The time has come to say farewell to our '96 red Volvo station wagon, or as I have always referred to her, The Sexy Beast. We bought her just before Bob was born. The odometer came stuck at 118,029 miles so I'm assuming the mileage is now well over 200,000. Every few weeks, we've been shelling out to the mechanic for something else that needs to be fixed. I have to lightly kick the front left fender into place every couple of days and the driver's seat is bare to the springs. And yet.
Bob and I have traveled all over in this car. She carried Mr. Rosenberg's band on tour through the Pacific Northwest. She hauled three house moves and countless trips to Trader Joe's. She has been fit with every different kind of child's car seat. She has permanent hair, from much loved dogs, in the carpet that no vacuum has been able to remove. She has taken us to soccer fields, and baseball diamonds, and basketball courts. She looks empty without the neighborhood kids in the backseat. I drove hours in this car with a sleeping baby Bob since it was the only way I could get him to nap. We have history.
"But how will people know it's us?" Bob asked me, when I told him we were letting go of our distinctive set of wheels. "They might not, but having a working air conditioner that doesn't leak into the passenger side will be pretty cool."
The new (to us) car is a grey 2006 Toyota Prius. It gets 48 miles per gallon compared to the station wagon that averages 12 miles a gallon. Driving a car built in this century is a new thing for me. I sat in the Prius in the driveway yesterday and had to watch a Youtube video to learn how to start the car. It's all space-age and newfangled compared to the station wagon built back when the Macarena was new.
So, goodbye Sexy Beast.
Hello, Crunchy Jolene.