Strange viewpoint from a 50something

Posts tagged ‘cars’

Repost of “Time to Accessorize”

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11, 2012

        Style. We all have our own. Each feeling comfortable with our special quirk. I’ve always admired those who can rock the latest trends. And in each decade I’ve lived, I have seen some interesting trends!! Even went through a few myself! (Hip hugger jeans in the 70’s!!  Leg warmers in the 80’s!!)
But personal style in nothing without accessories. Hats, earrings, handbags, belts, shoes, boots… the list is endless. Each of us has that one item that once we’ve got it on, the attitude changes and we walk a little taller! I’ve never been much of a clothes horse, I am the most comfortable in jeans, t-shirt and a great pair of broken-in Reeboks. It’s my accessory that makes me.
I have one friend with a bracelet fetish, another a collector of handbags, and one who loves boots. But me? My favorite accessory? My car. Yep, I said it. My car. There is nothing like it. Climbing behind the wheel, adjusting every thing just so… pushing the clutch pedal in, gliding the shifter into 1st gear, aahhh… for me, that’s heaven. I just love to drive. Let me say that again… I just love to drive!!
I have always had a thing for cars. Every car I’ve owned in my driving career, no matter what shape the poor thing was in, I tried to fix, cover, or disguise.. I’d wash, wax and shine to make it look it’s best. Once that was achieved, I’d sit a little taller, my disposition more self assured and I’d feel fantastic!!
Oh, I’ve felt the sting of finding one of my favorite sweaters in the dryer – now 3 sizes smaller than me! Another sting of one missing (and still lost!) diamond earring! The loss of that favorite item, whatever it may be, is painful. (Damn! I looked great in that!!) Oh… Ouch!! Stung again!! Only this time it’s my FAVORITE accessory!!
A few days before Thanksgiving, on my way to work in the pouring rain, I caught a patch of standing water in the road and it spun my little blue car around in circles and then crashed into the guard rail. Many blessings were counted – I was not hurt – no other cars or people involved – no property damaged. Whew!! Poor little thing took a hard hit though and has been parked in our driveway since, awaiting judgement as to whether or not it can be fixed. Another blessing is that I do own another vehicle, so I was not without a car. Things changed though… car #2 is now down for the count. Fixable? Yes, but very, very costly.
I am now driving one of Del’s cars. I am not complaining, as it is a way to get from point A to point B. It’s just that I am not myself in this vehicle. It’s a hoopty. Just typing that word depresses me. A black car with a white hood and one white fender. Ok, imagine that beautiful leather coat you love to wear, because it just wears you so well. It’s gone. Now imagine another black coat but someone has ripped the collar and one sleeve off of it and replaced it with dirty white corduroy… are you with me? Let’s just say… I DON’T WANNA WEAR THIS COAT  DRIVE THIS CAR!!!
Umm, sorry, but it goes beyond just looking hoopty! To get out of said vehicle, you have to roll the window down to open door from outside as it has no inside door handle. When it rains it drips on your left leg. The dashboard has a huge void where a radio once resided. Now a big gaping hole with wires dangling. (Anyone who knows me knows that music is a BIG DEAL with me….. smh). But the kicker of this hoopty (as if these few things were not enough) is I must lift the hood and touch a wire to the positive post on the battery to start it!!!! Arrggg!!! Really??
I am not, in any way, under valuing the fact that I have a car to drive. I realize there are many that do not have the luxury of having multiple cars to use. For this I am very grateful. But my vanity is suffering!!
Ok, I’ve come to the conclusion it is time for a new coat… er, car. Not necessarily a new one… just one that is new to me. The hunt has begun. It’s sorta like contemplating a new hair style. Hmm.. wonder what the future has in store?
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I find my soul when rubber meets the concrete…

