Thursday, July 23, 2009

Goodbye, Pathfinder

Tomorrow we say hello to our new car, but alas, we must also say good-bye to our 1995 Nissan Pathfinder.

HOB and I were pretty darn proud when we bought our new vehicle 14 years ago. We were a growing family and needed more room than our little Honda could give us. It was a big deal for us to buy a new car. I still remember picking it out, waiting for the credit approval, then bringing it back home and showing it to the boys.

(As you can see, back in 1995, we were not too terribly worried about that MPG.)

For some reason, the loss of this car is hitting us both harder than we expected it to. Maybe it is because there were so many family moments that happened in that car. We took a lot of trips together in the Pathfinder, had a lot of talks in it, drove to soccer games and many, many school functions. Many July Fourths, we parked it on a hill, opened up the back and sat together, watching the fireworks.

Both boys rode in car seats in this car; both boys learned to drive stick shift in this car.

It was my car in the beginning and since the preschool the boys went to was on the same college campus where I taught, we spent a lot of time together in it, to and from school, talking about our days.

After about five years, I started driving a van, and the Pathfinder became HOB's car. So many evenings, the boys and I would sit on the front porch, waiting for the dependable Pathfinder to come down the street. Dad was home! Time for dinner. During HOB's stint as driver, Sonny Boy became enamoured with inline skating and took it quite seriously. He insisted we put this bumper sticker on the back:

HOB, ever the patient and proud father, allowed the bumper sticker but reported more than a few strange looks from people passing by him.

After HOB got his new car, a few years passed and the Pathfinder was our utilitarian vehicle that carried bikes, loads to the recycling center, the dog to the vet.

Then, Sonny Boy graduated from high school and started college. In his sophomore year, he needed a car to take to college and the Pathfinder filled the bill. He and his girlfriend filled with with their things and prepared to make the long journey. I stood beside this vehicle, my hand on the side, giving it a mother's blessing, praying that it would make the journey safely and protect the people within. It did and when it was time for Sonny Boy to make the rare trip home, you can bet the sight of this red car, rounding the corner, coming to a stop in front of our house was a welcomed sight.

(Last time he drove home, he got to to our house, pulled up and then at that moment, got a flat tire. Don't tell me those Mothers' Blessings don't work.)

Since we are turning the car in as part of the "Cash for Clunkers" program, the car will be destroyed. It's a hard pill to swallow. Both HOB and I lament that fact and will miss the Pathfinder. It's been a good, constant, reliable car. However, when we get too dewy-eyed and sentimental about our loss, Sonny Boy's Girlfriend brings up the women on "What Not To Wear" who cling to terrible old t-shirts, and ratty old hairstyles. The rest of the world can clearly see it's time for a change.

HOB assured me last night that the metal from the car will be used to make a lot of other things and in that way it will live on. However, I'll be the one driving it over to the dealership tomorrow, handing over the keys, and saying good-bye to our Pathfinder, giving it one final pat on the side and whispering "Thanks for everything."


Happy Homemaker said...

I remember your white Honda you drove when Sonny Boy was in kindergarten! Your Pathfinder, has the memories of "the good years" within it and will give another family a few more! Glad that you took some pictures and wrote this lovely tribute in it's honor.

Happy Homemaker said...

Uhhh....the above comment would have been a little different had HH read the tribute all the way to the end! Perhaps the good memories that the Pathfinder will give to others, will be in different form!

Shan said...

I do declare we may live parallel lives. We turned in my beloved truck last summer... the one we drove up to the foothills on Fourth of July to see all the shows in our valley... the one we took camping up and down California and throughout the Southwest. I *loved* that truck. On the other hand, the hybrid Camry runs, saves fuel and won't smoke my husband out on his way to and from work. Whatever! :+)

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