Monday, October 12, 2009

My 1995 Buick is Dead

So it finally happened, at least I think it did. My 1995 Buick Regal 4 door Sedan died. 241,000 miles and she was one tired car. Just to make sure we do have a "second opinion" stopping by to listen to the old gal to see if she is as bad as it sounds. She is making lots of LOUD grinding, won't idle, spewing up steam sounds.

It does not look good.

She took care of me to the very end. Broke down just one mile away from the cottage. Now she sits in the driveway awaiting the "second opinion". I emptied out my belongings because deep down I know I will not drive her again.I cleaned her up one last time reflecting on how good of car she truly had been.
She (I never gave her a specific name) was a gift from some good friends who knew I really needed a car. I had set my sights on a cool little motorcycle, however, they stepped in and just gave me the car...title and all. My dog Lucy was happy that I got the car instead of the bike. I have to admit she was not my "style" except that she was free so I guess the universe knew better than I what my "style" should be. She looked like a retired "snowbird" car, (snowbirds are OLD PEOPLE who flock to the southwest each winter in search of warmer weather). In some respects it was kind of neat to have a car that looked like that...other drivers tend to give a wide margin of error for cars driven by OLD PEOPLE. Expectations of being a good driver are much lower for a gramma-type car or as a friend liked to call it a "stealth mobile". She actually could clip along quite nicely however she didn't draw attention to herself like a sporty little red car would of, i.e. not one speeding ticket.

I remember the first decal I stuck on her in hopes of giving her a tad bit more personality. It was a cool phoenix type of bird. More were added, reflecting various parts of my life that I wished to share with the world, or at least other drivers. I especially like how the car looked when I put my surfboard on top. The first board I had was sort of strange looking, but it didn't matter, it was a a surfboard and when I strapped it on I felt a bit more alive since I knew I was on my way to scare the living crap out of myself.

The car brought out the best in people.

As I mentioned before the car was given to me. That in itself does not happen to many people. Louie and Nancy, I bet you didn't think that I would have her for 241,00 miles! Thank you for your generosity. It didn't stop there. The kind things that happened to me because of the car are almost too numerous to list. A Starbucks customer giving me $100 to help me with a move to the coast. Little did he know that the car desperately needed brakes, and I had a brother to put them on, just no money to buy the brake pads. A friend bought (via telephone and credit card #) me an alternator in a small town in Quartzsite AZ when she (the car) broke down. It was 110 degrees and some very kind people towed me to a patch of shade and put the alternator in since I did not have the money to have a mechanic install it. And that is just two instances. I had many more.

It was situations like that, that made the car so special.

The first dent was by my daughter wasn't a bad dent, however now she looks like she has been in a demolition derby. I have to admit I put in most of them (dents)and for that I apologize old gal...(at least your rear still looks good!). As I was vacuuming her for the last time this morning I have to pat myself on the back that no matter how beat up she looked on the outside, I always kept her clean, and kept up with the oil changes.

I will miss her, she moved me from Tucson, Arizona to Seaside, Oregon then up to Astoria,on to Portland, back down to Tuscon then returned us safely to Portland.
No wonder she got worn out. She did get vandalized once. The crummy thieves broke a rear window and got a poorly hidden purse and laptop. Lesson learned.

I actually felt a few tears as I took the last bit of personal "stuff" from the car. It was a weird looking piece of dried seaweed that was in the rear console area of the car. It was given to me by an artist when I had a coffeeshop and looked like a large sperm.

I know the car was just a bunch of nuts and bolts, metal and rubber, however the memories run deep. Friends safely carried, moves safely made.

Good bye 1995 Buick Regal 4 Door Sedan.

Hello Mini Cooper.

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