Today we made the decision to get rid of the Volvo 240 that I've owned for the last 13 years. Although we've been hearing for years the I-don't-know-how-much-more-money-you-want-to-put-into-this refrain, today we finally gave into a certain amount of reason that just barely tipped the scale. It felt somehow wrong to choose to drive a car to the junk yard; sort of like taking an eager pet to the vet's to be put to sleep. Shouldn't the car actually die before committing such an act? It wasn't easy, but now that it's done, I'm confident that it was a good decision.
It was somewhat surprising to me the wistfullness and sadness I felt as I emptied the car and got her ready for the trip to the metal recyclers. I admit to weeping a few times today as I thought about the many many adventures we shared together and the life changes this trusty wagon has seen me through. I've driven half way across the country in her to meet Nancy and see the Sand Hill cranes; I've slept in the back with the seats folded down flat many times on my own and with Nancy traveling or after a dance or at a summer festival (this includes one memorable night when the temperature got down to -16 degrees below zero); I lived in Northampton, MA when she came into my life and saw me through the move to Boston and then up to Vermont; I've dipped her tail into the Atlantic many times as we towed my little sailboat all over New England; I've overloaded the car with way too much heavy lumber on the roof and made dicey trips over the mountain gap; I relocated a small shed with a chain hooked to the nose... it goes on and on.
I'm fully aware that this is, in the end, just a car, but there is something I'll hold onto about this one. Perhaps as a final hurrah, her odometer rolled over to 305,000 miles as I drove her to the junk yard. One last milestone from a troubadour of a car. The earth's circumference is just under 25,000 miles which means this car circled the earth the equivalent of roughly 12 times.
Farewell sweet 240 and thanks for the miles we travelled together!