My Resolution Will Change Everything- to include my car! by Beverly Geer

A couple of days ago I was hit by a Hummer. A great silver Hummer with a big black roll bar on the front. We were at a four way stop. I stopped. He stopped. I went. He went. The only problem being that he went as I was not quite through the intersection. You remember watching chase scenes and the bad guy is getting away? He drives over the train tracks, gets stuck and the train hits him? It was like that. Except, we were both going so incredibly slow that there was no screeching sound of metal being dragged across metal. It was more a crunching sound. And more important no-one was hurt. Well, except my poor car.

The driver turned out to be a potbellied man in his late 60’s wearing full camouflage. He was a Purple Heart Vet. I know this because he had it on his license plate. He said he didn’t see me. I can buy that; it was dark and I drive a dark gray car. It was very early in the morning and there was no traffic. I think it was more a matter of he didn’t expect to see me. We both had the same insurance. A military insurance. Comes with its own brand of honor. You swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth, so help me God, and thank you for your service. That kind of honor. At least that is how I see it.

Anyways, as there was no need to call Police, our insurance information shared (thank goodness for cell phones that take pictures), we were both on our way in just a few minutes. He was on his way to the Lutheran Church and I was off to my job at the hospital. It turns out that you can get hit by a big silver hummer and still make it to your shift with 2 minutes to spare. I called my insurance company, got to speak to a human almost immediately (I love my insurance company, if I were ever to get a divorce, I would demand custody of them!), filed my claim, and by noon my car was in a repair shop.

Funny story- I had actually gone out to my car to see the damage in the light of day. Got out to the parking lot- no car. I swore I parked in the front row, second lot. I looked again- nope- no car. Just an empty space. For a half second, I thought ‘isn’t there some kind of law that if your car gets hit, it cannot also get stolen?’ But even as I thought this, I was pulling out my cell phone calling husband. Yes, he had already taken the car to be repaired and the truck was in the parking lot for me. The next day I was driving a rental.

Side story about the rental. Cute little thing, a Kia something. Silver. My husband handed me the key fob and said later we will go out and ‘I will show you how to start it.’ Now I have been driving for 46 years. Pretty sure after 46 years I know how to start a car. Still, after dinner, we go tramping out to the driveway so he can show me how to start a car. The door is locked. I pull the key fob from my pocket. No key. Lots of buttons! The kind of buttons that look like they belong on a language board. All pictures, no words. I push the unlock button and I am in. Sit down. The ignition switch says push to start- I push it. Nothing. ‘You have to put your foot on the brake’, says husband.

Foot on brake, push button, car starts! It’s a miracle!

Well, what do you know? Keyless ignition. I fiddle with mirrors and seat adjustments and when I am set go to turn off the car. Things are getting fishy. There is an ignition switch that says ‘Push to Start’, so now I am looking for a button that says ‘Push to Stop’. No such button. Damn! Husband leans in ‘ you have to put your foot on the brake and push the ignition button’.

Foot on brake, push button, car stops. It’s another miracle!

Turns out I did need a lesson in how to start a car. This actually gives me a little thrill because at my age, one becomes conscious that old age is creeping up and one must do all one can to counteract the possibility of dementia. I had read once that a person who continuously is learning new things is less likely to get dementia. If I am wrong, please don’t tell me.

So, by now I know you are asking what does any of this have to do with My Resolution Will Change Everything? Bear with me a little longer. We are getting there.

We are living in such a tumultuous world. The COVID Pandemic has changed the way we live, how we work, even how we educate our children. Add to that burden is the financial hardship suffered by so many. I appreciate the government’s attempts to aide those who lost their jobs due to the shutdown of so many businesses. Stimulus checks. They help. Or at least I think they do? I did not lose my job, neither did my husband. Considered essential workers, we dodged the bullet of unemployment, so I really do not know if receiving a $600.00 check would really help stimulate the economy.

When one loses one’s job, he doesn’t go out and buy a vacuum cleaner does he? That sounds very 1940 British to me. Stiff upper lip, doing all one can for their country, that kind of thing. Anyways…

Over the past year, I have practiced social distancing, worn my mask in public, washed my hands so many times that they make a noise like sandpaper when I rub them. I haven’t gone on any trips (if there are no museums open, what is the point?) I have Zoom’ed my way through family visits, book club, and even a craft night. Talk about starving away dementia by learning new things. If it’s true, then in this past year alone, I have bought myself at least 25 more years of good brain health!

What I haven’t done is stimulate the economy. Not consciously anyway. I have stimulated Amazon. In fact, I am rather surprised that Amazon has not sent me a thank you card for my faithful contribution to their cause. One of my new year resolutions is to add up how much money I have spent on Amazon. Gulp. I am going to need a large glass of wine when that happens. Another one of my new year resolutions is to do my part to restore a strong economy in our country.

Now in my mind that meant less Amazon and more support of local businesses. Shopping at small boutiques, getting a burrito at the local Mexican stand. Less Fred Meyers and more local bakery. I didn’t take this decision lightly for two reasons. I dislike shopping and I REALLY dislike errands. In a perfect world, I would have a personnel shopper and a grocery/gas/post office fairy. I kind of have a grocery/gas/post office fairy in that my husband doesn’t mind errands and therefore more often than not takes care of these things. (He does not; however, wear a white ballgown nor carry a wand like the godmother in Cinderella- so I still want a fairy.)

Back to my attempt to stimulate the economy. Its week four of the first month in the new year and I hadn’t stimulated anything. Man, I was dreading having to journal that I hadn’t kept my new year resolution. That is until I was hit by a Hummer. By the evening of the day that I was hit, I had my car in a local repair shop and a car from a local rental business. Not only had I kept local folks gainfully employed, I had helped others in different states too. That driver door and passenger door had to come from, someplace right? That rear panel and back bumper was being manufactured somewhere in the US. My goodness, that 5-minute accident stimulated the economy by $4000.00 in car parts alone. Another $ 1000.00 for the rental car. $5000.00 in labor costs. I was a stimulating machine! I had done it. I had kept one of my new year resolutions.

There is a life lesson is all of this. Think carefully before making any sort of New Year resolutions that you intend to put in writing. The universe tends to take those quite seriously. Now why the universe focused on this specific resolution and not one of the other ones, such as the wanting to learn how to effectively compost is beyond me. But there you have it. I made a firm resolute and upheld it. Thank goodness I did not specify in my stimulate ‘local economy’ resolution with a set dollar amount or time period, because I am back to my old ways. My Amazon account remains…. active, shall we say. My husband cheerfully runs about doing the errands, and I cheerfully avoid them. I did make another New year resolution. Yes, it is rather late but as it still the first month of the new year, I figured it still will count. And this resolution really will change everything.

The next car I buy is going to be bright red, yellow, or a glow in the dark neon green.

What are your thoughts?

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