If you read my posts, (and a few people actually do,) it may come as a surprise to find out that I love my car. Me, the blogger who blabs about what it means to be a good person. Me, the loudmouth who claims that winning the lottery is an evil that no one should have to suffer. Me, the one who crabs endlessly about how fast the average American drives. I love my car? You have to be kidding!
Now, here’s my disclaimer. I’m not one of those people that have some hot sports car that a drop of dust can’t fall on. See, my car is twelve years old now, she has 145,000 glory-filled miles on her, and frankly, she’s starting to get kind of crotchety. Stuff is needing replacement to the point that someone else might run to the nearest car lot and get a new set of wheels. But not me. Because remember, I love my car.
Here’s my secret: in my entire half century on earth I’ve only owned five cars. And of those five cars I still have two of them. I once owned three cars at one time. And my last three cars have visited 30, 40, and 42 states, respectively. You might say that I buy cars that are built to last. Because it’s not like I’m that easy on them. While I may not be a speed demon, or drive incessantly just for the sake of driving, my cars go the distance in every sense of the term. Nine thousand mile road trips, driving through Midwestern floods, climbing steep mountain passes in Wyoming or Colorado, creeping through Death Valley in 120 degree temperatures…my girl has done it all. In fact, she’s been places most people I know have not been to, and has also been places that she probably should not have been to. Let me introduce you:
Ain’t she sweet? Yeah, I agree.
She may not look tough, but that’s just a cute disguise. She’s a killer.
I’ll admit, my cars are like family members to me. We’ve been through some poop together. I’ve spent a lot of time on the road, so it’s only natural that I have a real affinity for my vehicles. Which is why it isn’t as easy for me as it is for others to go to that car lot and drive another one out. The thought of having a car payment holds little to no interest for me, even if it means having something that others are envious of. I’d rather travel several times a year and fix the one I have when necessary. And let’s face it, there are only so many cars out there that fit the criteria for my rides: compact, adorable, good on gas, convertible. Lastly, they obviously have to be durable. Because we’re going places!
Anyway, my little darling gets a lot of attention even if she isn’t new, shiny, and costly. Mine isn’t the only face she brings a smile to. I think that people are reminded of the blue Bugs of old when they see her. It’s a nostalgia thing. She’s got it going on.
To many, cars are a status symbol. To me, my cars are history. Not only do they have it, but they have my past wrapped up in them. I retired my last car, a metallic pink Geo Tracker, with 193,000 miles. Forty states, twenty some-odd National Parks, (most of them with my beloved mother in the passenger seat,) five years exploring the nooks and crannies of California from my Los Angeles home base, twelve years total, and I bought her used with 20,000 miles on her. How much life did that car see? A heck of a lot.
The Bug has this on her resume: 42 states, even more National Parks and Monuments, ten years of seeking and finding hiking trails from coast to coast, rock concerts. We once stumbled upon a fresh murder-suicide in Arizona. Crawled up Pike’s Peak amidst gigantic SUVs. Floated through the aforementioned flood in the northwestern corner of Ohio (yes, my wheels left the ground!) A lifetime in twelve years.
So yes, I’m getting out my credit card later this month. Giving my little Bug some new guts. Getting her back to fighting shape. Merry Christmas, baby! Here’s to rolling 200,000 miles!
And making some new history.