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Posts Tagged ‘life’

Mobility

the Subaru in bygone days

The Subaru had engine problems again this week.  After a day of doing errands around the Denver metro area, Bo opened the hood to find coolant everywhere– except the inside of the coolant reservoir.  His immediate thought was that the head gasket had failed after he’d driven a heavy load up the hill to our house.

Last year, a timing belt burst, taking out several other important parts of the engine, and the car was out of commission for several weeks.  It was summer, and for most of the repair period, we were doubly pleased with ourselves for making the decision to live in Golden, where work, groceries, and entertainments are within biking or walking distance.  By the time the car came back, however, it was a relief to have it; now we could buy a bottle of juice and a bag of potatoes AND a sack of rice all in the same trip!

But unlike last year’s engine crisis, this one did not leave us car-less.  Now that the Suburban is here, we have a back-up set of wheels.  We just have to think about how much extra in gas we’re willing to pay, and since it runs a little rich, how much extra exhaust we’re willing to throw into the air.

During one such errand session today (4 stores in less than 2 hours!), we saw a person carrying bags, walking along the main retail drag toward Golden.  Bo commented that he has seen her (him?) walking before, memorable because of the long red hair streaming from beneath the wide-brimmed sun hat.  We continued on home and I unloaded groceries, got dinner started, and roused Joda for a walk, while Bo fiddled with the Subaru.

A bit of investigation yesterday inside the Subaru’s inner cavity had revealed that the hose from the coolant reservoir had a tiny puncture that was weeping freely.  Could it be?  For the price of a new hose (about $10), maybe our engine problems were solved– at least the immediate ones.

After Bo replaced the hose, I loaded Joda into the Subaru for a test drive down to the creek path.  As I waited at a red light near downtown Golden, I saw the red-head (I’m pretty sure she’s female) walk by– with the same bags of groceries, still on the same outing as when we’d seen her on our way home.

This gave me pause.  This person had been walking for at least 45 minutes by the time I saw her the second time.  Talk about making your errands a major part of your day.  I felt sheepish about my mad dash at the end of a Sunday, to run errands, cook dinner, and walk the dog all in a span of a few hours.  I felt bad that we didn’t pull over in our giant gas-guzzling vehicle the first time we saw her, to offer her a ride.

Maybe next time I see someone like that, I will pull over.  Meanwhile, I just relaxed and let Joda take me on a long, leisurely walk whose route was of her own choosing.*

* Except for when she insisted on eating the nasty smooshed food that was stuck to the pavement in front of the park bench.  Then I pulled her away and made her walk the way I wanted.

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