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If anyone remembers the Macro Manic Day post, you might have wondered if the car ever exploded.

Well, the good news is it hasn’t so far, and I’ve been forced to drive it only once since my “I will never drive this car again” vow.

Our car is so special. It is a red 1991 Jeep Cherokee. The parking brake doesn’t work. The cassette player is on the fritz. You can’t pick up any radio stations at all around here because the country station is so overpoweringly strong (and the antenna is not connected to the radio. Apparently, it will take a lot of money to fix that). The air conditioner and the cruise control are gone forever. Our right back passenger door got caved in in some accident and was replaced with a white one that doesn’t open from the outside. Some crack-pot body shop. The right rear plastic that covers the taillight is broken. My son has the light itself held onto the car by electrical tape. These are the little things.

The bigger things are the oil leak, between the main parts of the engine. This can only be fixed by pulling the engine. So we drive around with a can of oil in the car at all times and a terrible stench of oil burning on the engine. At all times.

Then there are the doors. They are falling off. The welds that hold the door hinges to the car are breaking. Well, the driver’s side one already completely broke. The professional welder said it was impossible to fix, that no weld would ever hold. So this other guy hubby ran into, who was an amateur welder and didn’t know it couldn’t be done, welded it back on. There is a wadded up plastic bag stuck between the place where the door closes on the little button that makes the car go beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep when the door is open, because the door doesn’t close right and without the wadded up piece of plastic, it would just go beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee all the time while we were driving it (but never get to that terminal p), and run the car battery down to nothing when it was not being driven.

So that weld’s getting ready to go again; we don’t dare open the door all the way. The passenger door is starting to go too. We can see where the weld is starting to fail.

And two nights ago, we discovered what was probably the cause of the horrible stench and smoke coming out of the steering column that day. Because, ta-da! the windshield wipers no longer work!

So driving it in the rain is going to be a challenge.

Now, whenever I have to drive somewhere (which I avoid whenever possible because it usually results in a social encounter of some kind), I take the newer vehicle, the 1993 green-and-white GMC pickup I like to call “Truckie,” and which our ubiquitous  friend refers to as “the Jimmy,” which drives me completely bonkers because it is NOT A JIMMY and he pronounces it “Jyyemmy” which takes about 15 seconds to say–Now the “Jyyemmy” is special too, because its windshield is a spiderwork of cracks, the window washer fluid doesn’t work, there is no stereo or radio, and I can’t use the parking brake because the release is broken off. There is a thingy down there that I can access and pull towards me while pushing on the parking brake pedal, but the brake won’t release unless I let go of the parking brake pedal while my hand is under there pulling the thingy so the pedal almost always smashes my hand. It just got a supposedly new clutch (new until the mechanic spilled the beans by telling hubby, “you’ll think it’s a brand-new clutch”). It makes a horrible noise which hubby says is meaningless. It has no functional spare tire and even if it did we don’t have a lug wrench in it or a good spot to place a jack. This makes it extra scary to pull horses (it’s already scary enough)…Also, the passenger side rearview mirror is broken and held together by duct tape and one of the rear tail lights is missing, and worst of all, the seatbelt things that you snap the seatbelt into are BROKEN! all but one. So, for passengers to be buckled in, it is necessary to pull the passenger seatbelt across your lap, then feed the center seatbelt up through it, and then put the center belt down through the driver’s seatbelt, and push it into the latch. So when two or three people are in the truck, we are all dependent upon the center belt fed through the driver and passenger belts. From the outside, it looks like we are seatbelted, but I don’t know if the seatbelts would pass inspection were an officer to look inside. The one good thing that can be said for the GMC, which cannot be said for the Jeep, is that the heater works.

There. I don’t know if I’m manic, depressed, enraged, or trying to keep my mind off something else, but you are now informed about our cars. You’re welcome.

I wish all of it was this easy...

I wish all of it was this easy…

I call it macro-shoveling, and I hate it. But it’s necessary in order to obtain beauty.

It’s the part of the job where I go into the weed-infested area that was the flower garden last year (where’d all the weeds come from??), and turn the earth over with a full-sized hand shovel. Step on shovel with one foot, anchor the shovel in the dirt, then jump on it with both feet, jump off, and heave the chunk of soil over. And do it over. And over. And again. I’m out of shape and it’s exhausting and my back hurts.

Oh, no…is Horsebackwriter going into some kind of stupid metaphor about how working hard to prepare garden soil is like managing bipolar disorder?

Meh.

So my husband is going to go over that with the little hand-push tiller, and then it will be time for the good part. The micro-shoveling, where I go in there with a little spade and dig little holes. And we plant flowers! Whoopee!

This is partly why no writing lately. Schedule is mad. School kids are in finals, horses and track, and stress. And preparing the big vegetable garden (with the tractor, hubby’s way)… That and of course bipolar disorder, and depression. Yes I’m writing about bipolar, but it seems like I only write about it when things suck. Kind of like how I used to pray to God. When things suck. Now, through grace, I manage to give gratitude and praise even when things don’t suck.

So when things most recently sucked, I did not write about it, on purpose. Things don’t suck now, so I think I must be slightly manic. Especially since the adventure this afternoon. While driving the car to the bus stop, I smelled something burning. This in itself is not unusual, because of the oil leak dripping onto the engine somewhere, I think hubby said some kind of “manifold,” which causes enough smoke to slither from beneath the hood to make me believe the engine is on fire.

This smell was more rubbery. Mind you, the ignition was so hot from the sun I felt like I was burning my fingers when I started the car. But when I got to the bus stop to wait for the kids, after turning the car off, I noticed smoke coming off the steering column. Funny, I thought it was hot but not that hot. I turned the ignition to “on” so I could listen to my Supertramp tape, and oh, goodness, there was the smoke and stench again. I turned it off. The smoke disappeared. Thinking it was just too hot I turned the ignition to “on” again, and opened the windows. When I looked back down the steering column was smoking again. I turned the ignition off. As I did these things the smoke got to billowing, but only when the ignition was on.

The steering column will explode if I try to drive the kids home!! I thought.

Kids, I said, we have to walk home. No, don’t leave your books in the car, it may burst into flames. How was the track meet? Did you have to give your English presentation today?

Two miles later, I hadn’t yet noticed that I had not experienced a negative emotion one time during this frightening inconvenience. No switches flipping, no panic, no anger, no nothing, except tired. All afternoon macro-digging, and now this. The kids were way ahead of me. I felt old. And I had such a bad toothache that I didn’t dare open my mouth to huff and puff because the driving wind might hurt me. But accepting of circumstances, I plodded along like a horse.

Hubby scoffed at my concern that he was going to get blown up if he went back for the car and tried to drive it home. I said a little prayer when hubby’s friend drove him over to get the car, and soon enough hubby was back safely.

THERE HAD BEEN NO SMOKE! NO NOTHING! Of course, not for him. Well.

BUT IT WAS THERE! And the burning rubber stench, too, I asserted. Asserted, not yelled. Well I am happy for him but a bit appalled that since I will no longer drive that car ever again (I’ve made that promise before), I worry that he will blithely drive it clear into town and not notice when the steering column is once again about to go up in flames.

I wish they made a fertilizer for tilling the soil that also contained a substance lethal to all species of ants but completely nontoxic to humans and animals. Wouldn’t that be great?

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