Thursday, May 05, 2005

"Ol' Blue"

She still cleans up good for an old gal, but I know her days are numbered.

It was 1992 when Hubby said he was going to look for a used car to replace the ancient and massive gas guzzler he was driving. When it worked, which was becoming less and less between repairs.

I remember asking him why he'd bother looking for a used car. Why not take my car, I asked, and I'd look for something new.

He hesitated, then agreed.

His hesitation wasn't because it didn't make sense. It did. The PimpMobile only had 60,000 miles on her and she'd never given me one bit of trouble. He just thought I'd never give her up.

I didn't want to but knew with what lay ahead, for years to come I'd have to have an extremely reliable vehicle that was easy on the gas. So I went shopping for another Ford Tempo.

It was love at first sight but I turned my back on this one. Walked away. It was much too fancy and expensive. All those buttons and fancy stuff like automatic door locks and windows.

But, there was a huge car sale going on and the dealership needed it gone to make a certain sales number. (They also desperately wanted me gone since I was such a bitch pitting their dealership against others.)

Ultimately The Blue Babe's dealership won and she became mine.

Unlike her predecessor, she was . . . Midnight Blue instead of Dark Canyon Red. And a V6 rather than a 4, not that that made any difference to me until I HAD to hit the gas to avoid getting creamed and discovered it.

I also raised Da Kid in her starting when she had only 14 miles on her odometer and he was just starting out in middle school.

Monday through Friday we three toured J'ville daily for years, traveling from home to his school (whichever one or wherever) before I dropped him off and then headed to work. In the afternoon, the reverse.

Two hundred miles a day, day in and day out. Even more when he had a soccer / baseball / softball / basketball game, or the library because he had a project, or . . .

Hubby would probably have had a heart attack if he knew what Da Kid and I talked about sometimes. What we said between us in the car, stayed there.

In between, I don't know how many times The Babe took Da Kid and me to Orlando, Atlanta, Ocala . . . wherever we wanted to go. Camping one time out in the middle of no where, strapped to her luggage rack and crammed inside her everything imaginable we — including Lucky (S.O.B.) Lab who had about a square foot of space on the back seat upon which to sit during the trip — might need.

Da Kid introduced me to Weird Al on one trip. And Metallica. In return, I introduced him to George Gershwin and Rhapsody in Blue. And Kenny Loggins.

Other times it was just Blue and me. I won't even try to estimate how many books-on-tape I "read." Or how many hours of cassette music I sang along with. Or to in a starring role.

"Four down, two up . . . that last one? Wherever it'll fit." That's the loading instructions the people I've bought horse feed from over the years came to know when stacking the 50-pound sacks onto Ol' Blue's back seat. Every two weeks, for years.

Hay in a pinch? Open her trunk and straight in, two bales fit. Not inside but angled in with the open trunk lid up holding them in place. So whut if I can't see out the back window!

And not that many years ago early one morning I didn't like what I saw, and somehow managed to get Da Kid — now grown — into Ol' Blue's back seat. Destination: Shands Trauma Center.

"‘Mom,'" somebody there said a few hours later. "You made a good call."

I didn't find out until later that the night before, Da Kid had collided with another player on a softball field.

He spent the next week in ICU. He'd lacerated his spleen.

Ol' Blue has served me . . . she's served us well and faithfully. But she's tired. Very tired. She's been telling me that for a while now.

Blue Book says her trade-in value is $350.

To me she's priceless.

But it's time to start looking.


Blogger Mark said...

I'm in the same boat. I have to get a new work truck. Mine, a 1988 Mazda, has seen better days. It's like an old pair of tennis shoes. Rugged, beat up and comfortable. But it's time.

7:13 AM  

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