Monday, September 29, 2008
That's how many miles my little trusty 2000 Plymouth Neon had on it when I said good-bye on Sunday. Sigh. We were tired of the "three car shuffle" in our drive way and God certainly ordained the timing and the sale of the car. It was a good time to say good-bye.
I bought this car (well, it was purchased for me) in May of 2000 with a mere 17 miles on the odometer. We've come a long way baby! All those glorious miles are mine and boy I have been a few places in this car.
It made a few trips from New Mexico to Nebraska while I was in my senior year of college. I put on a few hundred miles to cover a soccer game and then go see my cousin get married. Then there was that trek out to Yellowstone the day after I graduated from college (I got stopped in Cheyenne, WY for going 80 in a 75 - drove away with a warning well taken). I explored the national park for six weeks, encountered a buffalo, and drove back to NM. Of course there are the commuter treks back and forth from Los Lunas to Albuquerque to work, visit friends and family, and more over the years as I lived and worked in the Albuquerque area. Of course, there were a few trips to Lake City, CO where a Neon has ventured into places no Neon should probably ever venture. I think it had a SUV complex. No worries - there were no scratches or mud where there shouldn't be any. There were many a random trip around the state of New Mexico for this or that and to visit a campus here and there. The summer of 2004 had to be one of my favorites - I drove from Albuquerque, NM to Ocean City, NJ and back, with side trips from New York on up into New Hampshire (and a slight detour into Maine because I missed my turn. It turned out for the best because I then got to explore some exquisite NH back roads). All in all that summer I tacked on 7,000 miles by myself. It was fun...no, it was grand! In 2006, it was a luggage hauler for the college students that I took down to New Orleans for hurricane relief work. Of course there was a trip to Arizona (the rest of the time I flew) and now there have been a couple of trips back to New Mexico in the little Neon. It's been a great car, I tell you what. Never did it get below 30 miles to the gallon... the best ever was when it got 37 miles to gallon. WOW. My fun little stick shift.
So, now I drive the 4-Runner. It's not bad by any means. It will be better to get in and out of with a prego belly that will in a matter of months be a baby in a little car seat. It will be easier to maneuver the automatic with kids in the back, too, as well as deal with traffic during rush hour. Even today at the doctor I was told my hips and back may do better without having to twist and turn out of the little car that is much lower to the ground than the 4-Runner. I am not bummed about the 4-Runner, it was more the saying good-bye to what the Neon represented in my life. It was like the perpetual souvenir of all the places I have been over the last 8 1/2 years. Now, it is with a family that needs it more than I do now. It will be trucking across the Valley of the Sun and tacking on more faithful miles. On the up side, I know the family so maybe I will see glimpses of the Neon from time to time.
The 4-Runner and I will make new adventures... on to my third car in life.
For some reason, the song "Saying Good-bye" from the movie, The Muppets Take Manhattan, keeps running through my head. Well, only a certain part...
Wanna laugh, wanna cry... it's time for saying good-bye... la la la... la la la... it's time for saying good-bye.
I wasn't around for the final transaction of the sale, which was probably for the best. I had some things to take care of and then he came to tell me that the Neon was gone and he watched it drive away. I'm not going lie... I teared up a bit. I think I will chalk some of it up to being a little more sensitive these days... umm... yeah, that's it.
Thanks for the memories, little Neon!