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Today I had an appointment down on campus, and since my car is still in the shop, I walked down and back.  It’s not too far, about fifteen or twenty minutes each way.  Just enough to stretch your legs and fill your lungs with fresh air.  I rather like walking places, partly because I like looking at things.  There are so many small, fascinating details that just blow by when you’re driving.  You don’t get to see things like the man working on the baseball diamond while his dogs lie patiently waiting against the infield fence, or the tall red clover poking its blooms up through the tall grass.  You don’t get to smell things either.  The honeysuckle is out in full force these days, saturating the air with sweetness.  When I’m in a car I’m always in a hurry, rushing to get someplace on time, trying to squeeze just a little more activity into the too-few hours in a day.  When I walk, things take as long as they’re going to take.  I set out, and when I get there is when I get there.  So I have time to do things like take the path through the woods that might be a shortcut, pick some of the tall clover blossoms to take with me, stop to smell the honeysuckle, or admire the way the afternoon light makes that fallen branch look like a work of art.  Instead of arriving flustered and anxious about whether or not I’m on time, I’m serene and mellow from my walk. Maybe having my car in the shop isn’t such a bad thing after all.

I have to admit that some of this is me making the best of a bad situation.  I’m probably not going to be able to get my car back from the shop any time soon.  The Mechanic had said that he would be done yesterday, but yesterday morning when he took it for a test drive after finishing his work it stalled again.  This time he had the diagnostics stuff hooked up, and he said that my computer wasn’t registering anything at all.  It looks like over time the bad electrical system has fried my car’s computer, and it’s going to have to be replaced.  Car computers are not cheap.  I told the Mechanic that I was already at the limit of what I could spend.  He told me that he would see if he could find a used computer that would be less expensive, and that maybe he could knock off some of the labor charges.  He said that he would work with me on this, that the important thing was that I would have a car that was at least somewhat reliable.  He’s going to look into things and call me today with an estimate.  Hopefully it will be something I can sort of pay, scrape together, something.  I really do need a car that’s not going to leave me stranded on the side of the road for hours at a time.

I still haven’t planted my garden yet.  Johnsy and I decided to drastically expand the vegetable garden this year.  I had thought we were doubling it, but when I actually marked it out on the ground I realized that it was more like triple what we had last year.  I have the ground cleared now, but none of my seeds are planted.  I haven’t gotten the dahlias planted either, or the gladiolus bulbs I’m trying out.  I did prune the deadwood off the roses, and cleared the stuff that didn’t survive the winter out of the herb garden and the lavender bed.  I’m hoping that this weekend will be the magic moment when I’ll finally get things planted.  Of course, I have committments Friday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoon, so perhaps this is a bit optimistic.

In other news, our new roommate Magda has been working hard on getting her room ready to move in.   Last night when I got home from dancing she was just leaving after working for hours painting and things.  And she had to be at school ready to teach Kindergartners at an absurdly early hour this morning.  I don’t know how she does it.