Old Faithful- that’s what I should have named this wonderful car. This was the first new car I had ever owned. It was a family car, but I say “I” since I was the one who put nearly 275,000 miles on her over the span of 18 years.
This car brought new puppies home and brought them on their final ride at the end of their long lives. This car traveled to see colleges, see what best suited our kids and later packed their lives into it to drop them off for their starts in adulthood. The Smith sticker fell off a while ago, but most of the other college stickers held on till the end. USM, Guilford, Queens University and first- Gould Academy where they attended high school.
This car was the one that kids noticed in the parking lot and said- “is it a stick? a 5 speed?” “yes” “cool” “can I buy it from you?” “no…” I loved driving the 5 speed- I felt I had the ultimate control , especially in winter driving conditions- solid and stable as anything around.
Old Faithful was the car that I tried to teach my daughter how to drive a stick- it was still new and she was “burning the clutch” and I wasn’t the most generous of teachers at that moment- it was my car! my baby! I probably scarred her, but really- my clutch! That same clutch lasted the entire time I had the car- unbelievable. I had had Saabs before and had burned through more clutches than I can count. Old Faithful- she was good to me.
This car helped the special needs kids that I worked with learn to go to the gas station and fill up the tank, pay inside, get coffee from a local shop, a muffin, a treat- deliver items here and there. These things that were hard and uncomfortable for them but became lessons that were invaluable as young teens – life lessons, confidence builders. That was a time when I could easily take students to town in my own vehicle without reprisal or fear of a lawsuit. I just had to fill out a form to say I was taking them off campus. Eighteen years ago, life was different.
I held onto her probably longer than I should have but she was a symbol of my life as an active mom. I carted kids to games, ski races, dance lessons, school events, friends parties, doctor visits, vet visits, rides with my dogs, conversations that wouldn’t have happened if were weren’t in the car- the time that was hectic and wonderful, busy and full.
This car was the place where I first met my son in law as I picked up our daughter and some friends who were hiking the Appalachian Trail and needed a break- to come off the trail and have a good meal, a swim and a bed. It would later take me to their wedding and help with bringing things back and forth from our house to the reception area for the best party ever.
This car was the one that first took me to a rug hooking lesson. Then later on to a studio that would become the springboard for my business. Old Faithful…
When it was evident that Old Faithful wasn’t as reliable as she once was , I bought a new Subaru- another Forester, a silver one- to go with my graying hair. This car, I could tell when I drove it off the lot, will probably not make it 18 years. This one has been the car that I have started a new generation with- my grandchildren. We go here and there learning things- life lessons again- confidence building – it will take us to the wedding of our son n September- it will take us to new places and another era in our lives. It has brought me and my hooking to venues and events that are helping with my visibility as a business.
This car will most likely bring home another puppy – probably after the wedding. Time to start anew.
As I watched Old Faithful drive away for the last time I was full of memories. I will build future memories with this car- one I have yet to name. New adventures await.