Had an appointment in town. Car would not start. Did the usual things (I carry tools and a spare battery with jumpers at all times) and concluded, “She’s broke!” We caught a ride with a neighbour and I made my appointment. Sal was left to deal with the car. She did. Tow truck went to get it. It will be towed in and fixed. A few days, I guess. Boat access only until then.
It is a good car. But all things break.
I kinda feel it is my job to figure all this stuff out and have contingency plans in place when a major component of the ‘independence facade’ breaks down. And I don’t really have one for a vehicle ‘down’. One tends to rely on the kindness of neighbours and strangers instead when such times happen. And – for the record – both neighbours and strangers rose graciously to the occasion this time. We are very grateful.
And we have risen and driven graciously for others in the past, too. It is a system. But it is not an ‘independent’ system. Not in the least. And, of course, it is not a long term system. We really must do better.
And, rembember, when we ‘outliers’ get to the vehicle, we have already left home in a boat and are carrying stuff. You ‘meet’ your car already one third of the way into the trip. It is NOT in your garage, it is in a forest on a different island sometimes in the snow and sometimes in the dark. I dunno….somehow that is a different kind of vulnerability to vehicular (or even wardrobe) malfunction, ya know?
But, what to do? A second car was the go-to plan when living in the city even tho the city provided an inneffective but relatively cheap alternative in transit. I mean, you could not rely on public transit and have a life but you could get to work. Which, when you think about it, serves the state and commerce well but makes the ridership drones and cattle.
Still, any camel in the desert will do, eh?
But we don’t have public transit. Not having a public is the main reason, I guess. So, one needs a vehicle. And one needs a specific kind of vehicle, too. One that will go off-road, carry a lot of stuff and people and NOT break down. It is an odd contradiction in thinking but, despite not driving more than 200 kms a month, my vehicle has to be top-notch and large and ideally I should have two of them.
Think: two multi-thousand dollar investments to ensure the ability to go twenty miles two to three times a month carrying heavy loads. NOT logical. But real.
The overall plan to live in paradise is a great one. One I promote to anyone listening. Or reading. And I would not alter that boosterism in the least as a result of some of the compromises one has to make. Yes, you have bigger challenges shopping. Yes, you live more physically. Yes to this and to that. And to more. Much more. But the reward of a wonderful life is worth it. No question.
But this car thing is a bigger hurdle than most. Believe it or not, we are even more dependent on it than one might be in the city. Less use. But always more critical. And it is always a surprise. Usually a very inconvenient surprise.
I really have to work on this one.
I was thinking of adding a motorcycle to the stable. And that might do the job. But crashing a motorcycle is an inevitable part of using one and after 65 crashing loses some of it’s cachet. A cheap but mechanically sound piece of crap that will stand in for a week now and then might be the answer – especially if it is in the same category as the primary vehicle for ICBC insurance purposes. I may look out for another 1996 Pathfinder. Thank God the market values them cheaply. Some sort of community-owned vehicle sounds good but is not really practical. It involves people. You understand.
One thing is for sure – having only one vehicle that you rely on out here is an Achilles heel. I am just thankful it has been ten years of NOT having to really think about it. But now I do.