Five days after I posted about my awesome Camry, who has stood the test of time and seven moves, she didn’t pass the state inspection. Normally, this means something minor, but this time the cost was greater than her worth. Thus, I called it: at 14:00 on Monday October 12th, 2015. As I drove back home knowing her next stop was not with me, I thought about the first day I got her. She was my dad’s and at the time I had to say goodbye to my first car (a teal protege). I didn’t even appreciate who I was getting. While I realize many people may have driven cars longer than 14 years, in this time I became a full fledged adult. I live in a house. I have a grown-up job. I even have a retirement fund. When I got her in March of 2001, I wasn’t even legal.
The car before her was just as special because I learned to drive with her. Through several flat tires thanks to curbs that just keep jumping into my tires and impromptu road trips with K, my Protege was hard to let go off. Leaving her meant that high school was really over and those days of packing as many friends into my car to drive over to Lake Artemesia in Greenbelt were definitely over. I was now a college student. Fourteen years later, I am similarly overwhelmed at how quickly time passes. College, Graduate School, and nine years of teaching are behind me. Each finish line we crossed and survived. Looking back now I see clearly through my rear view mirror how much progress I’ve made and through my windshield the road ahead gives me a path towards how much more there is to accomplish and live and be. I am full of past, present and future hopes. It is sad to know that she won’t be part of the ones to come, but damn was is a good ride–bumpy, a little noisy, but so good!
My sweet bronze Camry who sports her tape deck proudly brought me to the following:
- My first trip back to India to teach and live there for 2 and 1/2 months.
- Many dates including my first with my husband.
- To my first teaching job at 23
- To dance class after dance class in pursuit of someday dancing for Janet.
- To multiple Tori Amos concerts
- To New York City!
- To Nashville and my 1st real full-time job
- To southern cities like Birmingham and Chattanooga
- To Boston and it’s beautiful coastal towns all over New England
- Back to the DCMDVA area to get married
She has taught me that life is not about acquiring flashy things, but instead about the experiences you get to acquire.