Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Gratitude {number six}

i am grateful for our cars.

story one:

Leaving Utah in Troy's hoopty teal green pick-up truck, we decided to drive through the night to meet up with my family in southern california for a cruise.   About an hour out of Vegas around 4 am, the truck started to overheat.  Badly.  We were stopping every 3-5 miles and sitting on the side of the road waiting for the engine to cool.  Ahead we could see the glow of city lights.  It was not far, but we were uncertain that we could make it there.  Sometimes only inching ahead by one mile, it seemed like eternity before we finally rolled into Primm, NV.  A small dot on the map.  A place that consisted of a couple hotels and a really random rollercoaster attraction.  I was panicking that we would not make it in time to board the ship.  We planned just enough time to drive to Long Beach.  No more, no less.  We rolled into a gas station and started to make some calls.  Pay phone, of course.  We weren't cool enough for cell phones.  It was becoming evident that nobody was going to be able to rescue us in time for the cruise.  I cried.  Then we decided to try our hands at hitchhiking.  We started asking around the gas station for rides to California.  After about 6 rejections, I cried some more.  I mean, we looked nice enough.  Didn't we?  Nobody felt comfortable picking up two strangers.  Finally we met a nice single lady with a huge yellow lab and she accepted our plea for a 5-hour lift to CA.  With just enough time to make it to the cruise, we piled in her car and took off.  She drove us right up to the port of the cruise ship!  Minus her burlesque hairy legs, awkward conversations, and her slobbery dog,  I love that lady for her service that day!

Story two:

Again we find ourselves in So. Cal.  But this time we were moving there.  I was driving my college beater.  The trusty, lusty...Subaru Justy.  Basically built like a glorified tin can on wheels.  13 inch wheels to be precise.  So here I am in all my 3-cylinder glory driving into Orange County, the mecca of luxury vehicles!  I am looking like a clown stuffed into a circus prop car with troy following behind in a U-haul truck.  I have never felt more like a "sore thumb" than that day.  Well...and about a year to follow.  We had many humbling experiences in that car.  Like, our first day at church when we sandwiched in between a BMW and a Lexus in the parking lot.  OR  My first teaching job interview when I intentionally parked on the far corner of the lot and then my interviewer found out I was from Utah and she said, "Oh, is that your car with the utah plates?"  OR  When the muffler broke and was dangling from the car and melting it's way up into the bumper.  

Those are sweet, humbling memories!

Memories that make me appreciate my current vehicle even more!  

The three best things about my current car are:

1.  It's paid off.
2.  We own it.
3.  It's paid off.

I am going to drive this car until it dies or until I can no longer squeeze in another carseat!


Marie said...

Go Ali! I LOVE a car that you truly own....well except for the taxes we have to pay on it every year....darn government!

How many kiddos are you going to squeeze into that baby?

Jen Giorgis said...

Great Post Ali...I don't think that I would ever be brave enough to hitch hike. I am glad that you found a 'NICE" hairy legged lady with a slobbery dog to take you safely! So fun, and reading about your cars also makes me feel very spoiled throughout my life. I too am very greatful for my cars.

The Rugg Family said...

Ali, I love it, I laughed so hard..
Hey I remember my green pickle car I used to drive in high school and boy did I get made fun of. It was a 74 amc hornet (green) boy are those memories.

sheena said...

i love the hitchhiking story!!

and ditto marie....that thing can hole alot of carseats...yikes!

The DeGraff 7 said...

I'll have to share some of my "hooptie" stories when we get there. I also am grateful to have 2paid off vehicles-Yeah! Doesn't it make even ownnig a "not-so-cool" car see cool? ;0)I have had some "cool" cars that were not paid off and after a while, no matter how many bells & whistles they had, they weren't all that great! "Cool" cars are also usually accompanied by much higher insurance premiums AND larger gas bills (even when gas was .95 cents a gallon-yes I am OLD!) I think I might copy your graditude bloging-great idea!

Jay and Gwen said...

We are so glad you now have safe cars. Dad and I had nightmares of you and Troy driving on O.C. freeways with that little 3cylinder Justy. We are thankful that we can sleep better, at least for now until Jack starts driving!!

Jay and Gwen said...

P.S. Love Jack's big boy pants. We are so proud of him.....He needs to model those so he can show
Carter how "cool" it is to be such a big boy now!!!!! Love, proud Mimi

Chad said...

Not to try and steal your thunder or anything but I seem to remember that your truck and Justy (with portable radio = boombox) looked quite nice parked next to our '89 Ford Probe at church. Did you ever see Amy driving around with an umbrella out the window on rainy days because our window was broken in the down position?

Remember the 4 of us going to the Angels game in the Probe? Sorry for stuffing you 2 giants in the back of our "sports car." It probably seemed like you'd fallen in the toilet sitting in those tiny seats. I remember looking in the rear view mirror and seeing your knees up in your chin.

Livin' the dream!

ali said...

chad - and do you remember how at those angels games we all sat, fingers crossed, hoping they'd announce our cars as the "crappiest car in the lot" just so we could be the big winners of some new wheels?

jayniemoon said...

Ok, but I still love the Justy. Trusty ol' Justy!