Thursday, November 27, 2008

One big holiday

I'll get to the thanksgiving from a broader perspective in a moment, but I would be remiss in not starting with being thankful for getting to my parents' home in one piece today. I got up early, was making decent time, and wasn't encountering much traffic. About 45 miles into the drive I thought it felt like the car's cruise control was slowing down and speeding up some, but I paid it no mind as I was going through some some small inclines and declines in the road.

Shortly thereafter I saw that my speed was a good five miles per hour over where I'd set the cruise control. I tapped the brakes or turned it off--I don't remember which I did first--but the car wasn't slowing down. It was like something out of a bad thriller in which modern technology is a thing to be feared. I could stomp on the brake pedal, but once I took my foot off, the car rocketed forward back to the higher speed. Mind you, this was with cruise control off.

It took some effort to bring the car to a stop, but I managed to regain control. I exited, parked at a closed restaurant, and turned the car off in hopes that the computer or whatever that was acting up would reset. I didn't know what else I would do if I couldn't control the speed.

After five or ten minutes I restarted the car, tested it in the parking lot, and resumed my drive westward. Cruise control was not used again for fear of the car wanting to zoom away with me mostly helpless to stop it.

The rest of the drive went mostly without incident. There was the twenty-mile stretch when I was stuck on a two lane road behind the semi pictured above while the person behind me tailgated, gesticulated, and nearly drove off the road into the ditch. (She probably drifted left of center too.) In the end I got here without the car exercising a mind of its own or someone ramming into me, so it's all good.

As for what I'm thankful for, the basics are always a good place to start. I'm in good health. As much as I complain about the cost of health care, I'm grateful that I have insurance to cover for what I've needed to use. I paid more than I think is reasonable, but I realize I'm lucky to have what I have.

I'm thankful for having a job I like and which is more stable and settled than it was a year ago. I'm thankful for family and friends who are there to support me. I'm thankful for zeroing out my debt this year.

Recent but normal maintenance costs and the story at the top of this entry aside, I'm thankful for a reliable vehicle. It runs well and has never required major repair work outside of the usual upkeep needed over time.

I'm thankful for a home where I can relax without the noise of neighbors and where I feel safe.

I suppose I could go on and on, but I'm getting tired at this time of the night. I think I've covered the big stuff. I hope you've had a happy and relaxing Thanksgiving.

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At 5:20 AM, Blogger Ruth's Place said...

Very glad that you arrived safely! I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful.

At 8:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am glad you got there safely. Perhaps your car was just tired of driving and really wanted to be there already. ;) Happy Thanksgiving!

At 8:50 AM, Blogger Doniamarie said...

Geez! I've never heard of such a thing! Glad you go there in one piece! Eat more turkey - it'll make it all better (for the moment!).

At 12:59 PM, Blogger donnadb said...

Good Lord! How frightening! I hope you have it checked out soon. Or Google "unintended acceleration" -- I remember hearing about that issue before. So glad you made it safely there and back.


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