2001. I was created, shiny and new. My owner loved me. She drove me to church and the grocery store. I was bathed regularly, fed only the best fuel, and kept in the garage. I was happy.
Okay. I really don’t know what happened in those years, but that’s how I like to remember things. It’s my story, and I’ll tell it how I want to.
2009. Despite the fact that I’d served humbly and well, my owner decided she wanted a newer, younger car. It happens to the best of us. I was sold to a teenage girl named Hannah. She loved me and I loved her. She once backed me into a truck, and my rear hip got a little dinged. But she apologized and told me it gave me character. I didn’t mind too much. I thought the scar made me look rugged.
I saw Hannah through high school. Through college. I proudly wore the Tarleton State University emblem on my back windshield. Then she inherited her grandmother’s car, which was of course, younger and newer. Rick (Hannah’s dad) kept me. He drove me to work sometimes because I get better gas mileage than his truck.
2015. I was passed on to the second girl in the family. Charis scraped off the Tarleton emblem and added a University of Mary Hardin Baylor sticker. Charis and I carried kids around—she worked as a nanny—and we carried other UMHB students here and there. We had so much fun! I didn’t even mind all the Sonic and Chick-Fil-A cups that piled up in my back seat.
Once, she knocked off my driver’s side mirror when she pulled into Sonic a little too close to the speaker. That stung a little. But Rick ordered me a new mirror and fixed me right up. The color’s a little off, but it’s okay. I call it my tattoo.
2017. Rejected again. Charis saved her money for—you guessed it! A newer, younger model. I stayed in the family, though. Rick likes to drive me to work a couple times a week.
2018. I got a boy this time! Foster got his driver’s license. I learned pretty quickly that teenage boy drivers are different from teenage girl drivers. Here’s the rundown of injuries incurred during just six months:
I lost my other mirror when Foster hit a trashcan. Rick fixed me. I lost a back tire when Foster took me mudding. Not to mention, my underside got a mud bath. Hey, some people pay a lot of money for those. Rick fixed me. Foster helped. I got a flat tire when Foster took me mudding. Again. Rick fixed me. Foster helped. I had to get all new tires because Foster likes to peel me out. I went to the tire store for that. Foster lost all my hubcaps. Foster wrecked my front end. I think he was looking at a pretty girl. Or Dairy Queen. One of those. Rick ordered a new hood and fixed me. Foster helped. Foster lost traction one day when it was raining and fishtailed into a big fancy new truck. It destroyed my rear side panel and my rear taillight. Rick wasn’t happy. But hey, I’m still drivable! Just not pretty. Rick said he’s not fixing me again. So there you have it. I’ve lived a good life. It’s been filled with laughter, joy, and purpose. As soon as Foster saves enough money to buy someone younger and newer, I’ll make my last drive over the rainbow bridge. And it’s been worth every rubber-burned mile.
Renae Brumbaugh Green is a bestselling author and award-winning humor columnist. She lives in Stephenville with her handsome, country-boy husband, nearly-perfect children, and far too many animals. Connect with Renae at www.RenaeBrumbaugh.com.