Friday, July 29, 2011

Whatever came our way

I was 21 before I owned a car (although I'd crashed a couple already - sorry, dad). A Chrysler Cirrus and Stephen came as a package deal. One was rather lemony, the other, pure brilliance. He called her Cheryl, she had big child-bearing hips, er, a wide back end, and she broke down on the 14 on our way down to Arizona to get married. We got towed to Cedar City where we stayed with strangers and I sent Steve off to the mechanic's with the admonition to "be assertive," presumably to get them to hurry up on our repairs so we could get to the altar on time. It ticked him off. Though she was our first car and we were grateful to have her, nary a tear was shed when we very cheaply traded her in for bigger and better things, I think 5 years later. Cheryl was red.

Steve's grandparents died while we were in Tucson for law school. We inherited their ten year old, massively rusted out Chevy Lumina, Euro edition. Did I mention the rust? It was rusty. It had sat in a snowy Canadian field for a year prior to our getting it. The a/c barely worked, it was a two-door, and we had two carseats; get this, the DRIVER SIDE DOOR DIDN'T OPEN FROM THE OUTSIDE (oh, we have some funny stories about this car), and not only was the exterior a brick red, so was the awful interior. Guess what? We loved this car! It granted us untold freedoms as we became an official two-car family. It had crazy low miles and never any issues mechanically. We abandoned the newer, chic-er, lemony Cirrus in favor of the rusty, ugly, totally reliable Lumina every time we traveled. And, it provided us with funny stories involving valet parking and funny looks from people. I like to think the Lumina is still out on the road today. I wouldn't be surprised. We also cheaply traded this car in to our friend the auction-based wheeler and dealer who sold us...

A Chevy Venture van with a checkered past. A salvage title. This purchase was purely one of weneedabiggercarbecausei'mninemonthspregnantwithourthirdandwedon'twanttospendtimeresearchingwe'lljustbuywhateverTerryhasinourpricerange. He had a red van, and we drove it for almost eight years until it died last week in Tremonton (oh, Tremonton!) and we laid it to rest for a paltry $375 at a scrap yard. It was ugs and we put a lot of money and time into it, but we have a lot of memories in that van, and it wasn't horrible.

Somewhere in there Steve decided driving a rusted-out Lumina Euro from decades past wasn't doing a lot for his image at the law firm, so we went all out and bought his sister's Chevy Cavalier from her for $1500. Cute little car. We drove it for a while, then gave it to my
brother for a wedding present and I do believe it is still serving its basic purpose on the streets of Charlotte. (I could be wrong.) The Cavalier's color? Yup, cherry red.

All of that is to say that if I never drive another red car, I will not be sad. Not my favorite car color. We've since owned cars in shades of royal blue, silver, and now white (ah, white!) and Our color scheme is looking up.

6 comments:

Sarah said...

your car pedigree is an interesting one, and not many people can say that. you tell a good story.

hooray for a new car with no issues!

Jennifer said...

Oh Emily, I soo feel your pain! Our Odyssey finally gave out on us--I don't know why, it only had 160,000 miles on it. It happened on vacation, which I think is when yours died? I love your writing. Will you just write your life story so I can buy it?

amyegodfrey said...

That was a fantastic story! I had forgotten about the Canadian beast. I saw a white Tahoe on the road today and imagined your family loving every minute they spend in it. I think I'll read your story again.

Callie said...

I too, have fond memories of your red van. I was so excited to drive it for two weeks while your family vacationed in Spain. We did have your permission, right? Just checking.

amyegodfrey said...

Fun new background on your page. It pops! I've read your post 4 times. Love it!

Heidi said...

Tremonton rocks!! My mom grew up in Fielding and I spent many a childhood summer in them parts.