Aug 9, 2011

On Cars & Dignity

     I’ve never been much of a car person myself. Given it has a AC and a radio, I’m more than happy with anything on 4 wheels.  I am in the minority, however; seeing as cars are a very big deal to all the males in my family. My maternal grandfather runs his own car lot, my paternal grandfather is restoring a 1949 Packard, my uncle has restored my great grandfather’s  1930 Oldsmobile, my older brother drives a sweet 1977 Jeep, my little brother is getting ready to purchase a corvette that my dad has been drooling over for the last couple years, and I am sure if my dad didn’t value his relationship with my mom so much he would have his own driveway of antique vehicles and fast corvettes. My own husband loves him some trucks. The bigger & older the better. I even grew up listening to Car Talk with Click and Clack on NPR radio.

     My husband is currently driving a 1997 Nissan Sentra. We have lovingly dubbed it the ‘Trusty Rusty' and not because it actually allll that trustworthy. But believe me, the little red thing IS rusty. She spent the first part of her life in the snowy north and apparently was not garage kept. No matter, the car is a huge blessing just the same. My humble Renaissance Man began driving the Nissan in order to sell the trucks of his single days so he could pay off his school loans. So he could marry me. So we could eat. I miss how cute manly he looked in those trucks but we are ever thankful for the Trusty Rusty. The biggest issue with Trusty Rusty is her insubordination. Sometimes, while going for a peaceful drive, the radio will turn itself on and up to deafening volumes. Other times you will get out of the car, lock the doors, only to hear them pop unlock as you walk away. You’ll walk back to the car to lock them again just to have the Trusty Rusty assert herself in the same way. She is really weird about locking her doors. Our other mode of transportation is our 2002 sleek, silver Saturn. It’s not really that sleek. I just liked the alliteration. Not only is it not sleek, but it was in need of a new BCM and AC. It died the day before my wedding. It redeemed itself by cranking along through two more months and all the way to Columbus, Ohio where it was fixed by my generous and loving grandfather.

   Trust me friends, I am not complaining. Would you believe that both our cars were gifted to us?! The Saturn from a very giving   big brother of mine {with two many cars to drive already} and the Nissan from my grandfather who just wanted to help us along in getting married. We are blessed. Our cars keep us praying on a daily basis, really relying on God for his grace & mercy. And they truly keep us laughing. You may recall that recently I locked my keys in the Nissan. Well, I did it again.. Before you shame us for not having a spare key made right after the first escapade, listen to this little story. I locked myself out of the car outside the abortion clinic where I was sidewalk counseling pretty early in the morning. Marcus had a lot to accomplish at work, so I told him I would just call the handy-dandy pop-o-lock peeps {for the second time in one month} I sat against the Trusty Rusty, in shame & embarrassment and waited for the locksmith. Just as he turned the corner onto the street where I was stranded, I heard a noise I recognized coming from the Nissan. Sure enough, our little trusty car decided to pop unlock the doors after I had locked them almost 2 hours ago. Blessed insubordinate car. I gleefully told the nice locksmith I would not need his services and praised the Nissan the whole way home. I guess I wouldn’t have it any other way. If I had some brand-new fancy car, I can assure you, the car would have not ‘unlocked’ itself. I thanked God for cranky old cars that always seem to come through.

     Sometimes, I do find myself a little ashamed of the Trusty Rusty. Then God quickly reminds me of my family’s generosity, the blessing of having two functioning cars, and something even more important: “There is no dignity quite so impressive, and no one independence quite so important, as living within your means” Or so says Calvin Coolidge. And if that’s true, as I know it is..then boy are Marcus & I ever dignified. and so very thankful.




ETA: We came home from vacation with a wonderful renewed, well working Saturn. The Nissan must have been jealous because it refused to start, dies when it wants to, AC went out, muffler is toast and the brakes are on their way out thanks to all the Rust. We have yet another opportunity to see God come through for us by way of our vehicles. And we know He will with many lessons to learn. We’d be really proud to get the Trusty Rusty to 200,00 miles & she is almost these! Pray for us!

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