More car talk

Nine years ago my car moved me cross country from Portland, Oregon to Boston. Here we are in Yellowstone.


I’ll be the first to admit I get attached to things. I have hoarding tendencies (thanks, Dad). So, when I saw my car getting towed away this week and I knew I was saying good-bye for the last time, I felt emotional. I bought that car when I was 22. Worth no more than $300 now, it represented years of blood, sweat and tears (well, at least sweat and tears).

I purchased the used 1996 car in 2000. Aside from the money my mom gave me for a small down payment (which I have yet to pay back), it was the first large purchase I’ve made by myself. For the next five years, as I waited tables and then started grad school, I made monthly payments and paid off my loan. She’s has had Oregon, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania plates. She moved me and all my belongings when I moved from Portland, Oregon to Boston.

I remember the night I brought the car home. I named her Macy and gave my housemates Erin and Ken a spin around our Portland neighborhood. I was excited, but also nervous. I made the decision on my own. I figured it was likely I had gotten ripped off money-wise, but I was also confident that the car was in good shape and would last me several years. In our short drive around the neighborhood, the emergency brake light kept flashing on and off. I panicked that I had just purchased a lemon and was embarrassed in front of my roommates – especially Ken because he was older and a non-driving bicycle advocate. Suddenly, Ken burst into laughter, and I realized he had been fiddling with the emergency brake from the passenger seat and was purposefully causing the brake light to flash on. He was just messing with me. What a jerk.

Although I don’t know what kind of life Macy had in the years before me, she’s taken me to both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. She’s been to Yellowstone and Mt. Rushmore, to British Columbia, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. I was trying to think of the furthest south she’s taken me, and I think Washington D.C. may be her southern most destination – I’ve flown when I’ve visited Florida, San Diego and Austin.

Macy was a good car these last 12 plus years. She saw me through the uncertainty of my twenties and my transition to the East Coast. She saw me through grad school and my wedding, and was there to bring home our newly adopted dog and our new baby.

I’m sure I’ll have several other cars throughout my lifetime, but Macy will always be special. The first car that was all mine.


Okay, I think I’ve gotten writing about my car out of my system. At least for now. Back to our regularly scheduled programming…

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