Just saw the film, The Lady in the Van. In the film Maggie Smith is interacted with primarily by a person who lives a split life, one as a writer and one as a liver. Whenever I’m thinking about writing something I split like that fellow although never so elegantly that we stand at the window and look down our glasses in quite such an erudite and frustrated way.
In my case I think of a topic and I start to make my case. I don’t write in my mind full time so don’t have that maddening extra self. The case in point today is about my day which has turned out fine in every way despite the topic burden… I even lucked into being with my friend Caroline at the movie.
So, today’s installment is mainly about my capitulation in the matter of Dieselgate. You may or may not know that Michael and I looped the US on veggie oil in 2007 and 2008 for roughly 10 months but we ran our truck on veggie oil well before that and up until a week before he died. My 2006 VW Golf was bought as a veggie car (special heaters, lines and a second tank,) but Michael had to take the two tank system off because I had problems with stalling. I have continued to run it on bio-diesel (most recently solely Thanks to Springboard Biodiesel http://www.springboardbiodiesel.com/ a quarter mile from my home,) and I’m committed to using waste grease to run my vehicles- zero carbon. (At least until I am so old I can make do on a solar car.) Michael bought the Suzuki to convert it to a diesel engine even though it ran rough when he bought it… That vehicle has eluded all mechanical fathoming, no one can figure out how to get it to smog. (Eventually I’ll sneak over the state line and sell it, I guess, but it’s the vehicle I really want—four wheel drive, high clearance and long enough to sleep in… but alas, old, high miles, relatively poor MPG and GAS compared with the VW…) In my mind’s eye I pictured that I was going to get a Jetta, Passat or Toureg wagon that I could camp in (realizing the clearance issue would be a huge limitation on the first two and the affordability would limit me with the really impractically too-big Toureg.) Then the emissions scandal hit. Volkswagon completely outdid itself in criminality—85,000 vehicles running 40 times the allowed nitrous oxide levels! You could say breath-taking and mean it! So, buying and running any of those vehicles would be wrong (my Golf isn’t reliable but at least it was not in the recall years,) and Volkswagon still hasn’t come up with its recall plan, nor how it will be paid for. The car I want is being dumped on Craig’s List all over the country but I can’t buy one and just sit on it and hope for the best.
The whole idea was to go visit Orien after our protest at Creech Air Force Base after Easter then go back up to Utah for Michael’s birthday… to be in red-rock country. (No, there are no other affordable diesels and I don’t want a truck. I don’t want a hybrid… that’s still gas.) So I’ll be in a carpool to Creech in a hybrid and come home after the action. I’m becoming resigned that every strong longing I have doesn’t have to be satisfied.
I did let myself leap into a few lesser indulgences today though. There was nothing at all on my calendar so I did my usual thing at home but also planted clover and alyssum in the mist, before the big expected rain dump this weekend. I also took myself to breakfast after yoga (one little thought I’ll mention, I got a News and Review and actually thought, “I’ll read one in the restaurant and bring one home for Michael“ before I could catch myself.)
Lastly, this rain that is coming will be a blizzard in the mountains. A big part of me strains to be up there but without at least the Suzuki (still with the mechanic,) it’s not safe nor practical. I pull to do the things I want and fret ahead of the days with nothing scheduled but still today was a treat, perhaps because I made it one at some expense, but it was beautiful and enjoyable after working Monday and Tuesday this week and some intense things going on in our world and locally. I can’t deflect the silence, make myself be particularly social, nor always get what I want, but I can enjoy all the little things that flesh out a perfect day like today.