Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Day 146 - The Cars We Keep - Meet the Flintstones

I remember my first car, a baby blue Volkswagen beetle. The floor board on the passenger side in the front had a rusted hole in it so when we went over mud puddles I would tell my guests, "Lift your feet!" This was supposed to help them stay dry.  Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't.  But the minimum we got out of it was a good laugh. I was told by somebody that I needed to give it a name.  I first decided it was a she and then gave her the name Desiree as I had long desired for a car.

Desiree empowered me.  No longer would I have to ride my bike literally miles to get to my job or to go to basketball practice.  She gave me the ability to be free to go to the nearest city over thirty miles away.  I didn't have much luck while driving Desiree however, I'm sure it was more because of my inexperience of a driver but just the thought of her reminds me of these times.  Within two weeks of being her new driver, I had stopped by to visit my Mom at work and impress all her fellow employees with my FIRST CAR!  They ewwwed and awwwwed and as I left, I backed up in to a Semi-truck.  My car didn't stand a chance but it was equivalent to a fly running into a wall.  The wall [semi] didn't get hurt and I had to replace my bumper.

Then on my first trip to the city, I was passing a semi and a car with bright lights was on my tail pushing me to go faster, so I sped up to get back in the right lane in front of the semi.  I was promptly pulled over for speeding as that car was a highway patrolman.  I sold Desiree before leaving for college and bought one of my co-workers red Chevrolet Chevette for $1000.  Her dad drew up the contract and I bebopped in that car everywhere. Her name was Betsy. That car came with the inability to defrost the ice on the windshields.  It cost me a ticket from the college campus police when I dropped off a co-worker at midnight.  They said I shouldn't be driving in that car because it wasn't safe.  So unsafe in fact that it cost me a fine of $254.  So unsafe that they let me drive away without offering to escort or follow me.  So unsafe that they didn't offer me a ride home.  They just let me drive home the additional 5 miles in "unsafe" conditions after giving me the ticket.  Only in Clarion.  I fought that ticket in court.  I asked the judge throw it out based upon a previous ruling that cited that the fine was so ridiculous that it be revoked.  Evidently the judge had read my letter to the local college newspaper (for students) about the "Campus Security police pouncing like a lion on my meat-colored car as soon as I turned on to the campus aka 'their jurisdiction' "and she didn't like that too much and made me pay the fine.

I  bought two more Volkswagens that got me to California and back and raised two young boys.  Those cars had the names Betty and Veronica. Then I bought a Saturn Vue and it gave my six-foot teenage boys all leg room they needed. My first SUV named Pebbles.  The Flintstones, Yabba Dabba Doo.  I no longer had to have my feet through the floor boards however. My cars have all been good to me but each one started to have issues at 100,000 miles on the odometer. When the monthly repairs were the same as a car payment I traded them.  But when the kids were gone I finally did buy a car that I've always wanted.  I capitalized on the tanking economy and my excellent credit.  Sometimes the right thing to do is to research and wait and wait and when you find the car that fits all the criteria you have, aggressively pursue and just wait.

Two-tone Leather
It was 2010 and I had found a 2007 brand new car.  It was the demo car and nobody had bought it yet.  I knew the dealership didn't want to keep it on the lot, realistically he had already lost money on it.  The price tag was $27,000 and it had all the things that would make me feel like I had finally arrived....18" alloy wheels, two tone brown leather, onstar, GM roadside assistance, v6 engine, headphones for the passengers in the back to listen to a different radio station than the passengers in the front, cruise control, cooooold air, mahogany like faux wood paneling on the dashboard and XM radio.  Not to mention a defroster that worked and no holes in the floorboards.  I told the car salesman that I had $17,000 and if he could give it to me for that, he had a sale.  EVERY SINGLE CAR salesperson laughed at me when I left.

When the banks started holding money and not lending any, the market dropped.  Word had it that the Saturn dealerships were going to be sold to Penske or they would be closed.  The owner asked the sales person if they had ANY potential buyers....when my salesperson told him about me, he said, "Give it to her."  They needed the cash and I knew it.  Not only did they give it to me at $17,000 that was the OUT THE DOOR PRICE including tax and title which I DIDN'T expect.  God had blessed me with not only getting what I had waited for years for.  Doing the right thing and getting cars only to haul dressers, beds, groceries and oh yeah, two knuckeheads around for years had paid off.

I love my car and know that I have worked hard for this.  More importantly I know that I couldn't have afforded this car without a little bit of help from above....And I'm not talking about the feature that I forgot to mention earlier....my sunroof. And her name.......BamBam.

18" Alloy Wheels - BamBam

A suburban mother's role is to deliver children obstetrically once, and by car forever after.  ~Peter De Vries

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