Long Ago and …

If the photo above is not of the actual car that my family owned in 1979, it is the same model Chevy Malibu station wagon that my memory has chosen to remember as the actual car that my parents drove to cart my sister and ten-year-old me around that summer and every other summer, before 1979 and after. (My memory is not what it used to be: It is better!)

Our family road trips over about two decades included vacations in Vermont (to see family) and weekends on Cape Cod, in Pennsylvania, along the Connecticut shore. We were not a wealthy family, so our family vacations were always road trips to a destination that we could reach in one day or less of driving. My father was the only driver, so this was more than fair. The long(ish) car ride was simultaneously unendurable and somehow, maybe sometimes, the only part of the trip that was worth remembering.
Read More

Objets D’Obsolete

Each of the three cars I have owned … hold on, was it three? Let’s count.

My first car exploded into a fireball and melted into a big mound of car before my eyes precisely 23 hours after its long-standing overheating issue had been repaired. Making so many repair shop visits about this concern had been annoying, but some quick fixes are neither. The next car was also prone to overheating—steam, not flame, in this case—and I perpetually thought it was ten minutes from an explosion as well. When one has owned a car that one watched meet its end via self-immolation, one develops a sensitivity to over-heating. PTSD, even. But I saw that car on the roads of my town for a full five years after I sold it. My last car was repossessed because I was not an adult back then, and banks like doing business with adults. So, yes, three cars.

The tools of life and I do not have a functional working agreement.
Read More