We’ve been talking about getting a new car, and it looks like it might actually happen in the next few days. In the mean time, I’ve been thinking about my old car. I loved that car. A 1992 Ford Explorer, 4X4, Eddie Bauer edition. Teal and tan, with a tan interior. This picture shows my first day of school junior year, also my first day driving to school. On my way to school, I picked up three of my best friends, who I drove to and from school every day that year.
My Explorer meant trips to the movies, the mall, Friendly’s, the diner, football and basketball games. It meant time with my friends and helping my parents drive around my brothers, which I was happy to do. The independence of having my own car and a driver’s license was a great feeling, and I remember wondering how my grandma and great-grandma could go their whole lives without ever driving.
In the past few years with my unreliable car, I feel like I’ve lost some of that freedom. I don’t want to drive on the highway or too far, for fear it will break down. I don’t offer to drive when I go somewhere with friends, colleagues or classmates. The bumper is rusty, it sometimes runs funny, there’s no air conditioning, the window doesn’t roll down smoothly, the driver’s side door sometimes won’t unlock, and the brakes have gone out. It’s frustrating, embarrassing, and scary.
So now, when I think about getting a new car, it takes me back to that feeling of being sixteen, like I’m regaining that independence. I’m excited!