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I love those weeks when almost everything goes wrong. Frustration sets in, time slows down, and my inner witch tends to surface. Last week tried my patience more than I’d like to admit. First, backed-up plumbing, a real joy. Next, my car died, thanks to an overachieving ground squirrel with a taste for fine wiring. When turning the key, the car hiccupped a few times, shook in a convincing death throe, and expired with a cough.

According to Larry at LMR Automotive, who spent time tracing all of the wiring, or lack thereof, starting the car evidently fried the on-board computer because of all the chewed wires. Not too much of a problem normally, other than expense, we ran into another setback: computers for 17-year-old vehicles are difficult to find. In other words, they quit making them. Geesh. So, now, the hunt is on. Hopefully, by the time this is published, I’ll have my car back!

In the meantime, I had to be at St. Joseph’s in Phoenix for a Transesophageal Echocardiogram at seven o’clock in the morning … oh-dark-hundred … the middle of the night … earlier than reasonably expected. I’m not a morning person. My good friend and neighbor, Chris, jumped into the breach and drove me to my appointment as I wasn’t allowed to drive there or home. It wasn’t a pleasant procedure, but the happy juice in the veins helped, and since I was accompanied by a responsible adult, I was discharged early. Throat is still a bit sore, but the doctors did get the information they needed. I find out in another week.

It’s funny how helpless you feel without your trusty vehicle. Even though I’m not allowed to drive right now because of extreme dizziness, I can have someone else drive my car when I need to shop or have a doctor’s appointment, a dilemma that started me thinking about how settlers fared when they populated this area. The biggest drawback was time. Today, we can drive to Prescott in 45 minutes, Phoenix an hour or so. Prior to the advent of automobiles, a trip to Prescott and back to Cordes Lakes would have taken two or three days on foot or horse and buggy, factoring in travel, shopping, and probably staying over to avoid traveling in the desert at night. A list was essential; running back for a forgotten item wasn’t practical.

General stores popping up in Cordes and Mayer would have shortened the travel time, but getting supplies would still have taken an entire day. I’m grateful today’s trip by car is much more comfortable, thanks to air conditioning and suspension systems! I’ve ridden in buckboards, which literally rattle your bones if the road is not smooth. I love westerns where the characters spryly leap out of the wagon or stagecoach. Unless there’s a cushion on the seat, your tailbone suffers.

We all have a lot to be grateful for in today’s world. Using a car to go shopping is one of them!

Until next time.