October 9, 2018

Addition to the Fleet

Graciousmobile II
     Gotcha. No, I'm not writing about our U.S. Navy ships, manned by dedicated Americans. I'm writing about my Graciousmobile II. And this is the short version:
     It was a blisteringly hot day in Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida.  My original Graciousmobile I, a 2005 silver Chrysler PT Cruiser, was loaded with dog, husband, luggage and granddaughter Ava. The purpose of our trip was to safely return the small child into the waiting arms of her loving parents after a week's worth of hardcore wackiness at our annual Grammy Camp. So, there we were, gas tank full, dog secured in her own personal puppy seat with us all buckled in and the key in the ignition. 
    "Grammy, I'm hot," came Ava's sweet voice from the back, as she pressed her little self into the door, keeping her distance from the sometimes irritable rescued Chihuahua, Abby, with whom she shared the back seat.
     "Hang on, baby girl.  I'm firing up the Cruiser right now.  I turned the key and the engine whirled the way an engine should.  "Crank the windows down and let the heat out till the air conditioning catches up," I directed all, backing us out of the driveway.  That's when I saw Abby's face in my rear view mirror. She was panting and, far too hard, to take a trip to the corner let alone a trip several hours away.  The AC had conked out.  What a time for this to happen. We were on a deadline because Ava had to get home. As an aside:  I had recently taken the elderly Graciousmobile I to the garage to have the AC repaired.  They couldn't find the leak, so put some sort of stop-leak somewhere under the hood.  The mechanic told me it should stay cool long enough to carry us through the summer and well into the fall. He was wrong. 
     Now I could have stood the drive with all the windows down.  Bruce could have, too, but not the small child and certainly not the semi-sweet dog.  So, straight away, we went to the only rental car company on the island, picked up a white car and got Ava home on schedule. 
     A white car?  What kind, you might wonder.  I can't tell you because I don't care about cars, so much so, I don't even remember what brand it was.  I have never had any interest in cars and that is a big part of why I dragged my feet for such a long time when it came to buying another vehicle.  I needed a sign, something to force me to go car shopping.  No air conditioning in the summer was that sign. So, as long as there is a radio and a working air conditioner, I'll drive anything.  It would follow that I don't watch car commercials either. I will admit I do recognize a Jeep, a truck, a bus, a convertible, a station wagon,  a Model T or similar vehicles, a bread truck, a dump truck and a Jaguar.  A Jaguar has round front fenders.  Did James Bond drive one of those?  Oh, and an old Mustang and a '57 Chevy.
     Okay, where do I begin? Fact #1: A new car had to fit inside our one car garage with enough room for me to still exit the vehicle. Fact #2: It needs as much cargo room as my PT Cruiser.      (Bruce went car shopping 11 years ago with my five-foot book rack in hand. The Cruiser  was the only car that would hold my rack.)
      I was on a quest and Google was my friend. I filled three single-spaced legal pad sheets of paper with stats of cross-over/small SUVs, I think they were called. I had no idea how many kinds and styles there were. I was truly shocked.  My four columns per page were  Name/Brand, Width/Length, Cargo Space and Mileage. The winner was this 2019 Honda Fit! (The 2019 was less money than a 2018. Go figure!) It comfortably fits in the garage, gets 33 miles per hour in the city and 40 on the highway and the seats lay down. While the cargo space is less, it's as big inside as I could find. The final plus for me is the brilliant bright red of the machine. The newest Graciousmobile II needs to stand out and show off her Goodbye Lie series signs and, by jingo, she certainly does. I love her! 

P.S. Sometime I'll have to tell you about the time I followed my son-in-law's car. The family is still raggin' me over that one. 

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