Crunchy Thoughts

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Balls of Steele

There is a little town in Alabama by the name of Steele, which I had the unexpected pleasure of visiting a few weeks ago. I veered into it when my little Ford Contour (yeah, I know) decided it’s true call in life was horse impersonation and began bucking back and forth.

Here’s an interesting fact I learned about Steele: in Steele, it is apparently customary for the boss of the car repair shop to take the (only) car computer mind-reader with them when they go to a doctor’s appointment. Surprising, yes? I was surprised, too. The only diagnosis my car received while I was there was a noticeable separating of the left back tire, which was a totally different problem.

Dad rescued me and the two kitties from the small town of Steele where my car sat until the next day when she was diagnosed and repaired; all without my permission. It was ~$182.00, which wouldn’t have been so bad if she had actually been fixed.

On the way home, as the car bucked and tried with all her might to neigh, Steven uttered the magic words to me: “Let’s get rid of this car.”

Ask and you shall receive, baby.

That afternoon I was on a Saturn lot, where my mother had just gotten a new car the week before. The next day we stopped by a Honda lot; I wanted to see those Elements I had been eyeing since their first commercial.

The next evening, after a rousing session of over-the-phone haggling, I was at a Honda dealership in Chattanooga signing papers. It was a very ‘grown-up’ moment for me, if that makes any sense. Even the negotiating process was amusing; I was conducting an orchestra of dealerships across the tri-state area, all straining their calculators to be heard. It was a lovely counterpoint.

And now, the car. We got a Galapagos Green 2004 Honda Element EX, auto transmission and two-wheel drive. The ‘EX’ translates into things like cruise control, ABS brakes, keyless entry, power everything, yada yada. Oh, and his name is Elliott, after the composer. And last but not least, we got a damn good price.

Back to the Ford (who’s official name is Raspberry Beret, by the by), the total bill that weekend came to a little over three hundred dollars once we replaced the two back wheels. We didn’t trade her in; we’re going to try to sell her ourselves. She was looked over by a mechanic in Alabaster who cannot re-create the horse-bucking, so we’ve just got to get the title and she’s on the market.

I haven’t told her any of this yet. She’s still in Alabaster (never made it back to Fort Payne), so she hasn’t seen Elliott yet. I’ve had her eight long years; I’m gonna cry.

Hey, anybody want a 1996 Ford Contour? She’s got auto transmission, ABS brakes, power everything, midnight red color (read: dark purple), 81,000 miles.

I am going to cry, though.


And to those of you who think the Elements are ugly, get this: I don’t care; we love it!


I know this is an awful long post already, but there’s just been so many life-changing events!

Life-changing event #2: Cathy and Jason got married, yay!

Though the wedding weekend was packed full, everything went off without a hitch, much to the happiness of Cathy’s nervous system. I mostly remember all of the food. Food, food, and yet more food was piled upon us from Thursday to Sunday. It was all so good, too; we had to eat it all!

There was also a lot of coming and going to a plethora of meetings, appointments, practices, and parties. The bridesmaid’s luncheon, especially, was very nice. I want to live in that old house that they turned into a restaurant. Maybe someday it’ll turn back into a house . . . and relocate a few more blocks away from the campus area.

The ceremony itself was lovely. Nobody tripped, nobody forgot where to go or what to do, and nobody flubbed their lines . . . except a small slip-up by Jason, who was quite eager to say ‘I do.’ Maybe he was thinking about that smiley-face groom’s cake.


We are now looking at four weeks until Steven officially graduates. What will I do without all the long-distance weekend trips in my life? I guess we’ll just have to drive down to the beach a lot to satisfy our traveling urges. Man, I can’t wait.

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