|Lost that back hubcap somewhere between Wayne and Wakefield one night.|
I've wanted a new car for years. It's an easy item to wish for; however, it's not as easy to just go out to the lot, point and say, "I'll take it. Here's all my savings, plus my earnings for the next few years.
When we got our already used green 1992 Mercury Sable, I was still in grade school. I don't remember when we got it, but it was certainly several steps up from the 80s Grand Marquis boat that had been hauling us over the river every day. Along with the farm truck, the Sable was the first vehicle I learned to drive, and it became my school car when I turned 16. Nearly ten years later, I don't even know how many hundreds of thousands of miles have been racked up.
|That's actually a pretty clean door hinge.|
Other than neglected cleanliness, that car had it pretty good. When I had it, it was only hit three times, and none of those were the fault of this driver (really!). The first time was in the high school parking lot. I had just loaded my stuff in the car and was making sure I had all my books with me. The librarian was parked in the row ahead of me and was getting ready to back out, so I just waited. I glanced up to check her status and watched as she crept closer and closer to my car, until nudge. No way did I just watch her back into my car! She gets out all flustered, and I told her not to worry about the tiny paint scratch on the front. Not important. No one will notice.
The next incident was on an extremely foggy night. Mom and I were driving (very, very slowly) back home from town to avoid coming upon deer jetting out of the fields. We made it to the gravel but were coming up to a small bridge over our neighbor's creek. That's when we (kind of) saw them -- the neighbor's black steers had trampled a fence and were roaming around. Unlike the others, one decided to stay on the road and run ahead of us. And nudge. Right in the rump. He moved then, but not before returning the favor by kicking the car. Pretty sure my mom was driving that night.
The third and final incident happened in Lincoln. A family member backed into the Merc with his truck and smashed in the entire front passenger door and window. I had to drive back to West Point the next day (in January) with a semi-taped window and pieces of glass still lingering throughout the car. And, of course, on the way home, the heater went out. You can imagine what a fun ride that was, ice scraper in hand.
After that, my parents and grandpa set out to find a new door. I feared the "worst." I'm totally going to be stuck with an ugly, matte red door on this green car. It's going to be a Christmas car! And the entire town is going to see me drive around in this! My life is over. This car needs to die! Somehow, fate cut the Merc and me a break this time. They found a green Ford Taurus door, same color, nearly identical interior. And my mechanic uncle replaced it for chocolate chip cookies. Score! And that's how it became a Taurus-Sable.
|Taurus-Sable. (I happened to be wearing a red shirt this day. See how awful a red-green car would look?!)|
The driver's door started to give me fits when I was working in Wisner. Some mornings I'd get to work, and the door wouldn't open from the inside. *sigh* So, I'd wait until no one was driving or walking by before I crawled across the seat to exit through the passenger door. Oh, and then some details began to fall off, revealing massive amounts of body cancer to accent the fading paint. I was so proud.
|An accent piece below the doors on the driver's side fell off in Wisner last year.|
|And this side finally rusted out a couple weeks ago after a rain.|
|No tractor to help with this. We scooped it out ourselves. (Winter '09)|
There's also been a time where my uncle couldn't believe I was still driving it because something under the car was rusted and cracked. Apparently my wheels were about to fall off or something dramatic like that. Meh. Whatever. He fixed it for more cookies.
Oh, we've been through some excitement together, and throughout those10 years, it somehow continued to start up almost every day.
While I will hopefully be more confident taking this "new" car to work and out of town, I already find myself somehow, ever so slightly, missing Merc and all its little annoying quirks. I found so much junk while cleaning it out, like old passes to softball tournaments, a random butterfly and pool cue tip in the ash tray, a fly that has been dead near my check engine light since I've had the car, rocks, glass still under the passenger seat from the shattered window, golf balls and a cow's tooth. But I also discovered more sentimental items, like a watch my grandpa gave me many years ago, a ribbon I wore with my group at a camp, and many other random trinkets.
|I grew up on a dairy farm...does that make it at all normal to have a cow's tooth in the glove box?|
|Pardon the dust, but that fly has been there forever!|
|St. Christopher is the patron saint of travelers.|
And travel we will. This new Sable is certainly not my dream car. I didn't even want another Sable, but it's a car. This one is silver (yes, one color...no body cancer...no eyesore...YAY!) and shiny. It's clean. And five years newer. Devin went out for a ride with me for the first time the other night, and he was pretty impressed by how quiet the car is.
|Pretty sure that's a cig burn.|
(I swear it must be the car model. New wipers never worked on my old car either.) Pretty sure the passenger wiper barely skims the glass. And I know that a smoker owned this car previously. Knew it as soon as I opened the door. On my way to buy an air freshener, I confirmed it by discovering what I believe to be a cigarette burn on the driver's visor. Classy. Could be worse though. At least the smell is now more of a smoky Tahitian vanilla. I can live with that, but I think I need to just Febreze the whole interior.
So, if nothing else, here's to that and being the tiniest step closer to "fitting in" among all these Omaha Escalades, Lexuses and Porsches. Ha! *Cheers*