Along the Lakeshore: Thoughts about cars; geese on the lake

It has been a snow day today! I took Susan to Spine and Sport this morning and three inches accumulated on the car during her stay. I spent about eight minutes clearing the windows and the roof so all that snow wouldn’t fall into her car when she opened the door. Her car is a neat little Ford Fusion, but it is hard to get in and out if you are recuperating from a new knee installation. Furthermore, the longer you are in the car, it seems to have an automatic shrink feature that gets more severe as you pass Albany eastbound and really gets aggravating by the time you hit the coast.

There is some agency in the federal bureaucracy, probably the Department of Commerce, which promulgates the average size of the American populace by age and region of the country. The car designers pick the dimensions that fit the most people in the age and financial grouping they hope will buy the most automobiles.

Having successfully built these cars to fit this mythical size, they then produce advertising showing big sports stars sitting in them. They never show Shaq getting in and out or driving the car, but his knees are right up next to the steering wheel. The shots show Peyton Manning actually driving the car. He is younger, more supple, and not as big as Shaq, but you can see he doesn’t fit well either.

I really enjoy driving the Fusion as far as Cooperstown on some of the back roads. However, this is not the car to drive when heading for the west coast, knocking off 600 miles per day.

Sue likes the smaller car and it is hers to choose, but now that I am “driving Miss Daisy” and struggling in and out six to 12 times on each mission, I yearn for the Tahoe or the Trailblazer. In the Chrysler vans that I had, the seats moved back 4 inches. They were good cars for our Friday night dash to Sugarbush every other weekend, with plenty of room for the non-driver to snooze. The 1994 model was the car we drove to the west coast in September 2000 to celebrate Sue’s retirement from Skaneateles School District.

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