If you remember from the first story in this post, I got in a car accident when I was pregnant with the Bean. To get me to work, after that gorgeous red convertible bit the dust, Rob’s parents drove their white Jeep Grand Cherokee to our house, and saved the day. Later, wanting to do some decluttering of their own, they showed up with the title.
The Jeep, which was fancier than anything we’d ever owned, got me to the hospital when I was in labor, and served us well, carting around Baby Beanie. Then, when she was 6 months old, Beanie got very sick, with RSV. We were heading to the doctor’s office, when the Jeep suddenly would not move forward. The transmission had died.
Don’t worry–Beanie saw the doctor and was fine, with a little help from her Bubbles the Fish nebulizer. But we were, once again, without a car. And–once again–the in-laws came by to save the day. This time they lent us father-in-law’s beloved Saturn SL. He special ordered it, to have absolutely no extra features. It had crank windows, manual locks, a manual transmission–the works! He kept it meticulously clean, with a little bud vase on the dashboard.
Even after we bought it from them, we were terrified of using it as a family car.
But we had a baby with reflux, so it quickly got filled with spit-up. Beanie’s most notable puke in it occurred on the way to look at Moonraker for the first time. We hauled veggie oil in the trunk, and one day it spilled, soaking up through the back seat.
In short, the car quickly became ours.
I commute through the woods, past farm fields–basically through a deer hunter’s paradise. I hit my first deer driving past the community college campus. It bounced off my hood, landed on the side of the road, and later woke up and survived. We bought a new hood, Rob painted it, and soon the car was back in good shape, except for a tear in the bra.
The second deer, that year, ran smack into the front fender, then continued on its way across the road, into the farm field. There was now a sizable hole in the plastic fender and a dent in the new hood.
We gave up on fixing the damage. Rob grabbed a Sharpie marker and wrote “Zombie attack!” next to the hole. My students loved it!
Rob was at the helm, that same year, when we hit the third deer, as we were driving along US 10. This one bounced off the hood, just like the first, and, sadly, did not live to tell the tale. We called the police, let them know, and continued on our way, since we don’t carry comprehensive insurance.
At home, we opened the hood, and Rob had to jump on it to get it to close again.
The car was in sad shape, but it did still have a working gas door. The next year, a fourth deer changed that. Now, I have to pry the fuel door open, whenever I fill up.
We’ve kept the car, although we own many others. We have Rob’s Saab 900 convertible, which we loved, before Beanie was born. It is not carseat compatible at all–even a booster is a pain to use in it! The top is broken, the car is now rusty, and it’s been mothballed for awhile.
After Beanie was born, we decided we wanted a Volvo. We found a hip, fun 240 DL sedan, which has served us well. But we picked up the station wagon, when the 240 started getting too rusty. We thought we would combine the two, but the station wagon can not take the 240’s engine. So we bought a junk yard engine, and now we have a 240 to get rid of.
The 240 and the Saab will sell, so that really isn’t a problem. But, with our LeSharo motor home, we really don’t need the SL. But who would buy such a beat-up car? And it ran reliably, getting 40 to the gallon. So we kept it, hoping to run it into the ground.
Which, thankfully, happened last week.
I got the somewhat happy call from Rob while I was at work. He had been driving Beanie to therapy, when the SL’s transmission quit. They were stranded in front of a Ponderosa, so they enjoyed a good breakfast. Then, they were able to keep the car in third gear and make it home. With one gear working, we will be able to drive it straight to the junk yard.