(She wore her Looking I’m still looking out the back window and up the hill, just as I did last year when the Blog fairies tricked me into pursuing my new hobby, but this January sky withholds the promise of better things to come, insists on the pale blue of winter twilight and its pale pink undertones. Since Jim began grooming our hill many things have changed there. Jim has taken out the dead trees, thinned new stands and given it a broader more generous setting. But in January that hardly counts against a disorder that can only be described as involuntary, the kind of disorder that comes about when unfinished jobs turn into scattered ideas….. I suppose you could say we have aided and abetted winter in this particular case, since not everyone experiences chicken wire fences that sag in torpor against the ravages of wind and weather. This year so far has been abnormally dry also, and what once might have been hidden by a foot of fallen snow lies catch as catch can on the various outcroppings of shrub and rocks. It all gives rise to depressed musings such as I guess it’s all our fault that it is such a mess.
We know it is going to end, but the power of the metaphor is such that it accepts what plain observation would imagine to be true. That knowledge, transmitted by experience, tells us that the world has died and on a certain level we agree……………..
But why go on, when it is possible that the dread prediction will not get expressed for yet awhile. Jack borrowed my car to take back to school with him for one week. I don’t mind saying that although I agreed immediately that he should take it till the hole in his Jeep radiator gets plugged, Just saying that though burned me. Why is it that the young folk nowadays get so much professional help. A hole in the radiator didn’t used to cause so much consternation. In fact, just using a Latinized word like that would have landed me in some kind of jailhouse for language putrifiers. We are no elitists here, is what I remember. We used to live simpler lives. There is, in my memory, similar malfunctions malfunctions like the hole in the radiator. How well I remember our own little drama on Rte 66, on a trip across country in our ’37 Ford. We drove across the desert, the canvas water bag we carried in those days swinging on the back bumper. The water bag was intended to forestall any event like the one we were about to experience.
Looking back, my memory no longer perfectly clear on all the details, I still imagine us to be singing, adding our voices to the rush of air from the open windows, the rattle of the jalopy on the imperfect roadway, probably singing a favorite parody of Glory Glory Halleluja (She wore her silk pajamas in the summer when it’s hot…etc) little David sitting on my lap in car seat prehistory adding his sweet voice, when Harry slammed on the brakes and ordered us out of the car. David and I stood by the side of the road listening to the terrible sound of steam and boiling water Harry dared to lift the hood, steam poured out, Harry told us to watch out for fire and I picked David up and ran a little away. Slowly the engine cooled down, the steam stopped, the air cleared and we stood alone in the desert, nothing but a few cacti on the horizon, no traffic.
You are right in assuming that it was the radiator. There was a hole in the radiator, but in those days people were resourceful. They knew how to fix things. Harry explained that we would have to wait until the metal in the car had cooled enough to handle. There were peanut butter sandwiches in the car and apples, because in those days we ate simply. Harry actually had a Twinkie. We were patient and sat in our cooling car no longer afraid. And when the time came Harry chewed four sticks of Juicy Fruit gum until all the flavor was gone. He plugged the hole in the radiator with the gum, and poured the water from the canvas bag in it and off we went, pulling into Salt Lake City before dark. I don’t see young people nowadays handling problems like that so well.
If Jack had wanted to, he could have done the same thing, but I didn’t even mention it. As I suggested before, the young people today simply aren’t as inventive as they used to be. I’m not complaining either. I know they’ve got a lot of stuff to learn that would just lay me low, all those i things, for instance. But I do feel that as human beings we lose something every time progress brings us a new solution to an old problem. So Jack gave me a hug and promised he would take good are of my car. I know he will. And if something should happen to go wrong he will take the car to a mechanic with a professional certificate attesting to his skills, and that might be the best way of all.