The first thing I’d like to note is that one does not appreciate or miss one’s favorite mode of transportation until one is deprived of it.

Horse theives were universally vilified were they not?

Having been raised in the West and living almost all of my life more than 5 miles from civilized “services” I can tell you that my car is of not only a utilitarian necessity but also one of psychological necessity.

Were my husband and I careful, it would be much more than a month before we’d be hungry based on what is in our refrigerator and cupboard now. Of course, if electricity were to be cut off, we’d be hungry much sooner. So why is transportation so necessary?

We have 5 vehicles that are currently running and capable of getting us miles and miles away from our current location. However, we both have our favorites.

Neither of us wants to drive the ancient motor home far. (Actually it might not get us far… it’s utility is iffy except it is home to a very reliable generator.)

Nor do we want to make any long trips in the near ancient Mazda pickup. It’s handy for many things, but is used most often as a lock for the garage — if parked close enough, the garage door cannot be opened.

The 19 year old F150… well, we have a sentimental attachment to it, but not to its gas mileage or odometer reading. Really, after 450,000 miles doesn’t a vehicle deserve to be put out to pasture… so to speak?

Enter the two vehicles we drive every day. There’s my husband’s 1996 Chevrolet pickup and my 1998 Cadillac. The pickup is holding up very well, though I think it could do with some new shocks/struts… whatever. It bounces a lot, okay?

My dear 1998 Caddy, purchased used in 2003 with 90,000 miles has another 70,000 on it (that’s six years worth, so I’m not REALLY complaining.)

And now… finally, I get to the point of this post. My dear Caddy has been overheating (little by little… a degree here, 10 degrees there) and I have not felt truly confident in driving her for some time. Today, we had her radiator replaced.

And I am so happy! I no longer feel that I cannot set off for Arizona, South Carolina, Colorado, or Dallas at the drop of a hat.

What is amazing is the relief I feel knowing I can do that easily, comfortably in my car, at my whim, without imposition on anyone else do that.

I’ve never been without the capability of going anywhere I wanted to go. But… to go on my terms is worth a lot, if not quite priceless.

I Love Cars

I learned to drive at a fairly young age, taking my Mom’s car for a joyride when I was 12. I likely would NOT have been caught if I hadn’t stopped to replace the gas I used. Yeah, I scraped the post heading to the pump, but my Dad found another excuse for that. He just shrugged it off when the car started so easily the next morning (winter, Colorado). But it was the nosy attendant at the service station that was my downfall. Why, oh why did he have to mention to my Dad the next week that he was surprised I was old enough to be driving????

After I served my sentence for that foolishness and actually got a driver’s license, my adolescence was spent driving my Mom’s Lincoln or my Datsun station wagon with no radio or A/C.  It’s funny, considering my history, but when I was 16 my parents were far more likely to let me go somewhere if I was the driver instead of a passenger.

Just for fun, a list of the cars I’ve owned:

1969 Datsun station wagon (it actually belonged to my parents, but it was MY car!)

1972 Chevrolet Corvette convertible. A wedding present from my husband. I wrecked it (and it melted) about 3 months after we were married.

1971 Cadillac – shared with my husband. Yuck, no fun sharing a car!

1964 Mustang – my Dad bought it cheap for my little sister and I can’t remember why she wasn’t driving it. No A/C, standard transmission, and fun to drive. No longer sharing a vehicle!

1975 Mercury Monarch. Don’t laugh. It got me where I needed to go.

1976 Buick Lesabre. It was brown. It was boring, but also reliable.

1980 Buick Regal Turbo. My second go at horsepower.

1983 Chrysler New Yorker. A great car on snow and ice, low and heavy.

1988 Ford LTD – a great car in water, high and light.

1993 Ford Taurus SHO – see previous post.

1993 Cadillac – the V-6 hulkmobile

1998 Cadillac – mmm… Northstar!

These were *my* cars. My husband owned different vehicles, and some of the above were kept for a while instead of traded in. We have a 4 door 1966 Pontiac sitting in the back yard that I hope will someday be running again. I want to wear a polka-dotted shirtwaist dress and straw hat while I’m riding in it.

At my age, I think it’s appropriate to create a new category – nostalgia.