Thursday, July 17, 2008

Best laid plans

Three years ago, my son got a great deal on a good car. Not a sexy car, but a plain little Toyota Corolla sold under the Chevy Prizm nameplate, which made it cheaper. One of those cars that's distinctly un-pimped, but looks pretty smart in the winter when it passes all the cool cars spinning their wheels in the snow, and lately has looked smart at the gas pump, too.

A car you buy when you're thinking about sensible choices for the future.

He'd just put new tires on it, renewed the tags for two years, and with 80,000 miles on it, he figured it was a safe bet for at least a couple more renewals.

That was, until he ran it into a telephone pole this past weekend, and reminded us all why you might as well live in the moment because your carefully thought-through plans can crumble in an instant.

Which was about the length of time he says he turned his attention to a text message on his cell phone while on his way to pick up some Chinese carry-out. He's okay, neither he nor anyone else was hurt, but his sensible, drive-forever, gas-saver car is on its way to becoming spare parts for others.

There are many lessons to be learned, of course, among them that when you're driving, it's really quite imperative to be in the moment, and that seatbelts are worth wearing. I'm pretty sure he's now absorbed those lessons fairly well.

Beyond that, for me it's a reminder that I should always wear clean underwear just like my mother said... never be too busy to spend time with those I care about... and don't invest so much in the future that I fail to appreciate what I have right here, right now.

About that right now... Mr. James is lobbying hard for a walk. So I think I'll postpone the bill-paying I was planning to do, find his leash and share the summer evening with him.

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