Kat & I have been down & out for the last two weeks with the Cold that Would Not Yield. Every night we go to bed sniffling, every morning the sniffles are still there. It’s all we can do to drag ourselves to the places we have to go.
The process of dragging ourselves into the world has been particularly difficult, as our dear car, Emily, has been out of commission for a month. The five minute drive to the warehouse has become a half-hour bike ride, which would be fine if we were in normal health. But when you’re hacking up a lung while peddling uphill, against sideways rain, it’s tough not to feel a bit sorry for yourself.
Last week we had a lovely little cold snap, -5 C with snow which is unheard of in this region. The cold made the bike ride to the warehouse particularly unpleasant. Then the brake cable on my bike froze and snapped, so I was down to the last mode of transportation – my feet.
We had pinned our hopes on a minor repair which our mechanic completed for us last week, unfortunately this minor repair (an additive to the oil to reseal the head gasket) revealed that the water pump, replaced last January, needs to be replaced again. We discovered this when Emily overheated while going up a small hill, stranding Kat by the side of the highway.
Thus ends the story of our 1991 Chevrolet Cavalier, Emily Carr. It’s a shame, we were really hoping to get a full year out of her, maybe two if we were lucky. Our mechanic is going to try one more thing to see if we can get Emily running again, at which point we’ll sell her for a very small sum of money. If we can’t get her going again, we’ll sell her for parts.
Out of the ashes of this tragedy, the blessing of our friends has bloomed. We are no longer alone in a geographically isolated town of rugged beauty. This year, we have a community: friends, neighbours and landlords have offered their help freely and generously. They’ve given us valuable advice, rescued us when we were stranded, repaired our bikes and even lent us their vehicles. Our community looks after it’s own, and we know we’ll be okay.
And so, in the shadow of Emily’s demise, a scrappy little Toyota Tercel is resurrected. Our friends Dan & Stacey have offered us the use of their car which has been sitting, unused, for lack of insurance. This morning, the little red hatchback roared back to life.
We have wheels once again.