Smart Cars Are Not Mean to go Off Road

This blog was originally set up with no real purpose in mind, hence the title.  It has gone through several changes in the interim, from writing about trying to set up a home garden/sewing business to dealing with horse related issues, and now the highs and lows of being a self published author.  However, I don’t ever want to lose the randomness of my ramblings, and so, without further ado, I present to you a short story about my Smart Car: Clarabelle (key any references from those know where she gets her name – I don’t, my grandmother named her, but I promise it has nothing to do with Stephen King)

To give context to Clarabelle, the following facts need to be stated.

1. I live in Washington State
2. Clarabelle is from Washington DC
3. Clarabelle is listed as “rally red”
4. The actual color is more like Cinderella Pumpkin orange

For your further reference:

Now that we’re all on the same page, relatively speaking, I shall share with the world why Smart Cars are not meant to go off-roading.  For starters, bumpy roads and train tracks are a bit of a shock.  The very first time my grandmother and I hit a set of railroad tracks, we were just outside of Pittsburgh, PA, and it woke her up from her driving induced coma.  There after, we called out “bump” any time we could notice a change coming in the road.  And let’s just say road construction is an experience all upon itself.  I could probably write an entire novella about my experiences in Clarabelle.  Starting out life in a car 3000 miles from home and then driving it cross country tends to create a lasting impression.  However, that would take far too long.  Creative kindred spirits, let your imagination soar with the possibilities. Chances are, some of them are pretty close to fact.
Today’s short story is about the pitfalls of accidental off-roading.  It began on a Sunday, where I was trying to get to a house, but there was a parade in my way.  Having spent seven years of my childhood in the city in question, and having learned the ins and outs of how roads operated as a UPS driver, I was pretty positive I could make it to my destination without interfering with the parade.  I simply skirted onto one of the main roads, chose a likely looking cross road and set off.  This should have been nice, simple, straightforward, and it was, for the first mile.  Then, the road just stopped.  And there wasn’t a sign telling me this, there wasn’t a little lip to make it easy.  There was simply pavement and then a two to three inch gap down to rough gravel.  Luckily, I was alone on the road, for I came to a screeching halt, expressing my opinions about road maintenance while trying to calculate what the chance of scraping my undercarriage would be to drop off that sort of incline.  Unpleasant memories of that road outside of Chicago that had been under construction popped into my head, but I could see the road I was headed for just off in the distance.  Slowly, carefully, I drove to the edge of the lip, where it was only about two inches, eased off onto the gravel, and then proceeded to bounce along like I was on a stiff legged pony down a gravel road.  The whole time, I wasn’t really having anything positive to say about my experiences, and when I passed a sign that told me “Slow: 10 mph”, I shouted at it, something along the lines of: “If I could go 10 mph, I would!”.  Luckily for me, it was a short venture  into the world of off-roading, and in little enough time, I was back on the bliss of pavement.  
In my experiences with Clarabelle and the world of less than ideal roads, I’ve hit my head on the roof when unable to avoid pot holes, felt my teeth rattle from gravel and dips, and slid with little control on grass.  During an ice storm, I truly felt like a glorified hockey puck.  However, at the end of the day, I can still laugh it off.  High winds might be brutal, snow might be impossible, but when I meet complete and total strangers, if my introverted-ness isn’t showing, I can strike up a conversation with just about anyone.  “See that orange Smart Car?  It’s from Washington…DC.”  Works every single time.  And all that the bumps, holes, and detours provide is even more to share.  After all, the title alone made you wonder, didn’t it?
I promise, more on my personal writing/publishing/editing experience next time. Until then…

Published by L.E. Gibler

Writer, rider, and future crazy cat lady

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