My oldest grandson was born one month before I bought my red Jeep Liberty, so all seven of my grands have never known me to drive anything else.
When I announced recently I was buying a new car, I was met with shocked looks, not just from the grandkids but from the rest of the family as well.
Will it be red?
Will it be a Jeep?
More importantly, what was going to happen to it? I wasn’t going to trade it in, was I?
People get attached to houses, and so my family has become attached to Grandma’s Jeep. It’s more than just some old car - it’s a symbol of Grandma (or Mom); it’s home; it’s a part of the family.
It has been my office, counseling and tutoring grandsons as I drive to and from school, soccer, or swimming lessons. It has been my interrogation room where naughty boys have confessed their sins and received scolding’s and an earful of advice. It has been the stage for Grandma’s traveling acts of great feats, where out of boredom or desperation the kids and I have invented games, songs, and really bad, dumb jokes.
It’s been lived in and used. Tiny Lego pieces are tucked in between the car seats, as well as paper wrappers and notes from the teacher that didn’t make it home. The seats are stained from spilled sodas or juice, wet swimming suit bottoms, and assorted goops the boys were explicitly told not to open in the car.
Like its owner, the transmission is slipping and it tootles down the road at an irritatingly slow speed. It needs new tires. The air conditioner only works on high, and the radio no longer works at all. It leaks, leaving puddles wherever it is parked, and it makes embarrassing noises at inconvenient times.
Most of the miles on the odometer were racked up by hundreds of trips to pick up and leave off, including the library, McDonald’s, and Dairy Queen. The upholstery is an archeological dig, the stains testimony to the many ice cream cones and Dr. Peppers I let my boys sneak even after their Mommy said no.
But still it does not erase the fact that I need a new car.
I have made one concession. My next car will be red, that way the kids will know it is me coming from a distance, but it will not be a Jeep. My husband has intervened as well. He decided we will not trade in Grandma’s Jeep, not out of sentimental reasons but because she has been a good and faithful old car, and he says no one could ever give us in trade what she is worth.
I agree. No car I have ever owned has meant as much to me. She is filled with wonderful memories and those are things that money or a new fancy sedan could never replace.