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Wednesday, 02 December 2009

A Full Circle

By Johna Ferguson

Did you ever reach that wonderful point when you could actually have a car of your own? My husband always had company cars so I got along as best I could, grocery shopping when he was home on week-ends. But various appointments always had to be made so I could catch a bus with one our three boys and buses weren’t always convenient; my neighbors helped out many times.

Finally, when we could afford a car for me in 1968, I bought a VW bug. It was wonderful to have wheels. I could drive the boys to lessons and whatever came up.

By then the two older boys were into skiing. First they rode the ski buses up, but eventually I let the oldest drive my car until once he slid and they landed in a big snow bank. The two weren’t hurt, thankfully, but the top of the front hood and fenders got all bent out of shape.

The insurance paid for it, but I decided to get a heavier car so I bought a fastback Mustang. I kept that car for two years and then traded it in on something special, a classic pink ’56 porthole hard top/convertible T-Bird. I loved that car until our oldest somehow took out the oil pan.

Parts were difficult to get and it never seemed to run right after that, so I sold it and bought a British racing green TR6. I’d gotten used to convertibles so why not again. I also loved that zippy car, but one weekend our middle son totaled it completely. Thankfully he was not hurt.

The insurance only paid part so I made him pay back the rest over time. Then what to buy? Those had all been used cars so I bought a brand new white Audi, four-door. I thought it might be so boring no one would want to drive it, but then I was hit broadside and it was totaled. Luckily I walked away from the accident; I was saved from injury as I had my seat belt on.

I was a little leery of cars after that, so I shopped for the safest one and bought a new BMWii. I hated that car; it really was a lemon, so I traded it in on a used ’56 classic 354 red Porsche. After all, the boys had all left home by then. It was my most beloved car, but then I took a permanent job in China in 1985, so left the car for my family to sell.

I found though, when I came home on vacation breaks I needed a car, so I bought a red Mazda Miata convertible/hard top. It was fun and snappy and a new image for a just divorced woman. But then I married again and stayed in China so my sons sold that car.

After living in China with my husband for several years, we decided to come to Seattle to live, so I bought a used gray, Honda civic, four-door. It was okay as it was 5-speed and created a good image of the little old lady I was becoming. But after two heart surgeries, the doctor suggested no driving.

I still have my license and occasionally drive my son’s SUV, but the bus system in Seattle can’t be beat so now, just like before when I was first married, I’m back to busing. Actually you meet some very interesting people on the bus.

Even if you drive, some day you should try riding a bus. Not only is it much cheaper, but also good for the environment. And no, I’m not car crazy;,I just liked changes - makes life more interesting.

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Instructions for submitting are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 02:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Johna - This fun story does absolutely nothing to validate your next-to-last sentence, "I'm not car crazy."

The red Porsche must have been great! - Sandy

I am car crazy. My first was my grandfather's 57 chevy. I took it to the east coast when I joined the army. The station wagon that followed was boring, but the 65 Datsun 1600 turned me into a sports car nut, and my husband bought a truck.

I cannot imagine living here in a land with terribly bus service without a car. Now I cannot drive at night, so the 5 years working at night for the Padre's found me doing bus and trolley. When the game ended, there was no way to get home. My G picked me up after every game.

My new husband, G, came with a truck, and now he drives the 41 mpg Toyota. I drive the truck. LOL

See, look what you inspired. Delightful story. Welcome home again.

The story of our lives can be told with the objects we use, in your case your cars!
thanks for the memories!

It is so great that the bus systems are getting better in America. There is a lot of older people who depend on public transporation and it is very necessary to have a good transit system. Although cars and driving give us a sense of independence, there is also something reassuring in not having to worry about driving, and the hassles that go along with it.
I agree that riding a bus can open ones eyes to the people in their community and to enlightening things.

A really fun read. In my mind it took me from the sweet '57 Chevy I demolished when I ran in to a fire truck responding to a fire. It was my grandmother's car and who knew I would become a firefighter. Last month I bought my wife a VW Bug; the car she wanted since 1965.

The kids wrecked a lot of cars, but like you said, it's great none were seriously injured.

You have a terrific memory. I can't even remember the names of half of the cars that passed through my life. I rarely had one of my own as my husband was usually able to provide transportation when necessary. After his death I owned two cars. And I am having trouble remembering what they were. Can Alzheimer's be far behind?

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