The first thing I’d like to note is that one does not appreciate or miss one’s favorite mode of transportation until one is deprived of it.

Horse theives were universally vilified were they not?

Having been raised in the West and living almost all of my life more than 5 miles from civilized “services” I can tell you that my car is of not only a utilitarian necessity but also one of psychological necessity.

Were my husband and I careful, it would be much more than a month before we’d be hungry based on what is in our refrigerator and cupboard now. Of course, if electricity were to be cut off, we’d be hungry much sooner. So why is transportation so necessary?

We have 5 vehicles that are currently running and capable of getting us miles and miles away from our current location. However, we both have our favorites.

Neither of us wants to drive the ancient motor home far. (Actually it might not get us far… it’s utility is iffy except it is home to a very reliable generator.)

Nor do we want to make any long trips in the near ancient Mazda pickup. It’s handy for many things, but is used most often as a lock for the garage — if parked close enough, the garage door cannot be opened.

The 19 year old F150… well, we have a sentimental attachment to it, but not to its gas mileage or odometer reading. Really, after 450,000 miles doesn’t a vehicle deserve to be put out to pasture… so to speak?

Enter the two vehicles we drive every day. There’s my husband’s 1996 Chevrolet pickup and my 1998 Cadillac. The pickup is holding up very well, though I think it could do with some new shocks/struts… whatever. It bounces a lot, okay?

My dear 1998 Caddy, purchased used in 2003 with 90,000 miles has another 70,000 on it (that’s six years worth, so I’m not REALLY complaining.)

And now… finally, I get to the point of this post. My dear Caddy has been overheating (little by little… a degree here, 10 degrees there) and I have not felt truly confident in driving her for some time. Today, we had her radiator replaced.

And I am so happy! I no longer feel that I cannot set off for Arizona, South Carolina, Colorado, or Dallas at the drop of a hat.

What is amazing is the relief I feel knowing I can do that easily, comfortably in my car, at my whim, without imposition on anyone else do that.

I’ve never been without the capability of going anywhere I wanted to go. But… to go on my terms is worth a lot, if not quite priceless.