Updated: Feb 18, 2021
What was your first car?!
When asked that question, you can probably picture it in your mind. All the kinks, flaws, dents, and memories. It's not something you forget. Mine?! A gold Bronco 2 manual transmission with tan leather seats, a few cigarette holes in the roof from the previous owner, and a heater that decided when it wanted to work or shut off. When I got this car, I had no idea how to drive a stick shift. My would be husband tried to explain it to me, but I still ran every stop sign on the way home in fear of the motor stalling. I worked twenty minutes away from where we lived at the time, so I had some time to figure it out. Some days, I was queen of the road. Other days, not so much. I had a lot of memories in that car. There were the moments of adrenaline when the car stalled in the middle of a traffic light and I had to work it to get it going again before I was hit. The road trips just for fun that sometimes turned into a waiting game, hoping the car would start again. On one occasion, I had been pulled over on my way to work. I thought for sure I was getting my first ticket, instead, I was told my driving was fantastic and to keep up the good work. Never have been able to wrap my head around that one. There were tears, frustration, and some joy when I could actually get my bronco to do what I wanted it to.
Recently, I found myself thinking about the Lincoln car commercial. The Matthew McConaughey one where he's driving down the road and having all of these thoughts he's speaking out loud to his car. I always thought the commercial was kind of stupid, but driving down the road this week, it got me thinking. What about our cars?! Sure, they are made of metal and we have to have them for traveling sake, but they become more than that. They are our home away from home. The place we are 40-90 percent of the time. For some, an escape from what the world is dishing out on them. We cry in these things, scream, yell, cuss, and even shout for joy in them. We become singers at the touch of the radio, whether that's a good or bad thing, no one else has to know but our car. They have taught us patience, even when we didn't feel we needed it. The worst sides of us come out in our cars, where we feel closed off from everyone else. It's a place we can let go and just feel what we need to without anyone ever knowing about it. Our secret place.
A lot of thinking is done just from point A to point B. I remember all of the thoughts I had going back and forth to the hospitals with my boys, and eventually, going back and forth to Hospice. I released so much anger and hurt on my poor car. But I also came to revelations in the midst of my pain. When we are able to let things out without judgement or hesitation, it allows us to clear our minds, making way for reason and sometimes even hope. This rolling bucket of bolts has seen and heard things I would soon take to my grave than ever reveal. It's the therapist I didn't ask for, but the one I needed most. Unfortunately, there are no car therapists. I feel like a few of mine could have used one, sorry guys.
My VW Atlas Cross sport is a stark contrast from the Bronco I started my car journey in, but I still get that same feeling when I get behind the wheel. The pride of freedom, even just for a few minutes between errands. Feeling like I could go anywhere and do anything, even though I know I won't because I have to chauffeur my daughter around instead. It's my safe place, and after the heat went out last weekend, the only place with constant warmth. That heat is what made me reflect on what this metal can really is to me. Well, that and Alan Jackson singing "Drive" on the radio may have helped some. It's that old friend that no matter how angry you are, you always make up with. It's the partner that is always up for anything you want to do. The guardian who tries so hard to get you where you need to be, even if it kills it. I know it's strange to get sentimental over something like a car, but it's hard to not have attachment to something that has been there for you at your most vulnerable.
I never thought I would be one to write about the love of a car, but here we are! So, here's a toast! To the friend, companion, and travel partner that is our cars. We wouldn't be where we are without you, literally. Thanks for putting up with all of our trash and clutter, we'll try to be better about it. May we learn to appreciate the little things we have, like you, in our lives. Thanks for your patience with me Bronco. You may have been ugly, but you were a good friend.
That's all from me this week. I hope you all have a blessed week :). See you next time!