Monday, December 28, 2015


When someone stops me to talk about my car the order of their questions is predictable. And while I do wait to be asked, I could rattle off the answers people want before the first question leaves their lips:
  • Each charges goes for about 240 miles, depending on how fast I drive.
  • We plug it in in the garage every night, and it is fully charged in the morning.
  • We installed a 220V outlet in the garage, so it gets about 30 miles of juice/hour when charging at home. Comparatively, a standard 120V outlet gets you about 3 miles/hour.
So Jim and I think maybe we should just have some business-card sized answers handy for when someone wants to chat about my ride. “Is that a Tesla?” “It is.” “How—“ “Hang on,”—hands asker the preprinted answer card—“this is what you want to know.”

The conversations always start with questions about range and charging and then evolve from there. At some point I let slip my going-to-polluters'-hell environmental apathy and reveal that I couldn’t give a damn about the car’s zero emissions; I love the thing for how it drives. Read: fast. (And on its own. With auto-steering I can eat a bowl of fruit and yogurt at 50mph, both hands off the wheel and looking down in the bowl to make sure my spoon snares every berry all while driving more safely than I would with both hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.)

One day I came out of a store to find an elderly couple circling my car—slowly—and trying to be discreet about peering in the windows. It wasn’t freaky. These days that kind of thing isn’t far outside my ordinary. Teslas aren’t the most common cars and presently they’re unlike anything else on the road. People are curious. I answered the couple's—the man's mostly—inevitable questions and went off on some of my favorite features.

“You seem like quite the car enthusiast,” the guy said.

“No,” I told him, “I’m a this car enthusiast.” I like it more than I like most people, and sometimes I want to pet it cooing, “Pretty car. Pretty, pretty, perfect car.”

By way of moving forward, yesterday afternoon we booted our Christmas decorations. It took ten minutes. Since we didn’t have the kids over the Christmas part of the holiday break Jim and I decided to forgo the tree. But the decor we did put up was bomb:

I made that. I took a family photo into Illustrator, traced it, slimmed my ever-substantial thighs some, colored the clothes to match our Bright Lab lights, and added a little one before his arrival. Jim hangs all sorts of things for me throughout the house, but this tapestry was the thing he actually wanted to put up. It’s his favorite piece of decor we’ve ever had, and when we de-decorated yesterday he wasn’t down with my tossing it. He just loves it too much. I should have it made into a blanket for him. He’s darling.

This week will see both Elliker men heading to Vegas. Jim just for a layover on his way to San Diego to look at a job and Dustin back to CFI school. CFI—that’s Certified Flight Instructor. He’s a pilot with a commercial endorsement and is now training to train other pilots. It’s how many new pilots build hours enough to be eligible for jobs with regional carriers. I know these things now. I only have to ask Dustin to reexplain everything to me again six or seven times whenever he’s in town.

And the baby. You want to know about the baby. We had our new little fella over on Christmas day. He was dressed as an elf and definitely on the nice list. He just makes little squeaks and squawks here and there. Katelynn and Nathaniel have managed to produce a very content lil’ critter. And while I was unabashedly rooting for a girl child mostly because of the baby girl offerings in Old Navy, I am happy for the arrival of a little dude and satisfied with the selection of baby boy wear out there. The Katelynn texted yesterday of tiny grandbaby in his green striped hoodie was more than enough to sell me on boy clothes being plenty rewarding for the shopper.

After yoga and errands, this day is about writing thank-you notes. The impending inconvenience of writers cramp signifies a life full of thoughtful and generous people, so I won’t whine about the ache. Much. Jessica gifted me a t-shirt that says My Life Rocks. It totally does. Other shoe, please don't drop.

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