Personal Stories

Corona Virus Diaries: October 31, 2020 – Happy Halloween


Life’s scary enough this year, did we really need Halloween? My grand-daughter did our local “trunk or treat” and that made her happy. In rural areas, instead of trick or treating to houses, people gather at the school or the fairgrounds with their card and decorate the trunks, then the kids walk around and get candy from them. She got a pretty good haul for the short time she was gone.

Our county now has 156 confirmed COVID cases total since the beginning. Currently there are 25 active cases according to the state ( Not bad at all, and I’d like to see it stay that way. Our kids are still doing in-person learning. The Governor instituted better contact tracing by having restaurants take information on patrons when they come in. I don’t mind. My nail salon has been doing that since we opened up again. I think we should do better contact tracing and testing to get a better handle on this pandemic. It’s the only way we stand any chance at getting any semblance of control. Of course, the anti-mask crowd is up in arms about it, which is ridiculous. If you pay with a credit card they can pretty much trace where you were anyway, this just makes it easier.

This is my 2011 Jeep Wrangler. Drove it out of the showroom with 3 miles on it. I loved that Jeep so much. It now has just shy of 142,000 miles on it. We’ve been through a lot together and had a lot of adventures. I’m tired though. As much as I love it, there have been a number of issues. I put a new transmission in it this year. I probably could have saved that money but I thought that would fix it and I wouldn’t have issues for a while. We went through “death wobble” with it and actually solved the issue, after nearly the entire front end had been rebuilt. I was going through tires like crazy. The last set did pretty well, and I have no complaints, but it would probably be due for tires sometime next year. We just had the axle seals fixed and new rear shocks put in.

I drove a Nissan Altima earlier this month when I was in Florida on business. There were conveniences it had that I really liked. It also magnified a few things I didn’t like about the Wrangler. When I drive, I tend to lean my left leg against the door. In the Wrangler, this puts my left knee right against the window crank (the Wrangler had hand-crank windows). After a day of driving, that really bothered me. Recently I noticed that the seat belt buckle was digging into my right hip when I drove. At the end of the day I’d actually feel pain in my thigh from it. Some of the bells and whistles on the Altima were nice. I especially liked the push-button start and the gas mileage.

Don’t think I went from a Wrangler to an Altima. I didn’t like how low it sat. At my age that’s like crawling out of a vehicle.

I just kept thinking about it when I came home. When the Wrangler started acting up again and I was facing a few days without it, I decided I’d had enough. If I could have afforded to keep the Wrangler and have a second, more dependable car, I would have done it in a heartbeat. I felt like I was in a relationship where it’s bad and you know it’s over but you just don’t want to let go. If I was going to make a change, though, now was a good time. Since I’m self-employed, I can deduct the payments on my taxes.

I went to visit my cousin Chris today who works at a dealership. I drove both a Chevrolet Trax and a Chevrolet Trailblazer. The Trailblazer was roomier in the back seat and roomier overall. I think the ride was a little smoother too. It had a few more bells and whistles.

The Trax had a sunroof! Yes, that dazzled me from the start. Both me and my granddaughter were like “sunroof!” Okay, if I’m giving up my Wrangler where I can drive around with the top off, then a sunroof will help a little bit. Otherwise, I didn’t feel like there was much difference between the two.

Where the difference came in was the price. Because the Trax was a 2020, there were a lot more incentives available for it. The Trailblazer was a 2021 – not too many deals. It ended up being $4000 less to buy the Trax over the Trailblazer. And it had a sunroof!

Both of the vehicles were the same color. I had seen this on the website and I instantly thought of a name for it – The Tardis. That’s what I named the WiFi hotspot it has. I put nearly 100 miles on it driving it home. It’s an SUV and has all-wheel drive. It won’t cut through the snow like the Wrangler did, but it should do well enough up here.

There are a few things I have to see how well it works before I decide about what OnStar I might keep. I looked at the plans and I don’t see the point of the hotspot or the turn by turn directions when I have my phone to look things up.

But for tomorrow, I’m off in my Tardis…..

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