Write about something that you unexpectedly had a hard time saying goodbye to.
My car before the one I currently have was a 1998 red Ford Explorer. I called it, predictably, Big Red. We bought Big Red in 2004 after my car was totaled in an accident at Crossroads in Cary the day we left for France (I needed a coat & Old Navy was the winner. Or loser depending on your point of view. I actually still have the coat.). The totaled car was 2000 Mazda Protege, belovedly and again predictably named Sandy due to her gold color. She was also my first brand new car, so she had a special place in my heart. I cried the day we received the verdict about her.
Big Red served me well. He was the biggest car I’d ever had, and I put a lot of miles on him. He took me to work. To and from Chapel Hill for class. He hauled purchases from Lowe’s for landscaping projects and was the default vehicle for grocery trips. He went back and forth from our previous house to our current one when we moved. The only real negative about Big Red was the horrific gas mileage, but he was a SUV, so I didn’t have high expectations. Oh, and he was paid for.
Then came 2009 and Cash for Clunkers. The deals were very good, and Big Red qualified as a Clunker. We had planned for me to get a new car around 2011 or 2012, but the deals made a new car almost a no brainer. And we had just brought home a newborn and putting him in an 11-year-old SUV seemed wrong somehow. Jimmy and I picked out a car, and he made the deal happen.
The day Big Red left us was more emotional than I anticipated. Though he had been a good, reliable car, I hadn’t loved him like I loved Sandy, and I felt bad about that. I also felt bad that I was essentially dooming him since he was going to be scrapped.
I patted him goodbye and told him how much I appreciated his time with us. And then they took him away.
It seems a little silly to anthropomorphize a car, but I did.
Thank you, Big Red.