My hoopty vacation has come to a close. There was just something sad about that long drive home. Don’t get me wrong… it’s not the driving! As you well know that is my thing… but the return to real life, after a few days on the beach?? I won’t be right for a while!
I held out hope that I would finally drive my little blue Baby. Del has her as fixed as she going to get right now. And she was ready just a few days before my trip!! Much discussion later, we decided I would be better off driving ‘hoopty’ because at least it is reliable. After the left hook little blue took from that guardrail, driving locally for a time is highly recommended. Oh the crush to my vanity!! Even if ‘Baby’ does have major crash/scratch/dent issues down one side… oh how I want to run the roads with her again!!! (It won’t be long… I’ll soon be back in her driver’s seat that fits my tail so well, my hand on the shifter, my feet poised over those pedals on the floor!!  omg I misssssss her!!! =)! )
Resigned to driving the hoopty, it really was an awesome trip. Something I had looked forward to for quite awhile. And I need that… the anticipation of something. The minute I hit the road heading south, I felt the stress wash right off of me. The freedom of choosing whatever route I want to go… ahhh! My destination this trip was Sunny Florida, but the adventure was in getting there. The things I get to see — those things that peak my interest enough for me to get off the beaten track to investigate. That’s what it’s about. You don’t know if any given exit holds a moment that will effect your attitude. That chance encounter with someone who will do or say something that might change you for the rest of your life! An action, a smile or a wave, or maybe a genuinely sincere hello from a stranger. I think the main thing is to be open to those possiblities! I drove roads I’ve never driven and on those well run roads – I ventured off on exits I’d only passed by before.
I love driving, just going from here to there. Highway driving is a favorite. If I had done things different when I was younger I might have been a truck driver. Those rigs that scream the highways with me, I have so much envy and respect for them. Most folks just see them as a roadway hazard, them big ole things clogging up the highways. But they are what moves America!! It is a remarkable industry, and has a huge family called ‘truckers’ that keep it alive! These 18 wheeled beasts carry everything from A to Z!  Most people have no idea of the mass that those trucks have.. cutting them off with no regard for the consequences. Little do folks realize, but these big rigs are driven by people like you and I, small humans compared to the trucks they drive. Huge mass with moving momentum is not easy to stop in an instant! And as good a driver as they might be, it takes so much more to stop one!! My advice to any who share the roads with them, they are NOT road bullies, they are just BIG travelers!! So make some room!! A fantastic community of men and women who will watch out for you if you show them the respect they deserve. And, of course, I can draft them! I have only drafted a few who didn’t like me doing that.. but most of them don’t seem to mind. I just had my longest draft run ever, behind a Peterbuilt up I-75, I was in his draft for 92 miles!! I wonder what he was thinking as he watched me in his mirrors??  When I changed interstates I honked a big thank you and he flickered his lights!! Now that is some highway communication!!! He was AweSome!!
As I rolled the roads, thoughts flowed easy as I passed mile marker after mile marker. I am at my calmest behind the wheel. The only thing missing this trip was my car stereo. (Hoopty has a vacant spot where radio should be) I had only my ipod with those damned earbuds. (Which after a couple hours become uncomfortably annoying) I channeled my inner little girl as I let the music enter my ears and leave through my voice. As I schreeched sang each song, I was flooded with memories both good and bad. It’s amazing how far I have come, all the lives I’ve lived. All the people I have known. And just where would I like to go?? Who the hell knows! Doesn’t matter though because it ends at the same place we will all face called death. But damned if I’m not do some serious shifting and skid in screaming ~ Hell Yeah!! =D

I do believe that tunnel light is getting brighter!

I rolled into the driveway after work tonight, and pulled up next to my little blue baby. She has a different look about her. Like she knows something. Like she’s waiting.

Sitting in various spots in the yard since last November, awaiting whatever her fate had in store. Finally (!), after such a long time, a verdict rendered! Del, and his buddy Don, replaced the bent k-frame and the right front strut. The wheel I had there is bent and unusable, so he bought an old stock wheel and tire. Last night when I got home from work he insisted I drive it around the block. And I did. The familiarity. The love I feel for that car, it’s still very strong. Poor baby still needs some work, but the thing is, she now sits there with the glow of life!

I have missed her terribly! These months driving the hoopty has sure taken it’s toll on me. It’s been awful. My individuality has taken a such a slam! As grateful as I have been to have a car to get me from A to B, oh, the mental anguish!! The little inconvienences, and the big ones too! For more than 6 months I had to pop the hood and touch a wire to the positive battery post to start the damn thing… the turning point, for me and that maneuver, was the day I sat in that stupid car for 10 minutes in the parking lot of a grocery store, waiting for this fine looking man in the Jaguar parked next to me, (who was all involved in his cell phone) to leave, just so he wouldn’t see me lift the hood! Oh the things you will do to save the vanity!! (side note… I went home and complained about this very instance to Del and he fixed it so I can touch these wire together inside the car. Not a sure fix, but no more lifting the hood!)

The thing I’ve missed the most is my music. I have worn earbuds since the wreck, but it’s just not enough. My little blue baby has a great stereo and some bump in the trunk!! I have missed the feel of the music, the tingle of the bass vibrating the driver seat. So looking forward to my first lengthy ride. I’ve already started my “my car is back!” playlist!!

Even though she bears the scars of the guardrail down her right side and now sports mismatched wheels, she sure looks awful pretty to me! All one color, with windows that roll down and door handles that engage from inside the car. No puddles of water on drivers seat after a rain. I’ve had her more than 6 years.. she has become part of me. I will drive her lovingly-hard until she can take no more. Only a matter of time until I am back behind her steering wheel, I know it. More importantly… she knows it. She has that perky look, like she is ready for the two of us to haul ass and scream down the highway….  together again.