Thursday, April 15, 2021

Ode to a trusty companion

Written by  Jim Nakoneshny

 

I’ve been a bit distracted over the past few weeks with the loss of an old friend. It wasn’t a person or even a pet for that matter, but I’d spent as much time in its company as with probably anyone outside of my immediate family – and possibly even more, over the past many years. Yes, my automotive sidekick has expired. During the snow storm and accompanying power outage on March 29th, my car was struck in an intersection on the way home from work while the traffic lights were out. Due to its somewhat advanced age it was unceremoniously written off by SGI. Just like that a long and trusted relationship was over. 

Now I’m sure you’re thinking that this reaction is a bit over the top for just a car. And I do realize that it’s nowhere near the same category as losing someone close to you.  However, we’d been through a lot together. I’d purchased my Altima new some 19 years ago for use in my previous job which entailed travelling the province. The model was newly redesigned for that year and was a joy to drive. Day after day we’d cover the highways and byways of our vast province taking in the panoramic scenery as I’d travel from customer to customer – from Meadow Lake to Estevan, Hudson Bay to Maple Creek. I used it for work off and on for the next 9 years (between occasional company vehicles) before eventually having it as my daily driver to and from work here at the church. 

At the time of its unfortunate demise it had accumulated just over 400,000 kms. I’d calculated that I’d spent at least 8,000 hours behind the wheel – the equivalent of 8 hours per day, 5 days per week for 4 straight years. It was probably more than that. Throughout that time, it never let me down. I knew all of its quirks and secrets and what was normal behavior vs something new and potentially unsettling. Regardless of the weather, even in the dead of winter, it always started on the first turn of the key (provided that the battery was good). In the last year I’d spent a bit of money on at and it was running like (almost) new again. I figured we had a few more good years ahead of us. Then, in an instant, it was over.

Since then, we’ve been out shopping for something different. I can’t say a replacement because whatever we get will undoubtedly be used in a completely different manner than how I used this one. Trying out a number of different makes and models, each a different shape, size and configuration, makes you realize how well some things suit you and how poorly others do. But we’ll get something else, time will roll on – I’ve been through this before – and everything will ultimately be fine. But still, I’m sad to see it go. 

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