My car, we’ve been through a lot. She’s my pal, she’s like a horse that I pat on the flank when she’s doing a good job or when I worry about her. In Massachusetts every year you have to take your car in for an inspection, they put your car through a barrage of tests, emissions, wind shield wipers, undercarriage, seat belts, you name it. I get nervous every time because if your car doesn’t pass you have 60 days to fix whatever ails it. But this time while my girl, her name is Malibu, was getting the once over, I was reminded of taking my pets to the veterinarian. The technician used to take my poor, scared dog away to some back room and behind closed doors give her injections or take tests, while leaving me in the white exam room.
That’s what it was like with my car today. They took my keys, made me connect all the seat-belts in the backseat and then they drove her through this large opening with a rolling door, while I watched helplessly as it slowly descended, trapping her inside. If I smoked I would have been pacing and puffing vapors out front awaiting her release. Instead I sipped my coffee and hoped they wouldn’t do anything to hurt her.
I have had her since she was “born” in 2006. We’ve been around the country many times, she has almost 200,000 miles, she has taken care of me, and kept me out of accidents, so there is a bond there. I worry about the day that I have to trade her in. Not only is it a huge expense but the memories that she is a part of are irreplaceable. Freddy, the elf, is still on the dashboard and keeps me down to earth and feeling magical.
This attachment to vehicles runs in my family. My dad had a Corvette, bought during a mid-life crisis. He loved that car, even though he struggled to get in and out of it as he aged. He has passed it down to my brother who leaves it covered and hardly driven with its license plate that reads MYDADCR.
My brother’s first vehicle was a sky-blue, Chevy pick-up truck. The havoc he would cause in that thing in high school was notorious. It is still in pristine, restored condition over 40 years later. Gregg is a terrific mechanic and worked on our cars at home to keep them running perfectly.
My first car was a hand-me-down from my sister, an old standard-shift Toyota Celica. We called her the Buva Cruiser. Buva is what I called my sister when I was too little to pronounce her name, Bonni, correctly. I will never forget my 16th birthday, passing my driver’s test and proudly driving the Buva Cruiser into town to the high school. I honked my horn waving to the after-school crowd on the football field and the horn got stuck on! It was horrifying, it kept on blaring as I drove down the street and back up the street until I pulled over and someone came and helped me open the hood and disconnect the horn, way too many embarrassing minutes later.
My car, Malibu, has been crunched in the front, when I rear-ended somebody; in the back, when somebody rear-ended me; part of the undercarriage torn off when I drove off-road over a boulder (The cabin that built me…). We’ve been through a lot!
So this blog is in honor of all the cars that get us from here to there and especially mine who has taken me around the country to see what a beautiful land we live in. These photos were all taken from inside of Malibu, or of her from the outside. Here’s to all the roads we travel on and to the month of May! If you could scroll through the photos with music the Temptations would be singing along…
I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day.
When it’s cold outside I’ve got the month of May.
I guess you’d say
What can make me feel this way?
My girl (my girl, my girl)
Talkin’ ‘bout my girls (my girl)…