Friday, January 11, 2013

Some Things Get Better with Age

Last fall we became the joyous owners of a 2008 Volkswagen Rabbit. The Rabbit replaced a 1995 Toyota Camry and joined a 1992 Toyota Camry in our driveway.  Due mostly to our aversion to car payments, we have always owned older cars and purchasing a four-year old car was like landing smack dab into the lap of luxury.  Instead of asking questions at the car dealership like, "What is included in the warranty?" and "Does it come in leather?" we were asking questions like, "Does the car's air conditioning work?" and "Will the car accellerate from 0 to 60 mph in under 30 seconds?"

Our Camry is our A to B car, in that it will get you from point A to point B.  Never mind how long that will take, or how many times you will have to restart the car after it dies on your way to your destination, but yes, you will eventually get there.

When the Camry began smoking under the hood, we took it to the mechanic. He inspected it, drove it around and called us. He made a list of every single thing wrong with the car and wrote out how much it would cost to fix it. He told us that the car was safe to drive, and that the cost of getting it completely fixed would outweigh the value of the car. Basically, I think he rolled his eyes and muttered under his breath, "What do you want from me? It's old and it burns oil!"   He gave it back without charging us (I think he felt bad for us) and encouraged us to keep topping it off with oil.  Yes, the Camry is a lot like an old lady.  She's slow, breaks easily, and is a little smelly.

On the bright side, driving an 20+ year old car has given me more compassion for my fellow drivers. It's given me a new perspective on other people's woes. For example, it never occurred to me that drivers of vintage vehicles aren't necessarily trying to convert me to their style of music during the summer. It's just that the weather is hot and the airflow is better with the windows down.  But perhaps most of all, in my more than ten years of driving, I never realized that when I've been screaming at the slowly accelerating car in front of me "Go! Go! GO!" that the driver of that car may have been screaming the exact same thing


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Kristi said...

well written, Heather! love and miss you.


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