My mother in law desperately wants me to get a new car. One with the latest safety features; however, what is difficult for her to see beyond the pealing paint, tape deck radio, and sun damaged interior is that my car links me to my past. I feel safe in it. It reminds me of home, my mom, and many other fond memories.
I remember the day my mom first pulled it into the drive way. This was her first car. She didn't have to share it, it was not an ugly station wagon, and it was the newest car she had ever owned. For Christmas everyone pitched in and bought her a custom license plate TCwriter. She proudly drove this car for several years and I was lucky enough to borrow it when I went to college.
While in college it reminded me of the kindness of strangers as I was stranded on the road with a blown out tire. This was before I had a cell phone and I was left at the mercy of people that passed by, luckily a nice elderly couple helped me put on a spare tire, which at the time I didn't even know where it was located. I drove to the nearest fix it shop and I was quickly back on the road.
At Utah State University it drove me to my first teaching job in the bitter Logan weather. Every morning I woke up to a car frozen in ice. I scraped the snow off the window in -10 degrees. While inside it took several minutes for the car to warm up. It was so cold my CD player was even frozen. I would hold it up to the heater until it was warm enough to play music and then celebrated by eating my breakfast bar.
This student teaching job soon turned into a real teaching job in Salt Lake City. I remember the note I found placed under my wiper blades by my boyfriend as I left from work one day. This was the first of many kind acts and our friendship soon became an eternal commitment. This same car decorated with oreo cookies, white paint, and the words "Just Married" drove us home as Mr. and Mrs. Erickson. The car became ours as a Wedding gift.
I watched as my car was chained to the back of a moving van headed to California. My husband was headed off to graduate school and I took a teaching job in a low income area. There it continued to accumulate miles to and from work, the grocery store, and now the beach.
Soon the car held my most precious possession a new baby placed carefully into a car seat in the back. Trips now include visits to the doctor, park day, and the zoo.
So, my reply to my mother in law about a new car, "I am just going to have to drive this car until it dies which I'm sure will be a sad day, then maybe we can talk about something new."