Princess The Prius

priusI got a new car!

I call her Princess. I’ve already driven close to 1,000 miles. I can’t stop driving. I get 53 miles to the gallon! Fifty-three miles to the gallon! Two gallons and I go more than one hundred miles!

I’m excited. Princess has everything. Lightweight doors, lightweight glass, aerodynamic hood and even the rear lights are shaped in contour to avoid any resistance to the wind.

The battery and gas alternate as sources of power. When you put on the brake on go downhill or simply let off of the gas, there’s magic! The computer added axle and individual wheel driven assistance provides charge to the battery.

I can switch from power, to economic, to intermediate for the application of power and strength by the battery and the gasoline through the engine to help with steep hills or long, plateaus.

I took it into the mountains of Colorado and never lost acceleration on the climb and when I was descending the mountain the onboard display said I was getting more than 99 miles to the gallon…saving so much energy the little car couldn’t even register!

I can charge my mobile devices by USB or through the regular plug in charger.

It came with Sirius on board for 90 days and satellite radio is the way to go! The audio system is balanced in every way and the high fidelity contrast holds the bass and treble in perfect harmony.

Princess comes with a backup camera that concaves to give me full view as I go into reverse, and even at dusk the view is visible and helpful.

Traveling light is a real experience.

It does sit very low to the surface of the road, but unfortunately and fortunately together, I had to go through a flash flood of about 24 inches. Princess just swam right through it, no leaks to the floor board or door seals. No stalls to the engine. I was so scared and so thankful. I couldn’t be prouder.

The leg room is amazing. Princess can accommodate my 6’3″ father in the front or the back. He’s even thinking of getting him a Prince of a Prius.

When I asked the salesman what was the most common complaint or problem the new Prius owners had, he said, “It’s funny.”

“The most common complaint is, ‘I ran out of gas.’”

I said, “What! I thought these things were great about saving gas.” He said, “They are. In fact they are so great about it, that people get out of their 5 to 7 day, ‘I’ve got to fill up again.’”

What was happening is that the drivers look and see they have so much gas still in the tank, that they drive right past the regular fill up habit that have formed for so long. Monday comes and they don’t have to fill up. Ten days later, when they have gotten use to not needing gas, they stop watching the gas fluid level.

When they get out of the habit of stopping to fill up on Monday, and they stop watching the gas fluid level, they all of a sudden run out of gas because they forgot to check! That’s hilarious! Saving so much on gas that you forget to check the gas gauge.

That hasn’t happened to Princess, but it is true. I have to learn the new routine of putting gas in every 12 to 14 days instead of every 6 to 7 days. And, when I put the gas in, it doesn’t take as many gallons to fill it up. That means less money into the tank and more money for other things.

Princess Prius comes with a maintenance plan. No cost to me for the first year or 24,000 miles. All the engine oil changes, the tire rotations, the mechanical and fluid checks, all of it at no additional cost.

I feel like the Princess and I’ve got one parked in my garage!

Travel Light With A Heavy Load

There is always an opportunity to lessen the load.

We have the choice about our thoughts and our actions. Sometimes our actions can be coerced because they are detectable, but our thoughts are our own.

Choices can hem in our thoughts and keep us from being in control in the moment based on choice beforehand. If we were to choose a stimulant, our synapses can fire quicker and our reactions can be swifter or we can choose a suppressant and our responses can be slower. The choice is ours, the actions are a result of our choices. Even our thoughts are under our control.

The choice of traveling light with a heavy load is always ours to make. The ancient Greeks called it hupomoneo. In English it’s translated to hupo= under; moneo= remain; or specifically endure. By remaining under the heavy load rather than casting it off, you develop endurance. Endurance comes not from casting off the load, but learning to travel light with the heavy load.

One primary way to travel light despite the load is not to carry an unresolved attitude regarding the load. If you are constantly asking, “Should I be carrying this burden?” or “This isn’t my fault, somebody else has done this.” then you become weary psychologically as well as psychosomatically.

 Aesop Fables

Aesop, an ancient Greek fable teller (fabulist) living in late 500 BC, told the tale of a man and his son journeying to market with their donkey. A traveler bound in the opposite direction said something deriding like, “you idiots, why isn’t someone at least riding the donkey?”

The man then sat his son on the donkey and they continued to the market.

Along the way a group of travelers approach and one of them spoke insultingly, “What an ill-instructed son, he rides and makes his father walk!”

So, the father commands the boy to walk, while he rode on the donkey.

Then, no sooner had the group passed and two women passed the son, father, and donkey. One woman turned to the other and said, “What a poor excuse for a father, riding and making his poor son trudge along side.”

Not sure what to do, the man placed his son in front of him as the two of them rode the donkey on into town.

As they entered town the jeers continued. “Why would you burden that poor donkey with the weight of you and your son?”

Having tried everything else, they decided to cut a sturdy pole, tied the donkey’s hooves together, and shoulder the pole. They carried the donkey into the town.

As they came to a small bridge the donkey freed one hoof, got caught in the slats of the bridge, and the boy dropped his end of the pole. The donkey feel over the railing and into the water only to finally drown, having his other hooves tied to the pole.

The response to the fable through the years has been as varied as the audience.

“Get off your a$$ and walk”

“You always end up looking like an a$$ when you try to please everybody.”

“No matter what you do, if you follow the advice of those around you, you’ll lose your a$$ in the end.”

My take is, travel light with a heavy load by deciding for yourself what the load is actually going to be. Then, set your plans to endure for the sake of endurance and the prize that always comes in the end.