Straight-At

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

My trusty old Jeep is in the shop. Lately, anytime its motor was in the process of cranking up, it reversed quickly and died. Jeep’s repair person didn’t provide pleasant feedback. I’m advised that “my little friends” had nested under the hood, chewed wires, invaded parts, etc. The shop is waiting for the arrival of these-and-those replacement parts. Hint: the fixing will be expensive.

Yesterday armed with a new awareness, I lifted the hoods of all my other vehicles (SUV, truck, tractor, Gater, lawn mower) and peered inside. Yep, each contained signs that my little friends had been visitors. I’d been advised to avoid future invasions by purchasing mothballs because rodents can’t stand the odor. I had acted quickly, shopped for mothballs and crew socks. After combining them, I stashed under each hood a smelly package.

Especially when in a hurry, I easily forget things. Maybe I’d overlook that something’s out of place beneath a vehicle hood. My mind rolled around on whether a running motor could flame-up a mothball-filled sock. To be cautious I devised a work-around, by placing on each driver’s seat a big sign: “Mothballs Aboard!” Overlooking that seat-sign before turning a key will signal I’m “too far gone” to be driving anyway.

Not my favorite things, peering under hoods and fiddling with objects that smell badly. For future reference, I’m seeking viable alternatives to mothballs.

Fortunately, my friend Anna texted suggesting we go horseback riding. For me her idea turned the tide.

She arrived while the horses still were eating, so we re-installed the center divider of my two-horse trailer. It’s a small, easy to tow trailer, but is a “straight-in”. My horses accustomed to a large slant-in trailer refuse to enter a straight-in. Well, they’re about to face training.

Finally, we gathered and saddled the horses, traveled on neighborhood streets to the local outback with overhead big power-lines. Beneath the lines is unkempt territory with a country-like road that runs through. Anna and I had enough time and daylight for a pleasant outing out there, in the middle of seemingly nowhere and close to home. The ride balanced my day.

Dear Friends: Country life introduces city folks to new realities and coping ways. Diana

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