Friday, January 24, 2014


It is still pretty cold here. Went to court this morning to listen to a highly motivational speaker threaten all of the fine new young drivers with instant bad mojo if they run a stop sign.  Then he said it all again.  And again, until he'd filled half an hour.

I loved his admonishment that we, as parents, must share our knowledge of driving with the youth seated beside us.  The biggest complaint I hear is how nobody knows how to drive.  Then there was also the irony of the Judge leaning on the podium (for most of his 30 mintues) that had a big sign saying, "Do NOT lean on This."

Could be worse days to spend your morning, like sitting in a waiting room while your car is being worked on.


"The red Camry." said Rob, handing off the packet.  "And the customer is waiting."

The customer was always waiting.  That's what they did.  Why did Rob always have to tell him that?  What if the customer wasn't waiting?  How would that change anything?  Miles took the keys from the packet and drove the red Camry into the bay.

He lined it up very carefully on the lift jack.  Miles activated the jack until the car was about three feet up.  He attached the saftey hooks to the chasis.  The kids never bothered, but they were always rushing.

The car was a little rough, but all in all, in pretty good shape for it's age.  He poked at a dent in rear quarter panel.  That would have been at the pool lot, three or four summers ago.  Miles guessed the kids had taken it, parked a bit close to the line, gotten tagged by a little Chevy.

He raised the car the rest of the way up and put in the jack pins.  "You don't need to you use those." said Jake.  Miles figured Jake would have a car fall on him someday.  Can't fix stupid.

He rolled the barrel under the front of the car and pulled the drainplug.  Thick, black oil poured out into the funnel.  He watched the burned fluid stream down, looked to have about six thousand miles on it.  Or a lot of city driving.  He tried to picture it driving through the hectic downtown, parking in garages, along the street.  It just didn't fit.  These miles were on highway.  Commuting to college?  He could see that.  The backseat filled with laundry.  That was it.

Miles rotated the tires.  They were 80k mile tires, almost due for replacement.  These had been west, in the high desert.  And to Florida.  The Florida trip hadn't been a vacation though, he could see that.  There was a day at the beach, but there was as much ash as sand.  And the the ocean wasn't crying.

Miles paused.  There was a deep scuff along the sidewall of the front tire.  That had been a close one. He rested his hand against the body, reassuring it.  Everything was okay now.  Everything was okay.

They spent an hour together before Miles put everything away and lowered the jack.  He brought it around and took the packet to Rob.

"It shouldn't take an hour to do an oil change and rotation, Miles." said Rob.  "You need to pick it up."

Miles shrugged.  "It takes as long as it takes."  He watched the little car drive out of the lot.  That had been a nice one.  No attitude, no broken spirt.  It was friendly, and giving, and loved.

"Well, try to take a little less on this one, it's the blue Carolla."  Rob handed him the packet.  "And the customer's waiting."

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