Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Farewell, Old Friend

This is Bertha.  She has been a member of our family for quite a long time.  We were living in the city, decided to move to the boonies and made the move in early summer so we didn't have to go to work.  We knew that at the end of the summer, we would have to buy another car but we kept avoiding thinking about it.  Finally, Liz and John were up to visit and they decided to take us in hand and introduce us to the joys of  I was in serious denial about the whole thing - buying a used car terrified us.  We drove up to Orillia, spent $8000 and came home with Bertha.  She was about 7 years old when we bought her and while she was in great shape, she already had pretty high mileage.

We have gone through 7 years together and have had a kind of love-hate relationship.  She has all-wheel drive and is a joy to drive in the winter.  She is fairly good on gas and has an amazing amount of room for taking stuff.  She took us to several dog shows in the U.S., drove across fields to hunt tests and helped friends move.  She doesn't have a CD player, for the last three years, her a/c hasn't worked and the sensor panel lights up like a Christmas tree whenever we turn her on.  We haven't been able to lock her for the last year or so, she has packing tape holding pieces on and for the last several weeks, I have had to wait for dh to power up the car before I can leave, just in case it doesn't work and the noises coming from her are terrifying.  We blew a tire together on the 404 and our garage floor is now coated in oil from her oil leak.  She is ugly, covered in rust and increasingly unpredictable.

Today, we traded her in for a new vehicle.  We did it with a profound sense of relief, knowing that we can now fairly safely assume that we WILL get to work.  It was all good and I was feeling very positive and then the family curse kicked in.  I started to feel sad for poor Bertha.  She worked hard for us in her way and it seemed kind of sad to drive away from the dealership and just leave her there.  When I was a child, my father was ridiculously sentimental and we were never allowed to throw out stuffed animals because he felt sorry for them.  My parents' house is filled with junk, primarily because dad feels sad about things being thrown away and no longer having a purpose.  The impact of "The Velveteen Rabbit" on him was just too profound.   I guess I suffer from that, too.  (I guess one of those "generational strongholds" to my Bible study friends).

So, Bertha, I salute you.  You have served us well and we appreciate all that you have done for us.  Thanks for the adventures!

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