Grandma got new wheels

Let the record show that at 3 pm today, the title to my beloved old Mazda passed from my hands to those of the tow-truck driver who took her on that last, long one-way trip to auto heaven. … sniff …

Damn, I loved that car. It was cool (I thought), and I felt cool driving it. Seventeen years of travels together is a lot, even if most of the time it wasn’t anything glamorous or exciting. Just the mundane run to the mall, the grocery store, or the daily commute to the office. But there were fun times too, like hellbent dashes across Kansas (one doesn’t dawdle when faced with 400 miles of Kansas “scenery”) or the Texas or Oklahoma panhandles, escaping from Oklahoma for a summer vacation in the Colorado Rockies — with occasional pit stops to cool down from the 100° heat.

Then were those three winters in upstate New York on the shores of Lake Ontario with all that “lake effect” snow. Nasty stuff, that. Buffalo usually got more than we did, but not by much. Up there, that Mazda looked more like some new-fangled snowplow than the car it was. As high as the snow got piled around the intersections, I even considered putting a bicycle flag on it because no one could see it coming. Still, with good winter tires and front-wheel drive, combined with frequently plowed roads, we got along okay. And certainly made my brother eat his words: “You take that thing to NY for the winter, it won’t be coming back.” It did. And went seven years beyond that.

The best times were the mountain drives — creeping slowly across fog-shrouded slopes in October in SE Oklahoma, enveloped in pine-scented dampness. Or in the Rockies, careening along a valley floor between 13,000-ft. peaks with the windows and sunroof wide open, the stereo blasting Beethoven and Tchaikovsky (somehow at the time classical seemed more appropriate than rock, but Queen was never more than a CD away). When lodgepole pine crowded the road and threw a lattice of shadows across it, the whole scene became a flickering laser light show.

My 2011 Subaru Forester

Here it is, my own glamor shot of my new Subie. See, I did shoot some fall foliage!

Anyway, the Mazda is gone now. As I drove home, I was consoled only slightly by my brand spankin’ new pearl white Subaru Forester. But things will get better soon. Lots better. The Subie’s an XT (ie, turbo).

Even grandmas gotta have fun.



Categories: Personal

Tags: , , ,

2 replies

  1. I had a Forester once. It was, unfortunately, a lease, and I was bummed when I had to turn it back in. I’ve never had a car that handled better in the snow. That thing gripped the road like a puma. It was awesome. I still think it would be cool to have another one, and frankly, they look a lot cooler now than they used to. The one I had was dorky looking. It was that rear hatch – such a bad design. But the traction and handling were so good I didn’t care.

    • I’ll admit they don’t look much like the older Foresters I see around here. And there are a lot of them. I was pretty sure Denver was the center of the Subaru universe even before the salesman told me 4 of the 5 largest Subaru dealerships in the world are here. I’m looking forward to not being such a stay-at-home this winter, and I’m already loving being at eye level with the other drivers on the road instead of admiring their axles and tailpipes.

“The opinions of others should not deter you from being yourself.” ~ Lailah Gifty Akita

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