Today I took my 18 year old Pontiac Vibe to a dealership. She carried her usual coat of dust and dirt (I live on a dirt road). The ding on her door looked terrible. The roof was showing signs of rust and corrosion. Her interior held the fur of two Cocker Spaniels. The stains from spilled coffee decorated the floorboards.
She was beginning to show her age.
Internally, she didn’t consume much. She was due for a spa treatment at the lubrication and restoration center. Her feet were just fine. But she had begun to grumble. She made strange noises underneath her chassis. She whined when she started.
But she was valiant. She scooted up our hilly, bumpy road with ease. She made light of the deep ruts and loose rocks. She flew down the freeway once she had picked up a little speed. She responded to my directions quickly.
But she was tired. She needed a rest (and a paint job and new brakes and lots of other things).
I drove her into the dealership and the sales person didn’t laugh when I told him her story.
She was born in America but had a Japanese power plant. She was sent to Hibbing, Minnesota where she lived with a wonderful couple. When they could no longer use her services, she went to their daughter in Hamilton, Montana. Their son-in-law was my brother, Dan.
Dan drove her all over Montana in rain and snow and any other condition that the great North could throw down. The Vibe learned about mucky, rough, holey dirt roads under Dan’s tutelage.
And then, she came to me. Dan traded her to me for a truck. The spouse drove her under California skys. She basked in the sun and the gentle rans. She learned about real city streets.
She came to the rural life with us. She used her knowledge about rough roads and inclement weather to provide us with safe and secure travels. I drove her to work. I drove her everywhere. She never failed me.
Today, I said goodbye to her. In reality, it was like giving up a piece of Dan. But I think he would have been happy that she lasted as long as she did in the valiant and tough manner that she did.
She will never be replaced but her successor is another tough vehicle. I was meant to meet this one.
She had just arrived in town. She had never been driven. She was affordable. She had pep. She was in nirvana on the freeway. She was smooth. And when she got to our dirt road, I swear she smiled.
Her name is Greta.
So, Margie, this is your fault. If you hadn’t done this first I might not have had the urge to go to a dealership and spent hours on the computer looking for a perfect replacement. Because of you the Vibe got to rest.