I never really understood the obsession some people have with their cars. Now, if it was a really cool sports car or classic car, yes, I got that. But regular old cars, no. I never got it. To me, a car was just a means of transportation. Nothing more.
After over 10 years of driving my car, I feel quite a bit differently. Why? Because I love my 2002 Mazda Protege. It has over 188,000 miles on it and has become affectionately known as “The Mighty Mazda” because of her endurance, maneuverability and reliability. It is by far the best car I have ever owned. She has been through a lot with me – from rain and snow storms to flooding. She has also been my chariot to many special events – weddings, birthday parties, vacations and to less happy places such as funerals and hospital visits. She has been on country roads and in large cities. She has been pulled over a few times for getting a little too fiesty, but was usually excused and let go (except for one time). And, if I might personify it for a moment, my dear car is one of the few who has heard me sing. Loudly. And curse. Repeatedly. It’s amazing the engine hasn’t seized up.
I once heard that the car a person drives often reflects his/her personality. I started thinking about that today. Over the past few years, I began to get little laugh lines around my eyes and she has gotten a few rust spots around her wheel wells. Every now and then, I need a day at the spa and so does she (there’s a great car wash about two miles away). She needs oil to keep her running well and sometimes, I need an adult beverage to do the same. She is small and can hold her own among the giant SUVs that drive along her sides each day and I like to think that I can hold my own with most people as well.
Yesterday, I got in “The Mighty” and much to my horror, noticed a large crack across the windshield. It started on the passenger side and extended in an almost perfectly straight line towards the driver’s side. It did not obstruct my view, thankfully, but I will definitely need a new windshield. I was heartbroken. After many years of driving on busy highways (such as routes 78, 80 and 95) dodging crazy drivers and enduring all kinds of weather, she finally cracked. I just hope they don’t say that about me one day!