Slice of Life Challenge #27: Inspired by Elsie’s post about changing cars

The March Slice of Life Challenge is hosted by Stacey and Ruth at Two Writing Teachers
Elsie’s post today got me thinking about my car…or rather, about how my car has become an extension of me, a statement (in a way) about who I am and what I value…inside and out.
I do have a car I’ve always dreamed about  – a completely impractical car that I know I will never actually plonk down the money to own (and then, at great expense, maintain) – but I am not a car person, I don’t think about them and feel the need to have the latest model such and such in this or that particular color.  A car is something with which to get from point A to point B and transport my family in some degree of comfort.  We bought our minivan some years ago, because, with three kids and their many friends, what other option was there?  But this minivan soon became especially  mine both inside and out.
On the outside, it now looks like this:
Everything from my political leanings, to my profession, to my beloved Boston Red Sox has a place to live.  I did have a few other bumper stickers, but my kids seem to have made sure that they were removed, never to be seen again.  Oh well, I think I’m running out of room, anyway. Even the license plate number has significance – when we moved to New Jersey from Maryland, my tag read (at least to me) MY 6(as in June)87 (as in 1987) Marriage – that’s our wedding month and year! it was meant to be!!   Soon after that, we traded in our Windstar for an Odyssey, but I kept the plates – how could I not?!
On the inside, it is filled with “my stuff” – my favorite CDs (Emmylou Harris, the Grateful Dead, La Boheme, The Low Anthem), tons of pens and pencils (because you never know if you’ll be stuck somewhere and can get some grading done), New Yorker magazines I’ve been meaning to read, notebooks and post its (in case I get the urge to write as I’m waiting to pick someone up, and old grocery lists that I made and then forgot to take into the grocery store. Shopping bags – somewhere in everyday is a visit to some store.
There are also traces of past experiences and wonderful memories.  The trunk still shows signs of the mulch our girl scout troop picked up when my youngest, Olivia,  was in second grade – every time I see it I remember what a great service project that was, planting beds all around their school.  The bench seat at the back has several stickers from the time our son was a Pokemon fan – they make me smile and remember fourth grade to sixth grade Ben.  The pocket behind the driver’s seat is ripped, but that reminds me of driving Elizabeth to college for her freshman year. She had stowed all the things she “forgot to pack until the last minute” – a LOT of things, as it turned out, but the torn pocket reminds me of my brilliant but often scatterbrained daughter.  And the floor shows evidence of Sophie – rawhide bones here and there and odd sticks she has picked up on walks.
Someday, I will have to bid goodbye to this van…and, like Elsie is doing right now with her new car, someday I will have to adjust to a new home-while-one-is-on-wheels, but for now (as I get ready to make a doctor’s appointment) I am glad that I will be traveling in something so familiar … so ME!
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5 thoughts on “Slice of Life Challenge #27: Inspired by Elsie’s post about changing cars

  1. Somehow I didn't picture you as a Red Sox Fan. I can overlook it though. ;)Anyway, I love the photo of the back of your car. It's really revealing. One can learn so much from you just by looking at all of the stickers. But no one would've known that the non-vanity plate would hold so much meaning. That's really neat!

  2. Oh you could not live in my husband's world. One is not allowed to put bumper stickers on a vehicle. A car is transportation with comfort. That is how I feel, but I need my hand lotion, napkins in the door pocket, GPS, CDs, and other stuff. I love the memories you have in the car. We can't leave evidence of living in the car.

  3. It is amazing how an inanimate object can be an extension of someone. I loved the back end shot of your car. I always find it fascinating to look at the back of a car when at a stop light. My cars have been like Elsie's…no bumper stickers, no "stuff" in the car. For years we had a car dealership and so nothing could ever be in a car because it might get sold. To be honest, there were several times my husband came to my school and take the car I had driven that day because it was sold.

  4. Terrific to hear all about 'your' car Tara. The memories in a car are there aren't they? And through this you gave us a little glimpse of your world of kids and school and marriage. I love that little part about your daughter going off to college-bittersweet but memorable in time & place. Thanks!

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