That old car of mine has gotten me through about nine years of business trips, and it’s suffered nine years of heavy abuse because of them. It’s been as far west as Chicago and as far east as Ocean City. It’s been various places in between, almost just as far, and often.
I got it right after my oldest got her license, which was right before I got married. I watched my youngest grow up in it.
I’ve taken pretty good care of it but after a while things started to need some serious attention.
The plan all along was that by the time my youngest got her license, I would get a new car and she would buy the old one from me. Her joke with each repair was that by the time she got it, it would have all new parts.
Most of the car’s replaced parts will still be good long after the car finally gives up the ghost. Some things just don’t need to be replaced more than once. Although the windshield has been replaced twice.
And then there are the side mirrors. We keep having to replace those.
The first time, I had loaned the car to my daughter and her friend to go to a movie. She didn’t have her license yet so the friend drove. Afterward, they were slightly sideswiped by a guy in the wrong lane in a blind curve. The girls were fine, although terrified from the experience. The other driver just kept going and didn’t stop to assess the damage.
The car was fine, too, except that the driver’s side mirror had followed the other guy home.
I took it to a local garage and had the side mirror replaced. A few weeks later, the passenger side mirror was lost when a young deer on an early morning foray couldn’t decide if he wanted to stay in the road or go. His back and forth was one too many, and his indecision cost me the other mirror. I was the one driving it that time.
The folks at the local garage wondered what was really happening. Maybe they just thought I couldn’t drive and that’s what had kept them laughing in the garage the whole time I was there.
The second of these events happened some months ago. My daughter has since gotten her license and I have since gotten a new vehicle. She now routinely drives the old one to school and to work.
A couple of nights ago she called me to say that while she hadn’t gotten into an accident with anyone, she did get too close to the walls of the very narrow underpass on her way home.
The passenger’s side mirror is still dangling on that side of the car, barely hanging on.