Saturday, June 9, 2012

It's Just a Car

Today I am trading in Jeepie, my not-so-creatively-named black 2005 Jeep Liberty Sport, and even though it has had some issues in recent years (transmission, drivetrain, brakes, AC) and even though I am upgrading to a nicer, new car, I can’t help but feel a little bit sad.  It’s like I’m saying goodbye to an old friend.  Silly, I know.  Jeepie is a piece of metal with lots of fancy parts and wires manufactured in some factory in Detroit--or probably more likely, overseas--passed down the assembly line and eventually, into my driveway.  It has no feelings or personality, it doesn’t have any allegiance to me and wouldn’t know me from Adam Levine, or Brad Pitt, or Angelina Jolie.

Still, there are so many memories from the last 7 years and 85,000 miles.  Jeepie was the first car I ever bought, and I paid for it entirely on my own with salaries from a few different full-time jobs.  It was the car I drove when Mike and I moved in together, when he proposed, and when we got married.  

Jeepie drove me to hundreds of events as a Phillies Ballgirl, which usually involved me getting lost and having to call my boss for directions--a conversation that inevitably started with, “I don’t know where I am but I think I just saw a sign for Delaware…”  I drove Jeepie to every homegame of  the 2008 World Series and on a beautiful Halloween morning, to the parking lot to board the parade float for our World Series victory celebration.

It’s the car that I used to take my grandfather his weekly supply of Werther’s Originals and Lebanon bologna and my grandmother her weekly supply of Swiss Cake Rolls, and the car I used to cart around my niece from playground to playground when I was lucky enough to babysit.  I can close my eyes and see her in my rearview mirror, asleep in the car seat after a busy day of play, with her hair stuck to her forehead and her neon sunglasses sliding down her nose.

Jeepie brought home more than a dozen Christmas trees for my mom, my aunt, and eventually for Mike and me.  It has been jammed full of presents, luggage, dog fur, groceries, wedding gifts, a closetful of clothes and shoes, bags of mulch, sports equipment, donations, and best of all, people.

I drove Jeepie home from more than a few 20-mile marathon-training runs with the windows and sunroof open, letting the breeze wick the sweat off of my tired limbs.

I got a couple of tickets in that car, and remember the way my knees would shake and fear would swell up in my throat when those flashing lights appeared behind me.  I also got into one very scary accident in Jeepie, and am so grateful that I walked away just fine and the other driver did too.  

Jeepie kept me safe through blizzards, a hurricane, thunderstorms, and Philadelphia rush hours.  It even survived an uber-rare Pennsylvania earthquake.

I have laughed, cried, sang, prayed, screamed, hoped, dreamed, and worried in that car.  I have celebrated some amazing days in Jeepie--days with the windows down, the sunroof open, and the radio blasting when it felt like everything was right in the world.  There were also some days when tears streamed down my face and I felt like nothing would ever feel really right again.  Jeepie made me feel safe and free, like at any moment I could just escape onto the open road and never look back.

We had a good run, Jeepie.  Thanks for the memories.

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