By Jamie Rieger
There are many things that folks in small towns have to rely on that those in larger centres often take for granted.
The convenience of having a selection of restaurants and shopping, public transportation, and proximity to other businesses.
In the city, you are only a hop, skip, and a jump away from anything you could need or want. Just jump in the car and away you go to the movies, the mall, the dentist, eye doctor and if the car has a flat or is not running, you can hop the bus or call a taxi to take you wherever you need to go.
But, in a small town, shopping trips are planned around the weather and keeping one’s vehicle well-maintained is a must. Good tires help, too.
The difference being that should you have vehicle problems in rural communities, one has to hope that you know somebody has a good truck and tow rope and that that somebody is willing to come out and lend a hand. (In a small town, they likely will.) Many small, rural towns do not have a towing company.
Rural drivers then do not consider an Alberta Motor Association membership a luxury, but something they always carry in their wallet, just in case it is ever needed. The cost of an AMA membership is a lot cheaper than having to call out a tow truck from Medicine Hat or Taber. (I typically do not give businesses a plug in my columns, but in this case it must be done.)
This reporter found out just what happens when she puts off that vital seasonal vehicle maintenance and things freeze up on her. Forgetting to plug in the car one chilly night did not help. Not tightening the oil fill cap the last time she topped up her motor oil did not help much either. Whoops! Imagine my surprise when I went to head to work on morning last week and my normally faithful car decided she didn’t like the cold weather and was throwing a temper tantrum by not moving for me!
Thanks to a couple of willing individuals, the car thawed out at the garage over the weekend and this reporter took the shoelace express if she needed to go out.
The excuses like, “I was super busy”, “I had other things on my mind”, or whatever, just don’t cut it. And, the car does not care how busy or pre-occupied you are. It will let you know in one heck of a hurry that it needs attention.
Luckily, my vehicle just needed to thaw out and is getting it’s routine maintenance done, but it could have been a lot worse. It is one thing being without wheels for a few days in the city; quite different when you live out in the boonies!