Monday was a bittersweet day. As I mentioned recently, things didn't go so well during a recent drive from Greenville, SC back here to Greensboro, NC. Which is to say my trusty Toyota Corolla didn't make it home with me.
Why anybody in her right mind would think a car can run indefinitely is beyond me, but a part of me sorta' thought it always would. I bought this car on September 19 when I was 21, and have loved driving it ever since. Most of you have bought and sold scads of cars during the life of my baby. Of course you have! Maybe a less sentimental woman would have moved on ages ago, too. Or a woman who's a little more concerned with creature comforts. But not me. All those years when I contemplated the shiny new vehicles appearing on the road, I'd always think about my Corolla and ask, "Why do I need a new car?" And on we'd go, year after year. Mile after mile.
216,133 of 'em, to be exact.
Alas, those years are gone. A couple of my girlfriends came by on Monday morning and we drove to Charlotte where the kind folks at the AAA Car Care center have kindly provided me with uninterrupted, complaint-free parking while I traipsed off for my week away, and then made arrangements to finally return and pick it up. Probably I could have managed this sooner. But it's since ocucrred to me that it's probably natural to need some time to mentally deal with such a change. So I took my time, and finally came to the realization that I had to tell my car goodbye. (This "realization" was reinforced by the highly entertaining suggestion that I could have my engine replaced with a rebuilt one. With a price tag of $5,200, I kindly passed on that offer.)
Then? Then the cold hard facts hit me, and I hooked up with the fine folks at Junk My Car dot com. Wanna' know what they paid me? Well, first, they sent out a nice guy named Darrell to tow my baby away, at no cost to me. And then? Then they deposited $115 into my PayPal account. Just like that.
It wasn't until we were discussing the logistics of pickup (including the tiny matter of Darrell needing to pick up my car at 6:30pm, long after I'd begun my planned meeting with a committe of website clients that evening back here in Greensboro,) that a tear squeezed its way out of my eye. Darrell explained that he wouldn't require me to have my title signed or notarized. Why? "I'm just going to have it crushed," this strange man on the phone said about the car I've driven for nearly half my life. Ouch, baby! You don't have to be so, so... harsh! But it's true that good things always eventually come to an end. And this good thing? I had it a long, long time. About 5 weeks short of 20 years, if you're a fan of specificity.
Now I've got all kinds of wide open spaces stretching out in front of me, filled with possibilities for the future. But not yet. As I've mentioned along the way in more than one recent post, I'm not buying a replacement yet. A week from Friday, I'm flying to LA where I'll spend a week or so, (more on that exciting turn of events soon,) then it's on to Seattle for a month. After that? Well, then we'll see about replacing my car.
While I'm away, feel free to keep your eyes peeled for a fabulous old truck... cheap. As I keep mentioning, that's my next planned vehicle purchase. But we'll worry about that in October, eh?
Bye little Toyota. RIP... at least, as much peace afforded you once they take the crusher to you...