December 16, 2014

Old Blue

This beauty is better known as Old Blue.  Just take a look at her and judge her, we don't mind, everybody else we know does.

Look at those sturdy windows.  Besides the greasy fingerprints and left over egg stains from an unfortunate attack, they keep the wind and the rain out.  Just don't roll those windows down though.  They take about three days worth of hitting the "up" button to get them back in their original position.  In order to avoid this I've-fallen-and-I-can't-get-back-up situation, we look real classy going through the drive through line at Starbucks.  The whole drive through convenience is kind of ruined when you have to take off your seatbelt, open the door and get out of the car to get your drink.  I still do it though because I'm real sophisticated.

Oh, and also, her air conditioning died a slow death a few years back.  This is normally fine, The Pells aren't that fancy.  You'll just know that the combo of no A.C. and non-rolling down windows makes for some strange sweat stains during the summer months.  People did drive cars before A.C. was invented. They lived, so can we.

Just last summer, the plastic door handle mechanisms decided they'd had enough of us abusing them. All of the getting in and getting out and getting in and out.  "Enough!", they said.  Now you have to know the special trick of shimmying the broken pieces sideways instead of pulling out to get the door open.  Actually, it's kind of like a cool secret agent trick that only special people know.  Old Blue, she's cool like that.  If you don't know the special code, you may get locked inside the car, with air tight windows that don't go down, and no A.C.  Awesome.

In the winter months, she takes a few minutes to warm up.  If she's not quite ready to be out on the open road, she'll let us know with a high pitched squeal.  Sometimes, even after warmed up, she'll squeal for a while, just to let us know she's still running.  And to tell us that she loves us.  Because she does.

When we first got her in 2008, another family had already had her for 8 years.  They must not have loved her like we do because they only put 60,000 miles on her.  We've hung out with her for 140,000 memorable miles in the last six years.  Yep, that's right.  Last week she hit 200,000 miles.  She's a rock star.

She's hit a few bumps in the road though.  When she was new to the Pell Family, we had her shipped to South Carolina.  We thought the shipping company put a huge dent in her rear so we took her to get fixed.  When the cosmetician came out to estimate what it would be to fix her up, we couldn't find the dent anymore.  We discovered another super power.  Depending on the weather, she can choose to either show her dents or hide them.  Pretty much every panel on her is dented, but you would never know unless it's really hot outside.

One time we were on a road trip in the middle of Oregon and her transmission blew out.  It really wasn't her fault.  She hung on for as long as she could.  Nine months prior, we accidentally bumped her gear shift into Reverse, while driving on the freeway, going 70 miles an hour.  She was kind of mad about that, but she forgave us.  We also had some issues with a rat taking up residence in her air filter.  Again, not her fault.

Since she's getting up there in age, every time I take her in to get the oil change, I expect the mechanic to give me the bad news.  It never happens!  I get a, "Looks good!  See you in 3,000 miles!"  Every time!  I told you.  She's been good to us.  She's taken us through South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri, Nebraska, Wyoming and Idaho.  Then from Idaho, through Oregon, to Washington and back several times.  From Idaho, we drove through Nevada and down to California for vacation.  Then through, Idaho and Montana to move to North Dakota.  From North Dakota, we drove down to the Twin Cities a couple times to see what Minnesota had to offer.  Then on the move back to Washington, we repeated some of those states again.

She has a chunk bitten out of her steering wheel.  Jack used her as a teething ring while waiting in the ferry line to get to Lopez Island.  Luke decided to tag her arm rest in the back seat.  "LUKE PELL" will forever be scratched into her.  We've stained the seats and carpet with dirt from the ball field, sand from the beach, melted candy from some birthday party, and spilled juice from another road trip.  Lately, there's a stale milk smell emanating from the back seat.  We don't even have toddlers anymore with their rogue sippy cups.  I have no idea where that smell is coming from.  Every time I vacuum her out, I find new treasures.  I wonder what I'll find next time.

I know her days are numbered and that makes me so sad.  She's part of the family.  We've been everywhere with her and a lot of our life has happened with her.  I also love her because she is the ultimate symbol of our rage against the keeping up with the Joneses.  We don't need a shiny new car to let the world know we are alright.  We are alright with a squealing, dented up, egged, no A.C. memory maker.  And she's okay with us, for now, until the mechanic gives me the bad news.  Until then, this is how we roll.

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