As I have gotten older, driving the car 26+ hours from my Talbot County home to Key West, has gotten too difficult. My two dogs are very good travelers, but it is a long trip for all three of us. The past few years I have been leaving my car in Maryland and living in Key West without a car.
Key West is a small bicycle Island and it is not very difficult living without a car. Friends and relatives loan me a car on the rare cases when I need one…but otherwise, I can get around easily on my bicycle. When I first moved to Talbot County, I saw the same opportunity for replacing cars with bicycles. We have a flat landscape, reasonable weather, and wide roads. Attempts to get more bicycle lanes were not successful, but, for the most part, I can get by with cycling around town and using my car twice a week. It is a lifestyle that I have been drawn to.
That leaves the problem, what to do with the car. A hybrid car is not happy unless it gets weekly mileage. Easy enough when I am here, but not so easy when I am in Key West.
This year I left it on a farm and the local caretaker agreed to drive it once a week. But last week, the car was not operating properly, lights were flashing, and it would only go 5 miles per hour.
I had it towed to the local dealer, not looking forward to the bill. The dealer called, it was a first for them, a little bunny had stowed away in the engine. ( It is hard to see her tucked away in my engine, but I hope you can see her little pink nose in the picture.) She had chewed through some wires and built herself a little nest.
“Don’t kill it,” I pleaded.
The repair crew agreed and spent several hours (cha-ching) coaxing her out of her unusual nesting choice.
It is funny how we view critters. I chase the bunnies that munch on my beloved pansies and flowers; but I want to save a little guy nesting in my engine, costing me a fortune in repairs. I wonder what it is, maybe just the sheer tenacity of this little bunny, or her cute little bunny nose…but I handed the dealership my credit card and she ran off into the woods.
And left all of us with bunny tales.
Angela Rieck, a Caroline County native, received her PhD in Mathematical Psychology from the University of Maryland and worked as a scientist at Bell Labs, and other high-tech companies in New Jersey before retiring as a corporate executive. Angela and her dogs divide their time between St Michaels and Key West Florida. Her daughter lives and works in New York City.