By Joe Rector

I bought a new Pathfinder in 1987. In past columns I’ve talked about that car. The truth is I love that hunk of metal. Too many memories, good and bad, have been made in that car that getting rid of it is unthinkable. Amy isn’t thrilled with the decision to hold on to this old junker, and she is right to say we’re pouring money in something that is of little value.

The week before we went on vacation, I dropped the old Pathfinder off at Charlie Muncey’s house. I asked that he perform the regular tune-up and other things that are standard. I also listed some concerns about the car but asked him to call me before fixing them in case they were too expensive.

I called Charlie this past week to check on the status on the patient. He was still going over the car. It seems that a problem exists with the intake. He was trying to decide if a new valve or complete part was needed. For one thing, I’m not sure exactly what an intake is nor do I have any idea how much one costs. I trust Charlie Muncey with my vehicles, and whatever he says must be done is an honest assessment of what is needed to keep them on the road.

Some rust spots along the bottom of the vehicle at the doors are bubbling up. I know they should be fixed, but I don’t have the money to fix those problems right now. If I can restore the car to health so that I can drive it a few more years, I’ll be satisfied.

I’m hoping to get the car back before long. Summer is here, and that old Pathfinder is my work car. It hauls tools and materials, and it also hauls Sadie to her monthly vet and groomer visits. I’m hoping a few tweaks, some grease, and a couple of new parts will keep it on the road.

I’ve decided that we are like cars. For years our bodies run fine. We glide with relative ease through work and sports and hobbies. Then, one day out of nowhere, we start having problems. In my case, everything from the waist down is in need of an adjustment. My hips, knees, and ankles ache any time I begin an activity. I’m not sure if any parts need to be replaced, but they all could use some grease to loosen them up so they work better. My feet are killing me, and I fear that major work on my ankle is needed to keep my body from pulling to one side as I limp along.

I’ve been put on blood thinners recently to address a bout with atrial fibrillation. A check-up with a cardiologist indicated that things were back to a regular rhythm now. I am thankful because the last thing I want it to replace a valve. Too, anything that requires the use a catheter isn’t for me.

With any luck, my old Pathfinder will make a full recovery and receive a promising prognosis. Then I won’t have to use my new Pathfinder (2011 model) for hauling. As for me, I’ll take these blood thinners and try to get plenty of exercise. Both the car and I will visit more regularly for check-ups. We both still have many things to finish.