Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Volvo

Way back when - which was July 2006 - I told my mom I had signed up for a night class that fall at Dominican (the school about a mile down the street from Concordia). Without C being there (his car really), because he just graduated and was going to school to be a law-yer, I'd have to walk in the evenings.  My mom didn't like that idea.  So while we were at Mark's swim meet one Wednesday night she said I needed to get a car. So later that evening one of my siblings and I drove to the local feed mill to look at cars because who doesn't shop for cars at a local feed mill?

Two days later, when I got home from work, the Volvo was in the garage waiting for me.  **I should take this time to point out that aside from roughly $800 I paid for the vehicle on my own. My mom wouldn't want everyone thinking she bought me the car (at least I don't think she would). We paid in cash and I didn't have a car payment. It was nice.

The Volvo (I never got around to naming it) got me to and from Chicago that fall.  Then in the Spring of 2007 it was "parked" or so I was lead to believe the entire time I was in Washington D.C. However when I came back the radio didn't work. I'm sure it's because it was "sitting" there for three months - except for when C brought it to DC to see me. (Honestly thought, I really don't care if people drove it in my absence).

Then, in the summer of 2007, the AC broke.  I'm pretty sure this was while C's parents and I were headed to Charlie and Stacey's wedding. We thought about getting the AC fixed while we were on our honeymoon. But the quote came in at $1,000 and the shop never called to say the part was in so we just decided to let it be.

The last time I frequently drove the car was from January 2008 - May 2008 when I'd drive down to work from Canal. Until about April the lack of AC didn't really bother me and since I like AM radio, I could also do without the FM radio.

Sometime between then and now, I'm not sure the exact time, but I do know I was sitting at the light on Memorial at 6th Ave, the odometer stopped working (apparently this doesn't help when you go to trade in your vehicle). The Volvo will forever have 160,274.5 miles on it. It's like it found the fountain of youth. Except the only thing this fountain of youth preserves is mileage.

Finally, in fall of 2008 the engine overheating light came on. And it hasn't gone off since. It would appear that I do not take good care of my car. But I do, I promise. The oil changing people have never said that it needs seen immediately (and I trust that they'd tell me if it did).

Since we moved to our current place in August 2008, I've been able walk to work - something I prefer. So for the most part the Volvo has just sat in the lot.  Occasionally it would sit there for so long I'll have to start it just to make sure it'll start when I needed it too.  We accidentally let it sit unstarted for three weeks two summers ago causing the battery to die. Since the battery was dead and the car didn't have to be moved we let it sit for another month. At one point (since it was in the wrong spot) our landlord threatened to tow.  But since C's place of employment owns the lot we knew they wouldn't tow it. Then we were told the lot was going to be repaved and if it wasn't moved it'd be towed. So we went ahead and towed it.

Sorry for the babbling that was that paragraph, but let's face it I was due for a babbling paragraph.

In September 2010 I was hit by a guy with a horrible driving record and upon calling the cops (because the hitter didn't have his insurance on him) I was informed I'd be ticketed because the rear of my car was over the yellow line. I still stand by the fact that you should never pass a car on the right on two lane street. We never got the dent fixed because it was too much of a pain to go through court (his insurance was court ordered - hello, Mr. Policeman) to get my door fixed.

When C was in Joplin a few weeks ago I decided to get the Volvo washed for the first time.  I also filled it to the brim with gas (an omen of what was to come just a week later). The car wash was delightful.  It didn't dawn on me at the time that Mark and I were listening to the radio while going through the carwash. And that the Volvo is so old it still has an antenna that moves up and down when you turn the radio on and off.  So guess what else broke?

The car wash also took off the other piece of black stripping on the side that was hit.

Aside from the accident the Volvo has been reliable in getting me to and from church and anywhere I need in town. But I freak out at the thought of taking it more than 5 miles outside of city limits.

Then last Sunday, it gave me a scare.  I was headed to the pool while C was headed to pick up his little brother.  The car started fine, but when I put it in drive and inches forward the Volvo made a noise that sounded like a million mice were making the engine work. Fearful that the car was about to explode (or a million mice were about to crawl everywhere).  I inched the car back to the spot (I had made it roughly inches) and called Emily and asked her to pick me up and take me to the pool.  Later that day, when C and I had returned he gave it a shot. It did make the noise for a few seconds, but then returned to it's normal, no A/C, no radio, broken atenna, dented back door, HOT, Volvo self. (But we decided to go look at cars just incase.)

Despite all of its problems I love the Volvo. So many memories are attached to it...

- It allowed me to not have to drive the Dynasty (pronounced die-nasty).
- It was my first real car.
- On a trip to Cedar Point a week after purchasing the car, while standing in line for the Millennium Force, C informed me he had lost the key. The only key (as you have to have new keys  ordered and made at the Volvo dealership in Columbus). Fortunately he was only kidding.
- It's the car we took to Cleveland in August 2006 (before we were dating again) and the car in which C held my hand and I thought "this is odd, we aren't dating". (I have the memory of something that has a really good memory).
- It was the car C and I took to see Wicked the night we got engaged. I remember the trip back to school talking about how I needed to get some bridal magazines.

But yesterday it was time to say good bye.  And even though we've had so many problems, it's still my first car and I'm still sad to see it go.  But not too sad that C had to bribe me with a trip to McDonalds  for a Happy Meal just so I will take a ride in the new car (this may or may not have happened when my parents replaced a car when I was five).

The final good bye and a peek at the new car. 


Joyce said...

Aloha Volvo! We will miss your boxy shapeliness!

Luann said...

Not sure why this brought a tear to my eye . . . but it did.