Saturday, January 22, 2011
We said goodbye to our faithful Caddy this week.
It was time.
This car has been with us longer than I've had...well, almost anything. Even longer than almost any house I've lived in.
This car was free. It was given to us and I loved it so much because of that.
Not having a car payment meant that my kids could go to an amazing private school. It meant that our life was more comfortable. It meant a certain amount of freedom - especially the kind of freedom that meant I could quit my awful office job and teach piano, a pay cut of more than half.
It hasn't been a beautiful car in a very long time, but that crooked bumper on the back of it is a reminder that my giant, free car protected me well when I was hit by a careless driver.
Little things and big things alike have gone wrong with it for quite a while, but they have started to add up lately and we have been entertaining the idea of finding something else. But, since we're friends, I can be honest with you, right?
I didn't want something else.
I wanted my free car.
I don't care that it isn't pretty. I don't care that the leather seats have rips in them. I don't care that the bumper has made embarrassing noises while driving since my accident. I really don't. Because it's free and it gave me freedom to do something I love.
My husband has been dutifully shopping for cars. I have been pretending we weren't getting anything else. I have been, secretly, afraid that I will have to be a secretary again. I don't have time to think about a car either. I am sprinting through the next four weeks or so, due to some serious over-scheduling and I just don't have the emotional and mental capacity to face what shopping for a new car might mean.
But something happened that changed everything. We found somebody who needed my free car more than I did. And, you know what? Suddenly, I felt better about losing my free car. Everything it has meant to me, it can mean for someone else now.
We didn't get a fancy car, but we got a solid workhorse that should be less expensive to repair than the Cadillac. We are working on naming it, because we name everything in our family. My husband and my parents took care of me in this thing. I couldn't handle it and they did - beautifully. And, you know, I think it was a God thing too. Our needs have been provided for without straining our budget beyond what we can bear and somebody else gets to drive a free car.
I will miss those eight cylinders rumbling under my gas-pedal foot. I like to drive fast and Caddies go fast. But my new car is rear-wheel drive. Taking corners in that thing? Pretty fun.