Up to no good

That velcro thing.

We bought a used car a few years ago and it’s a hunk of junk. The heating is sporadic, it has broken speakers, the windows fog up “just cuz” and when it’s cold, I regularly throw out my back when I try to open the frozen sliding doors.

But it’s not completely terrible. I will say I feel safe driving my family around in it, so I don’t actually hate the quirky old thing.

Today, I was picking up Jesse from O’Hare and I hit a small bump and “that velcro thing” detached and landed on my shin. I reached down and re-attached it for at least the 500th time.

I don’t actually know what “that velcro thing” is. It’s located in the hard-to-see area below the steering column, above the pedals. It’s in such a strange spot that I can’t see it without getting on my hands and knees, and you and I both know I’m never going to do that.

Note the velcro and wiring.

However, I had a moment of inspiration today as I was grinding the velcro pieces together.

“I’ll stick my phone down there and take a couple pictures!”

After I parked, I did just that and learned that it’s a Draw-Tite Activator II. That means the van has “timed brake controls for light duty towing.” Supposedly this little mechanism will indicate whether or not my brakes will work if I’m pulling a trailer. If my load is too heavy to safely pull, the “Activator” will lock my brakes.

That’s cool, but I have no plans to pull a trailer. Furthermore, I had my brakes replaced a few months ago so I’m not worried about them inexplicably locking on me.

But who the heck used to drive this thing? And why did they need a trailer for a six-passenger van? Were they, as my grandmother would say, “up to no good?”

I have never bought a car that wasn’t “pre-owned.” For that matter, I’ve never adopted an animal that wasn’t “pre-owned.” Our 100-year-old house was pre-owned and so is most of our furniture. Even most of the food we eat is pre-owned.

About that. I’ve gained weight the last few years and finally talked to my doctor about it a couple days ago.

“I’m such a pig,” I told her.

“Don’t say that,” she said.

“But it’s true,” I countered. “I’m hungry all the time.”

She recommended I read up on “mindful eating.” In doing so, I learned that involves imagining my food growing or roaming in its natural environment before it made its way to my plate. So now before I take that first bite, I must imagine the journey my ham sandwich made to get to my mouth.

See the hummus. See it being beans. Ommmm.

It’s only been a couple days but I must say this new way of thinking has curbed my appetite. It’s made me see past being hungry all the time. It’s made me see nature and animals instead.

Do not worry: This blog isn’t going to turn into me documenting my weight loss journey or some path to veganism. I just want to say that today, thinking about the past lives of my automobile, my dog and my hummus has been far more enjoyable and useful than thinking about what I used to be.

Thanks for reading! -Connie

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