at his car, I was surprised that this mid-level manager was driving such a heap of junk. At the ripe age of 23, I held automobiles in much higher esteem than I do now.

Well, he must have noticed the mildly quizzical look on my face and explained that in this world, you can either have a really nice house or a really nice car, but usually not both. He chose the house. And when I got to the point in life when I was ready to buy a house, I did exactly the same thing.

So, back to my car.

After 161,800 miles, it is one tired machine and needs a few replacement parts so I called the auto mechanic shop last week to give them fair warning I would be in on Saturday morning. They didn’t exactly roll out the red carpet, but I was able to find a spot in the customer waiting room. I fretted while they assessed my car and tallied up the list of parts that needed replacing. I had asked them to break the work into two groupings – one for this month and one for next month.

And the news came in with a four-figure price attached.   > gulp <

Cristy was with me, thankfully. We all went to stand underneath the car and peer into the mysterious places where the wheels attach to the chassis. I asked this auto mechanic if my car was sound; if this money I was about to spend in repairs was indeed a good investment?

The look he gave me in reply did little to bolster my confidence.

I explained my working hypothesis: the cost of repairs to my auto, over the span of the next 12 months, would probably be less than the cost of 12 payments on a car loan. But I wanted a more informed opinion. Thankfully, this made more sense to him and he understood where I was coming from. He pointed out 2 additional things that needed to be addressed over the course of the next couple of months and otherwise pronounced the car healthy.

Next year at this time, I hope to have exceeded the 200,000 mile mark on my odometer with no other unforseen mechanical repairs.

Stitch in time

I spent some time sewing over the weekend. Relatively simple task using fabric, scissors, pins, needle and thread. But it is overwhelmingly time consuming since I don’t have a sewing machine. I started Saturday and was still at it Sunday morning.

One of the things about starting a sewing project is that it interrupts the activities and chores that I normally attend to on the weekends. Like laundry and cooking. And well, of course, sleeping late and working on my suntan. It requires me to reallocate my time.

Cristy walked in the back door around 11:30 giving Betsy Ross (aka, me) a quick acknowledgement, with a smile.

As I finished stitching the seam, I began wondering about the level of effort Betsy Ross invested in making that legendary flag, my personal favorite of all the American flag designs. Now that would have been a time consuming task.

She must have had some serious extra time on her hands. Or insomnia.

01 September 2010

Stormy weather

A pale grey band obscures my view of the galleria area skyline. Rain. It moves northward quickly, erasing the outlines of tall buildings with the density of the precipitation.

And just like that, the sunlight that was warming my office has vanished, leaving a chill in the air. The storm is advancing in my direction. Even now I hear the irregular smattering of raindrops. And soon it will be a drenching rainfall with big fat rivers of water moving to the thunderous drumbeat of the heavens.