Saturday, July 31, 2010

My Engizer Bunny

This is just one of the assignments I turned in last semester for my writing assignment. I may have edited slightly even more. :)

Let me first describe the car I have been driving for the last 9 and half years of my marriage. When I got married on the first of July in 2000, I inherited this 1991 Ford Escort hatchback. It was in fair condition then, the stereo worked great, the heat and a/c were alright, and it got great gas mileage, 30 miles to the gallon to be exact. Since that time, the car we have come to call the energizer bunny has detiorated. The new free enhanced features include the cracked bumper from 2 different car accidents my husband was apart of. The odometer has been turned over twice from mileage on it. The heat just got worse, to the point that I have been wearing gloves and full snow gear to and from work this past Christmas. During the summer I felt like I needed a shower after each car ride because the lack of air conditioning. The black color of the car didn’t help the heat either, just kicked up the temperature a few degrees as it sat sun bathing while I was taking a respite away from it. I don’t really want to mention the sweat beads from the summer prior. The door handle on the drivers side broke off entirely, and my husband being the ingenious man that he is got a good old sturdy belt and bolted it to the door, so that we had a handle. The ceiling fabric decided it needed a semi-separation from the rest of the car, to the point that it decided to tear off and hang down in my face every time I drove to let me know that it was dissatisfied. The automatic shoulder belt that it came with also decided to start being stubborn and decided that it wasn’t moving for anyone. So manually I have been buckling my self in, to this supposed automatic contraption. A large crack that was originally quite small, has now covered the width of the dashboard, and serenades me by rattling at stop lights. This car has kept going despite so many things wrong with it I can’t help but have some affection for its fortitude.
This car has brought home 2 out of my 3 children from the hospital. She has taken me to work at all hours of the day, with little complaint as long as she was allowed her time to wake up if it was cold outside. She has survived at least 4 flat tires, all at separate times and convinced my husband that I know how to find every nail, pot hole, surprise curb any where inside the Salt Lake Valley.
When the stereo started to go out, it started out slowly. If you gave it a good hard hit to the side of the upgraded stereo system it would usually turn back on at first. It became more fical and decided that it was too good or too new for the rest of the car after a while and just decided that it wasn’t going to work for any one or anything despite the abuse it would receive to get it to work. It would surprise us every now and then and sporadically turn on for a few minutes to let us know that it deserved better, and then quickly turned back off again. This has lead to many conversations between my husband and I, as well as many home sung kids songs to keep the kids entertained. Conversations about life and what my kids saw on the way too and from stores, politics, what made things work, and/or hopes and dreams.
The heat combined with the rolled down windows made my oldest child accustomed to having wind in her face from a very young age. My son has made jokes that he felt more alive when the wind was in his face because of the rolled down windows.
The windshield had traveled behind many a semi truck on rocky roads. At dusk and dawn the windshield had tiny little sparkles of light hit it just right and you thought you were seeing a work of art from how many little tiny dizzy stars reflected light across the whole of the window. It blinded you with its beauty, and you would have to concentrate hard to see that you weren’t going to run into the car in front of you through its dusk and dawn artwork.
It has outlived 1997 minivan that we had for a time. While the ’97 minivan only lasted us the 3 years it took us to pay for it, this energizer bunny that was paid for the day it was purchased lived a longer less luxurious life.
This car has also hit a dog. It was a very sad day, and we thought for sure that it was seriously hurt. Until we see the dog sprint back up and run to its owner across the street. We felt very sorry for it, and started to apologize profusely for my husband’s brick foot. The owner simply stated that the dog couldn’t die. This particular dog had been purposely poisoned by ill intentioned neighbors a few times and she simply refused to die, also that this was her 3rd time getting hit by a car. I think that my car saw a kindred spirit and had to say hello. I think it had to take part of the dog with it. We had noticed that part of the dogs ear was gone and wasn’t sure to be concerned. The teenage owner wasn’t overly concerned so we let it go. Until about a month later the brakes were making a screeching noise. So my husband and father in law took what would be a reoccurring theme of looking at the noisy brakes. My father in law was laughing with my husband when I came down to ask how they were doing and if they had found the problem. My father in laws sun weathered face hid a slight snicker, and then he put on a straight face as possible and said that something had gotten caught in the brakes. “What was it?” I asked. My husband pulled me into the crook of his shoulder, and said “You remember that dog we hit? We think it’s a part of his ear.” My cars memento had to be taken away. I don’t think it was entirely okay with that.
This last year as I would travel the I-15 for a half hour, the car started to politely let me know that it wasn’t feeling well. It started out with a slight rattle, that turned into an extreme shake as the speedometer approached anything close to 60 mph. After a few weeks of this it decided to say that it was going delirious and the speedometer would fly all over the place if you went any speed above 30 mph. After informing my husband he took it to the doctor, and paid more to the mechanic than what the car was worth to fix it to working order.
A month later I felt my nerves begin to fray when I had to apply the brakes on my energizer bunny. It made a horrible screeching noise and felt my foot skip a little with the depressed brake peddle. It again needed to have something checked. After my husband and father replaced both the brakes and the calipers on the car, my husband told me that we had to get a new car. He was done working on this car. He was afraid that it would need more constant repairs and that we couldn’t keep fixing it. Also that he was fearful of me driving it to and from work and that he lost sleep whenever I had to drive the car home from work late at night. I married my husband not his car, and as much as I was fond of the Energize Bunny I was going to have to buy a new car.
As I vacuumed, washed, dusted my old friend to sell her to the highest bidder, I found my 4 year olds binky from when she was a baby. I found wood chips in the crevices from when they “decorated” our car on our wedding day. I got the pennies that were stuck to the cup holders from leaked soda pop. One penny was stubborn and I couldn’t get it out and figured that is was my cars memento of us. I had to say good bye to this friend who had served its purpose well.
I feel kind of like I’m abandoning an old friend in my energizer bunny, but I like the new friend I’m making in my 2007 used Galant with only 48,000 miles on it. She keeps me warmer, and defrosts the back window for me, so I don’t have to get out and scrape it. The air conditioning freezes me out if I don’t pay attention to the setting. The radio with CD player works great, along with an MP3 connection port. She smells nice and non musty. I just hope the Galant serves me as well and as long as my Energizer Bunny did.

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White Knuckle Grip

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What striving to keep a grip on life produces.