While many families were ringing in the new year with good food and great company, We were sadly saying goodbye to our company and hello to a new ticket! That's right! Many of you will remember our white Mazda. Well, a few months ago it developed a "hiccup" so to speak, and decided that it would turn completely off any time we pushed on the clutch (unless we kept the A/C and Heater in the permanent OFF position). With two young children in the car, that got to be a problem because the girls were either hypothermic or dehydrated whenever we were driving somewhere. So, we decided to put the old guy to rest and get a new car. We ended up purchasing a Toyota Camry from Kevin's parents back in August and since then the Mazda has been peacefully resting in our parking lot waiting to be sold to a poor, single college student who wouldn't mind a little extra heat and cold.
For reasons unknown to us, the police men around here decided that January 1st would be a great time to punish us for parking our car and they ticketed us. We were confused because we thought as long as it was parked off the street, they couldn't give us a ticket. ALL LIES! Upon calling the police department to contest the ticket, I was told that unless I owned a garage and parked the car in there, they would keep ticketing me until the car was gone. And they did. On January 2nd we got another ticket! Thus, on January 3rd, we spent the whole day trying to get someone to come and tow the car for us. I finally got a hold of the Purple Heart Foundation and they agreed to come and get the car the next day. A promise that they kept, which incidentally kept us from another ticket. THANK GOODNESS!
The tow truck driver was courteous and professional and it only took him about 4 minutes to load the car and take off into the sunset!
As he started pulling away from our home I felt immediate relief that we would no longer have to worry about getting ticketed. But then...
...as our little Mazda turned the corner and started to fade out of my view, I felt a sudden sadness. So many memories are tied to that little white car and the 230,998 miles on its odometer!
The Dell Hanks family will have more memories than me because the car belonged to them long before it belonged to Kevin and I. But in the 5 years that we owned it, we built up quite a collection of our own memories. For starters, it was really the first car I ever drove. I was terrified of driving from day one and my sister Sarah chauffeured me for most of my teenage (and young adult) life. After I got married I HAD to drive and since this was the car we had, I HAD to drive stick! I spent many hours stalling, jack rabbiting, and peeling out at stop lights in this car and I also had multiple mini-heart-attacks, adrenaline rushes, and close calls while I was learning to drive it... and drive in general for that matter!
This car followed us to 9 different homes in two different states, lasted through several long and scary winters, and drove me to and from the hospital twice on my way to have a baby.
It has carried us to many campsites, up several canyons, and through many adventures, including a micro-burst on the freeway, and a very fierce hail storm on our honeymoon!
In the combined hands of Kevin, myself, Jennie, and Dell, our car has traveled across the United states and has rubbed its tires on the roads of Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, North and South Dakota, Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Vermont. In fact, we've logged enough miles now to get us all the way to the moon! We have seen hundreds of incredible and amazing things from its windows including a herd of bison, fighting mountain goats, Mount Rushmore, and nearly ALL the historic church sites!
Indeed, we have also spent many hours fixing little things like a trunk that wouldn't close or doors that wouldn't open.
We've also had to kick the doors open from the inside when they froze shut because the seals leaked, or sit on towels after it rained because the windshield leaked...
But all-in-all, it was a GREAT car that took us to many places, supported our family needs, and blessed us tremendously over the years. It will be missed but as Brooklyn keeps telling me, "Don't worry mommy! Those guys are gonna give our car to someone who doesn't have nothin! Just like grandma shared her car with us!" And when that happens, I'm sure it will take the next guy through just as many adventures as it did for us.