The Jeep Liberty had six miles on the odometer when I drove it out of the car lot. Twelve years, three batteries, and two sets of tires later, it might be time to move on.
I’ve taken good care of her, had her oil changed every three thousand miles, her wiper blades twice a year, but I’ve had to replace all four of the motors on the automatic windows and the back door no longer cooperates like it used to do.
The radio died last month, and the air conditioner and the heater work only on high. The inside lights come on when they want to, the air bag light never turns off (one of the many recalls this car has been subjected to that the company no longer bothers to honor), and every once in a while that little Aladdin’s lamp on my dash board turns on, but I’ve had that checked and nothing is wrong.
There are two pronounced chinks on the front windshield that I had fixed, but the red bomber has weathered many hail storms so if you look at the windshield from a certain angle there are many others. It has dings as well, and that is not counting the accident caused by a man without car insurance who rammed into its rear years ago when she was still brand new. The extra tire attached to the back door saved my car from severe damage, and me from certain death since the gas tank is situated back there. (That’s another recall that the company is hoping people will ignore.)
The seats are stained and worn, testimony to the thousands of dollars of take out that didn’t get home inside their containers, and the many times it carried grandsons to and fro from school, soccer, or swimming.
Before I trade her in for the new car, I will have to empty the trunk – the road emergency kit I haven’t opened in years, a child’s booster seat, and a forward-facing child seat. There’s an unfolded aluminum sun shade, a broken umbrella I keep for emergencies, and a dozen recyclable grocery tote bags.
In the storage compartment that separates the two front seats, there’s a lighter, a dozen drive-through napkins, a pair of scissors, and a sock. The glove compartment has the usual stuff – the car manual, proof of insurance for the last twelve years, and the car’s original sales flyer.
I’ve been shopping for the last year for a new ride, and I get lots of advice as to the make and the model, the color and the energy efficiency, but in the end I find it difficult to let go of my old friend.
We’ve been through so much together, both good and bad.