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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cars In My Life - Part 2

I have purchased seven cars in my adult life. I have also received one 38 year old car as a gift. We keep our cars for a long time....until they die. Some people have many cars. They might even lease their cars so they can have a new one every year or so. Not me. We seem to keep our cars until they no longer run, and sometimes we let the inoperable vehicle sit in the driveway for a very long time because a certain individual just can't let go. We have purchased foreign made cars (Honda, VW, Toyota, Alfa) . We express our patriotism through the color of our cars, they are all either red, white or blue, (and mostly blue). So when I purchase a car, I must choose very carefully and wisely; cars and I are connected at the seat for a very long time.

So, l'd like to take you on a tour down memory lane and introduce the top three cars in my adult life.

My very first car was a......

1970 VW Bug

Gwen, Judy and I leaving the driveway on Berkeley Court.

I purchased this powder blue Bug in 1976 from our neighbor down the street.

The trunk was in the front and the engine in the rear. It isn't the safest car on the block, especially if you rear end somebody, something I never did.

The upholstery on the back seat was well preserved because it had been protected with clear vinyl--this was removed immediately -it should be a sin to cover furniture with vinyl.

I drove my Bug back to school for my last semester of college and since there was no air conditioning, it made for an unbearable ride across the desert.

After I graduated from college, my sister Gayle, and I took a road trip to Northern California in the Bug--we camped, stayed in bed and breakfast inns and had a blast.

One day, on my way home from work, right after I had exited the freeway, my engine "threw a rod". My dad and one of his friends spent many nights rebuilding the engine. My dad is the greatest.

In the winter time, I would strap on my skiis and head to Lake Tahoe and go skiing, some of the best skiing in California.

Several times a month, Gayle and I would go to the flea market- our favorites were the Berkeley and Alameda flea markets. In those days, the flea markets were filled with many treasures, and many found their way to a new home in my Bug.

The ultimate treasure we brought home in the Bug was our daughter, Sophia.

Since our family was expanding, we needed a bigger and safer car, so we purchased a brand new....

1983 Volvo wagon

This car...

had no air conditioning
had a manual transmission
had five seat belts
had an odometer which quit working around 150,000 miles
was driven many, many, more miles after that...who knows the total
was taken on many family trips
was used to teach our three kids how to drive...with a stick shift!
was a solid safe car
had a tape player (pre cd) where we listened to books on tape while traveling across the desert
sat inoperable in our driveway for many years

So after the tow truck carted the Volvo away, we purchased a brand new.....

2000 Toyota Sienna Van

which I use to this day.

This van ...

is my truck ...
...carries loads of plants, kids, and stuff
...smells like dirt, according to some people in my family
(must be from all the plants and bags of planting mix I cart home)
...was used to carry our daughters and all their stuff to and from college
....is used when we go skiing at Lake Tahoe
...has air conditioning, cruise control, automatic windows, automatic car lock, and automatic door unlock!! Isn't automatic wonderful?
...has gone on several trips to the Forbush cabin in Wyoming, where we would rock along listening to music or books on the cd player to pass the time away
.....is my commuter car ( big commute! one half mile from home )
....is a good solid and dependable car
....will turn 10 this spring

... looks pretty good for an old geezer, eh?

When this car/van dies, I am not sure what I will purchase. I like having a vehicle to carry home large objects (i.e. furniture, wood, estate sale finds etc.). I don't purchase fancy cars. My car must be dependable, have low maintenance, comfortable and economical. What would you buy?


GwennyMac said...

Wow...what a blast from the past! I love the picture in the VW...(my memories of my sisters in their teens/twenties are very vivid! we did have a great "growing up," didn't we?!)

I think everyone's first car should be a VW bug!

Natalie said...

Is that my momma in the first pic? It looks like a Judy grin...

We LOVE our Honda Pilot. I know that Sophie's Toyota highlander is very similar. If only it got a little better gas mileage. Oh well. We can't afford a brand new hybrid type thing.

Loved the post!