Thursday, July 11, 2013

Rite of Passage

Today was a happy and somewhat bittersweet day. Four weeks ago, my engine disintegrated while driving home after climbing one night. Upon hearing the price to replace the engine, I went out and bought a new car. It was the third time I've bought a car, but the first time I didn't need help with the financing. I even chose a practical car with less power, concerned instead with things like safety features and mileage. Perhaps I was finally maturing.

I've joined the Subaru club. Bring on the snow!
For over two years now, my parents have been getting by with one car. It worked since they worked (relatively) near each other and could carpool, but things like shopping, errands, and shuttling grandparents around made life difficult. Even on his day off during the week, dad would have to get up and drive mom to work so that he could do his errands during the day, then go back and pick her up. It was a crazy shuffle. When mom got laid off and found a job further away, dad started taking the bus to work. It was madness and it couldn't go on.

Through some good fortune, my insurance decided to cover my car as a flood loss and put in a used engine. Finally, they had their second car! Along with the engine I had some other repairs done (7 years on the clutch that I taught myself to drive stick on), trying to get the car into as perfect shape as I could for them. I had just replaced the struts (remember that time lapse?), the tires were a year old, and with the repairs there shouldn't be any major work needed for a long time.

Tonight we went to pick up the car and put dad's new plates on. I remembered the day I bought that car, how happy I was. It was such a great car and I have so many fond memories. With that car I became a cyclist, a kayaker, a climber, and a business owner. Unlike the MINI, I never had a single issue with it. It just went, and went well. It was the first car I ever paid off, and the first one I cracked 100k with.

Seriously, why the hell was my hair that long?!
I really thought I would drive this car into the ground. Now, nearly seven years and 107,000 miles later, it begins its second life. There was no guarantee insurance was going to cover the repairs, so I'm glad I got the other car. More importantly, it's going to people who need it more than I did. I can only hope it treats them as well as it treated me. I guess that's another sign of growing up, being in a place where you can help your family. Goodness knows I needed my share of help over the years; it's good to give back.

Farewell, Mazda. May you live another 100,000 miles (and more!). I'm glad I'll get to see you continue on in your faithful service! :)