Car trouble

It is deafening, the sound.

I turn to my husband: “What’s the matter with the car?”

He’s driving. He looks perplexed. “What do you mean?”

“That droning sound. It’s so loud.”

“Oh, that. It’s just the road.”

This is a man who once worked at a major auto parts store. Granted, he took the job because he needed one if we were going to get married, long, LONG ago, when he was twenty-three and I was just turning twenty…he jokes that all he knew about cars at the time is you put gas in them.

Ahem. How much has he learned since?

“It’s NOT just the road! My car doesn’t make this noise on this road! We’re not on a steel drawbridge or anything.” (Anyone who’s ever driven across a metal draw on a bridge will know what I mean. It’s a loud, hollow, wiggly sound, directly related to the sensation in one’s stomach).

This droning sound changes with acceleration and deceleration.

“I think it’s your tires.”

Eventually he checks his tires, after I say the noise is so unnerving that I won’t ride with him anywhere else until he does. I am imagining blowouts, being stranded on the roadside, swerving in traffic when anything could happen… although I looked at the tires myself and thought they had okay-looking treads (confession: I am clearly not a car-ish kinda person, either).

He gets four nice new tires.

I happily climb into the passenger side to ride with him to… I forget, actually…when:

drrrrooooOOOOOOOONNNNnne

“IT’S STILL MAKING THAT SOUND!” I exclaim (shout? holler?).

“Well, it’s not AS loud,” he says, driving right along.

“YES IT IS! Something’s not right. This sounds like go-carts I rode as a kid. Only louder.”

He then informs me his friend tells him it may be a hole in the muffler.

He still does not seem to be concerned about driving this car.

I do not understand it.

At all.

And by the way, the tire-changing establishment told him, when they loaded him up with the four nice new tires, that he needed some brake work also.

I am getting suspicious.

He gets the brake work done and mentions to the establishment that he (and in particular, his wife) still hears the droning sound.

The establishment says: It’s probably something in your transmission. We don’t do that kind of work. You will have to take it to a full-service auto repair.

But they fix up his brakes quite nicely, graciously throwing in a couple of coupons, which is akin to throwing a cup of water on a raging bonfire… moving on, however…

Of course the droning continues. I ride with my husband to the grocery store. This is when we encounter two beautiful, fly-masked horses trotting along the backroads, completely unattended, but that is another story. I’ve begun to feel like imagery of potential harm and disaster is practically screaming at me with every turn. We manage to get home (apparently the horses did, too, as we would have heard otherwise from friends…in the countryside, news travels fast, especially if it’s bad).

I look up all the possible things that could be making the droning sound.

One of them is bad wheel bearings.

“Did the tire-brake people ever say anything about your wheel bearings?” I ask.

“Oh yeah, they checked ’em. Said they were fine.”

Something is definitely NOT fine…and it better NOT be a bearing.

Today my husband takes the car to a full-service repair, local, privately-owned, folks who’ve been in the area forever. Reputable and reliable.

A few hours later, a call: It’s a bearing….

Alrighty then.

As soon as the bearing is repaired and we are allowed to get that car, I will be riding with my husband straight to the former tire-and-brake establishment to have, shall we say, a discussion.

And I better NOT hear the tiniest hint of droning along the way…

Car Trouble. Jan Tik.CC BY 2.0

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with thanks to the Two Writing Teachers community for the weekly Slice of Life Story Challenge. Life is full of challenges, is it not. The writing challenge, at least, is a welcome one…

Dear Goat

Dear Goat In The Pasture At The End Of The Street Where I Make a Right Turn On My Way to Work Each Morning:

I just want to say thank you for lifting my spirits on weekday mornings as I drive by your pasture. You cannot know that I look for you and your herdmates, or how the sight of you fills me with inexplicable peace. Perhaps it’s the idyllic setting, the pastoral scene with its inherent restfulness. Maybe it’s the continuity. Your pasture remains as it always has, while all around us fields are being bulldozed and sculpted for the coming of houses. The trees farther down this road are being timbered this very moment… I wonder: Had birds already nested in them? Were there any little eggs that are now lost? It’s possible; this is March. Isn’t tampering with birds’s nests and eggs a crime? I digress. I cannot help it, watching the trees come down even though I know the new houses to be erected will be homes where people will build their lives and live their stories, where children will grow up… meanwhile, on the other side of the world, a man is busily destroying people’s homes, sending them fleeing from danger like animals trying to outrun a raging forest fire, in search of a different place to survive…

Yesterday as I came through here I heard a bird calling and wondered if its tree is gone. Will the big, beautiful,snowy-feathered hawks soon be gone, too? I haven’t seen one for weeks now. I keep watching. And in all the years I’ve lived here, I’ve never seen skunks until last week when I saw two dead in the road and my son saw a third. We didn’t smell them, thankfully. Makes me wonder about them never seeing the end coming…

I don’t know why I should be telling you all of this, dear Brown Goat in your green pasture so often dappled with new morning light when I drive by. All I really meant to say is thank you. I see you grazing in the grass and a tiny bit of balance returns to the universe. Your placid nature spills into mine. You somehow impart the right and needed mood for the day…

I am grateful for you.

Sincerely,

An Admirer

P.S. I would deliver this letter to you in person but I suspect you would only eat it… I’ve had to eat my words before and it’s not a particularly pleasant experience… trust me.

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with thanks to Two Writing Teachers for the Slice of Life Story Challenge every day in the month of March.