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Kicking It on the road

 

Last updated 12/10/2021 at 9:05am



Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal

Special to The Village News

Is it just me or do you feel that when your car is clean, it drives better? Maybe so, yet after two years in the garage, I felt it was prudent to take her for a safety check in lieu of just a wash before driving north to see my 10-week-old-twin-great grandsons, Levi and Grayson.

Although my car wasn’t due for an oil change for another 7,000 miles, a road trip of this distance required a safety check at the least. Apparently, the mechanic sniggered when he read I had just 600 miles on the odometer.

Oh, I get it. Little old lady and little old lady car. Unlike me, my car is on the way to becoming a classic.

Even though she is admirable in appearance, I find it funny how no one reacts when I roll past, yet, put my white-haired-blue-eyed husband behind the wheel and every female takes a gander. I do not believe they are looking at my stylish car.

When I was a kid, I was told that objects like a doll or teddy bear didn’t have feelings. Even knowing that all these years later, I still believe my car has a certain amount of pride. For instance, it seems to me anyway, when she’s clean and waxed, she truly hums. She is like a woman who feels loved.

It may sound like nonsense, but here is why I feel certain my car was endowed with pride during her trip down the assembly line. After all, wouldn’t each worker have given her grace while applying a part as she rolled by? Therefore, doesn’t it stand to reason then that by the time she was bundled off to the dealership, she was graced by their pride?

For instance, can you imagine when the person who stitched the leather around her steering wheel? I am in wonder as to how it was even done. Oh, and my car has a burled-maple dashboard. Surely, when this exquisite wood was harvested, the woodcutter ran a loving hand over the burl.

You see, I firmly believe inanimate objects can display pride of workmanship. Just look at an old violin. Isn’t the hand of the master craftsmen’s passion evident? Or Rodin’s sculptures? The Mona Lisa? Especially the rocking chairs lovingly handmade by my father-in-law. As these items were all made with pride which stands to reason they too were endowed with pride?

Anyway, my visit ended after 12 days. I could sense the stench of a guest too long in residence and it was me. Hating goodbyes, I packed and hit the road before I could be persuaded to stay longer.

It turned out to be an easy 500-mile drive back with a few encounters along the way home. At one fuel stop, I caught the eye of a young fella gassing up his metallic blue Mustang. He rewarded me with a huge smile when I asked, “How many cops have you caught”?

Later I was reminded of the kindness of strangers when a couple let me precede them into a much needed, coveted parking space at a roadside stop.

Further down the way home, I commented to a father and son “that God is everywhere” as the father rolled up his prayer rug at the In-N-Out burger parking lot. The father then said how pleased he was to have shared the experience with his grown son. Best of all, before climbing into their rented U-Haul van, the father also bestowed a blessing upon me for my journey home.

It must have been a good blessing because my proud car brought me safely home. Now, all that remains is for the twin boys to figure out who gets to drive my classic car first. Maybe it will be the one who offers to wash her?

Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal can be reached at [email protected]

 

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