Tuesday, July 11, 2006


On Saturday, we took a little trip to say a final farewell to our faithful steed, the red manzanita. It was at a junkyard about a mile from our place. A secure junkyard:

They were remarkably nice, once they found our car. As soon as we pulled in, the tow truck driver came out to check on Mama and make sure that she was still OK. He was just as concerned at the scene, actually, which threw me off. I kept thinking, "Are you really a wrecker driver?" as he asked me how Mama was, how I was feeling, if I needed any help getting anything out of the car, and so on. Having someone around who was so caring and concerned somehow made it easier, however. Angels come in strange disguises.

As for the manzanita? Well, we were able to get all of our belongings out of it, including peeling the bike rack off the roof, but she was in rough shape.

The insurance company already told us that they're going to declare her a total loss, which is a shame in a way, because everything behind the windshield is fine. Back there, it looks as though the accident never happened. OK, there is the small issue of the engine, transmission, and drive shaft, not to mention the probable bending of several key elements of the frame, but still. . .it's hard to just write off a car that
  • got us through snow, ice, heat, moving, doubts, and fears
  • brought Mama out from Maine to live with me in Colorado eight years ago
  • brought home our faithful hound, Barky
  • took us to and from our wedding, dragging cans across the meadow and down the farm road as we departed
As they would say up in the St. John Valley, where Mama grew up, "She's a good one, her. We'll miss 'dat."


  1. God, I am also so attached to my cars. We returned the car that we took our honeymoon in (road trip) as a lemon, and I cried. My old car, which my husb drives now, is 16 years old, and I feel like the kind of person who won't put their pet down when the time has come. Years of memories, I remember when my mom and dad went to buy that car, new from the dealer, our family's first new car!

    Sigh. Sorry to ramble like a loser, but here's the Cliff's notes version- I feel your pain, sir!

  2. Anonymous11:48 AM

    Wow! The fact that the car got banged up like that and Mama walked of with nary a scratch sounds like a good enough reason to buy a Toyota! RIP Manzanita!

  3. Separation can be good too. Vacuum cleaners and people sometimes come with too many attachments. At work, we have old wrecks that have been gathering dust for more than a decade--smashed cars that will never be driven again--just because we have the space to store them. Stuff you're not willing to get rid of yet gets to be like Jacob Marley's chain.

    Congratulations to a few generations of automotive engineers for coming up with ways to let the car take all the punishment and keep the precious cargo safe.

  4. Anonymous2:29 PM

    I am bowing my head in a moment of silence.

  5. Anonymous2:30 PM

    Oh I feel you, also my first car was just like your manzanita. Little cherry red Toyato Corolla. I loved that car. But at least the car took the brunt of it and not Mama. Hey it was the cars one last sacrafice to you.

  6. I lost my sweet little Intergra like that. :( It was all pimped out, too.

  7. Ditto, MetroDad. Here's where I plug the ZygoteCube (a Scion xB) as the perfect vehicular conveyance. Other than being a Toyotam it's the best car ever for a carseat.

  8. I'm distracted by the beware of dog poster. Who's afraid of dogs that eat cowboy boots? Dogs *should* eat cowboy boots.

  9. Chris's car right out of college was a blue Corolla...it served faithfully until it too was totalled by a red light runner. Like the manzanita it took the brunt of things so I didn't have to.

    Anytime we see one on the road we are wracked with desire for another one! Too small for two kids' worth of stuff though.

  10. By the way, let me know when you have secured the new car. I will do what I can to arrange for the replacement of those sentimental rattling cans. (LB, you have some cans around the place, right?)