Day 14: For Chestnut

When I was a sophomore in college, my parents surprised me with a new-to-me car, a 2-door black Saturn. I loved that car; it was worlds cooler than my first car (a red Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback), and it even had a sunroof! Unfortunately, I only enjoyed that car for about 8 months before it was totaled in a tornado that hit my college campus the fall of my junior year. During my Thanksgiving break that year, my parents and I went shopping for a new car for me, and they ended up buying me a brand new 2002 Mazda 626. When we drove it off the lot, it had fewer than 10 miles on it. I quickly named my beloved car The Chestnut Cruiser, in honor of her color, which the manufacturer dubbed “chestnut” (aka maroon).

This car was awesome first because it had 4 doors, which made it much easier to bring lots of friends with me on various outings. It also had oscillating air vents, something that some people mocked but which I absolutely loved. Another favorite feature was the little space solely intended to store a pair of sunglasses. I have many fond memories of the early years of this car. It saw me through my final semesters at Union, accompanied me as I moved back home to Memphis for a year and then again when I ventured out to the unknown of grad school a year after that. It was my faithful companion on the many treks I made across the state while Stephen and I were dating long distance.

Now, 11 years after I got it, the car is definitely the worse for the wear. The paint on the hood (and along the tops of the door panels as well) is peeling; the chrome license plate frame (I’m sure that’s the technical term) fell off long ago; there is a random fuse that goes out every few months; and when I start the car, a nice squeal lets everyone around me know of my existence. Truthfully, sometimes when I am walking to my car, I cringe because it’s just not pretty to look at anymore. It’s old and tired, but it’s also still running. I have had very few major problems with my car, and it has almost 112,000 miles on it. Even though I’m not driving the nicest car around (or even the second or third nicest, haha), I am still driving a car. I don’t have to worry about how I will get to work or how I will get to church or to the store to buy food. I don’t have to rely on public transportation.

So, Chestnut Cruiser, though I may mock you, I love you. And when the time comes for us to get a new car, I just might miss you, too.

Me showing off my car the weekend I got it. Thanks, Mom and Dad!
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