Even after all these years, I still grieve for Ol’ Blue.
My powder blue station wagon with burnished simulated wood, shiny wire wheels and real leather upholstery is gone, but it will never be forgotten. Ol’ Blue outlived its usefulness. Squeezed out of the picture by progress and forced to exist among small cars and even smaller wallets, it no longer fit in. Ol’ Blue outgrew itself.
But it is hard for me to let go.
For ten years it schlepped kids and dogs all over town with nary an objection. Did it ever groan or balk at being loaded to the luggage racks with groceries, Christmas trees or camping equipment? I was so proud of how its tires wore longer than the guarantee promised while transporting my family and me over the streets of our lives. And did it ever ” even once ” lose its composure when forced to squeeze just one more grubby Little Leaguer into its sleek interior? Nay, never.
I loved its luxurious look and its spaciousness. I nurtured it as responsibly as I did my own children. It joined me on those special occasions that have since been relegated to memory: drive-in movies, football games and spur-of-the-moment trips to flea markets. Proudly, it waited for me in dark parking lots during the marriages of first my oldest son, and then my youngest, happy in its own way to be a small part of the festivities.
Ol’ Blue never once deserted me; never left me standing beside the road hoping to flag down a ride. It never sputtered, coughed or wheezed to a stop in the middle of I-95. Ol’ Blue stuck with me a lot longer than my ex-husband did.
It earned my grief and all the tears I shed because it was a faithful friend right up to the bitter end. When the time came, Ol’ Blue courageously gave back to me the dependable, loving attention I had shown it over the years. No air bag inflated and no anti-lock brakes screeched in the face of danger. Nonetheless, Ol’ Blue proved to be strong and noble, a mighty defense against the surprise outside attack ” a head-on collision.
My intrepid blue station wagon, that bastion of well-designed metal, endless wires and steel-belted tires, completed a decade of dedicated usefulness when it heroically gave up its own life in order to save mine.
You can’t ask for a better friend than that.
Editor’s Note: Cappy Hall Rearick is a humor columnist for the Lowcountry Sun in Charleston, South Carolina. She is the author of seven published books. Visit her at www.simplysoutherncappy.com.