I got the following prompt from my dynamic duo writing partner last week and am only now finishing it up, but I thought I'd share it because it's a stroll down memory lane...enjoy:)
Describe a “first” (first apartment, first kiss, first time driving a car, first lie, first big success, first roller coaster ride, first time in this setting). Include as many details as possible, being sure to include an aspect relating to each of the five senses.)
Thinking about my first car makes me feel old. It wasn’t that long ago but the memory is back behind work, grad school and even college. The memory of my first car is nestled right in the high school part of my brain that seems a world away from the routines of my life these days.
The car was a Chevy Lumina. My Tutu Wahini (grandmother) left it to me when she died. I drove it up from Newport News, VA my junior year. gas was $.98 a gallon. Having my own car was pure freedom. My grandmother had put quite a few dings in the side of it as her eyesight failed but the dents and scratches did not bother me at all. In fact, I kind of liked them because they felt like a license to not be too careful. Who is going to notice one new wrinkle in a sea of nicks and bruises?
One of the “dings” that I created in my very first, very traumatic fender bender was that the metal near the front left wheel was bent in and would grind against the hubcap if I took left hand turns to strongly. The resulting sound made nails on a chalkboard seem calming. The screech and scream of metal on metal was deafening. And the smell of hot metal would waft through the vents really adding some drama to even a short outing.
The seats of the car were a plush cloth material and the model I inherited even had the comfort of carpeted floors and door panels. The steering will had a manual tilt feature that was awesome for finding the perfect angle at which to grip the wheel.
The car did not had a working radio and tape deck but I always brought my boom box with me and strapped it into the middle seat so that I could listen to my CDs. It was nice and close and when strapped in would not slide around when I was trying to find a track or turn up the volume. Probably the most frequently played CDs on my drives in the Lumina would be James Taylor Live, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, and the Josie and The Pussycats’ soundtrack (oh man that is more embarrassing to admit that I had anticipated. My only hope is that most of you, never made the mistake of watching Josie and the Pussycats the movie.) I’ve got really eclectic taste, what can I say?
Ironically, the very same huge CD case still accompanies me in my 2007 Volvo replete with 2 car seats and a trunk full of strollers. I know that there is an adapter and I can hook up my iPhone but I always forget. Besides I warned my son that texting is against the law, I’m not really sure how that came up but it did, it’s never too early to start teaching safety anyway, if I even touch my phone in the car he warns me about the police who could come get me.
It makes me think about how much things have changed and yet how little. I still feel so blessed to have the freedom to get in a car and set off wherever, whenever I want (being mindful of meal times, nap times and bed times of course.) My taste is still eclectic, Book One of the Redwall Series, Hot 96.9 or memory verse songs for kids are a few of the many many sounds that may greet you when you enter my car, but that’s me...all over the place. The difference is that I’m older. I’m slower. I’ve realized that every red light is not about stopping me from getting where I am going. In fact, nothing is really about getting me where I am going. There are a million places I might be headed for a million reasons but now in my mind the important things is getting back home safe and sound.
And in that sense getting older isn’t so bad at all. I mean, don’t rush to get here kids, being an adult is exhausting! But now that I’ve grown up some, I have many, many more years of throwbacks I can enjoy. I have two kids who love to go on adventures with me, despite the fact that I’m their super goofy mom. I have a husband who is a much better driver than me, who can fix whatever is wrong with my car, and who smiles every time I come home to him. Those things are worth every wrinkle and dent time has put on my face.