Dear friends and readers,
Today was the day the Admiral was to give his aging Jaguar away. This is the third car he’s given WETA (our PBS channel here in the DC area).
He bought one for Caroline, a green sedan; she used it steadily and then gave it back – as I recall Wally didn’t care for poor “Steve” (Caroline’s name for the car). Maybe he disapproved of its automatic shift? Very middle class car once upon a time. Then it was supposed Yvette’s for the time she was in Sweet Briar so (the Admiral’s unreal thinking here) she would not “feel stuck” there in Lynchburg country. She did drive it to nearby stores, to a movie once or twice, and parked it (for free) in Sweet Briar parking lots. But it was very stressful and two bouts of cruel bullying by cops who stopped her and berated her for going too slowly (30 miles an hour on the slow lane would not do according to these he-male bastards) put an end to her driving. So he called WETA and they came and towed it away. Auctioned it off they said.
Then he had an Oldsmobile, bought new, at the end of a year, in a place going out of business, cost $17,000 as I recall; he ran it for a couple of years but didn’t really like it and finally bought himself another Jaguar. (He had had one earlier.) The dealer didn’t deal in “lowly” Oldsmobiles. So he called WETA and they came and towed it away. Auctioned it off they said.
Now he’s had this car for about 8 years. The problem is it will cost at least $3000 in repairs and to pass inspection (due this month). I bought my new PriusC because my Chevy was similarly up for inspection in February — and it would have been a couple of thousands of dollars for a car said to be worth $100. The original plan had been for him to trade his in for a newer used Jaguar. But he cannot drive it now. I can’t. It never saw a garage it wanted to pass. It skids in the snow. It is comfortable to be in. His barouche landau. The PriusC my pretty new landaulette.
We had (to be truthful) discussed going down to one car before my mother died and unexpectedly left me money since we are both retired and we actually have if not very good public transportation, enough to get by so we can go down to one car. We live within walking distance of grocery stores, the Metro, Old Town. If we need a second car, or must take this one in, we can rent a Zip car. We’ve done that before. I didn’t like the idea of not having my own car. I like the feeling of independence. Well now the one car is mine — to my taste. I can drive it with ease. I can’t yet figure out the cockpit of gadgets before me, but I had a hard time with some of the little icons on the Chevy.
So he called WETA and was on the phone about it for half an hour on Friday, giving them information, promising to have the title when they showed. Yes it needs work to pass inspection, a lot. Yes it’s scratched. The insides bad. You can roll open the roof but the silk undercover has come away. He told them they must take the tags off as he no longer can.
I was prepared to be sad for him. It’s the first time without a car for him since the first few months we lived here in Alexandria (yes totally without a car, either of us), but they never came. Life’s little ironies.
It was 4 o’clock so I had to call them and go from phone to phone to find the person who was empowered with a tow truck. Finally a friendly helpful young woman said “there had been a disconnect but could they come tomorrow?” No, said I, come Wednesday. I had intended to go to the library that day but I can put it off until Thursday. We will not be here tomorrow or Friday.
Tomorrow he has another endoscopy – this one may take 3-4 hours. (I’m taking three books.) Then surgeon doctor’s appointment on Friday.
Kaiser has called and next Tuesday he’s set for his first visit for getting ready for chemotherapy — they will take pictures of all sorts, blood, do a whole work up. The idea is if the surgeon says we should begin with radiation, we won’t have to wait yet more for another appointment and can start say a few days after that (say just after Memorial Day); if the surgeon should say he’ll operate first, nothing lost. They are looking out for him now.
So the WETA people better come. Three cars we’ve given them, none in great shape but all auctionable, so now I need not feel at all guilty. I’m not a free rider, we’ve done our bit. The admiral did ask them if they could somehow rout the money to their radio station as that is what we listen to — especially in the evenings. We hardly ever put the TV on. Of course they said they’d try — but I give it to them they hesitated. They probably can’t earmark funds that way.
It’s sort of funny. Tried to give away his beautiful car. And still they didn’t come.
I’m very worn tonight. He’s in bad pain from his sciatica in his left leg, up and down and especially in the ankle. The pain medication just makes him groggy and does not sufficiently remove the pain. I see him with his hand on his chest. He belches a lot from swallowing air. The day has been very wearing.
Cela me désole.