Sunday, December 4, 2011

ghost of a station wagon

Saw my old Subaru today. It was parked next to me at Rite Aid. The mechanic I sold it too last winter had finally gotten around to fixing and reselling it. It had a local used-car lot sticker on it and had been freshly washed and detailed, but it was unmistakably my old 2002 Silver Forester. It had Annie's clawmarks, barely visible from being buffed off the passenger side panel where she hung her body out to catch the air. It had the same dings and cracks, things a used car place could paint over and spiffed up, but never put the trouble into molding back into a perfect body shape. I let out a sigh, like seeing your old flame with a new spouse.

I saw my Subaru and felt instantly nostalgic for it. For the days I spent exploring the Smoky Mountains in it, the two cross-country road trips, the scary mountains of British Columbia with mountain sheep on the corners of the railing-less curves. I looked at my old station wagon, and remembered the work it did. The animals it transported. The way I felt so capable and safe it it. I remembered the snow storms out west, the trips to Palmerton from Knoxville, and the day I brought home a baby goat curled up in the front seat. Then saw the girl I knew from the IGA open the door and step inside it. She's a soft-spoken teenager who worked after school as a checkout clerk there. She now owned it. I wondered what it would be for her? I wondered if she ever could fathom how much of the world it saw? If she knew how much the old owner would have loved to have kept it had she the funds to repair the transmission. The girl pulled out and drove away from me, and when I saw the green bumpersticker on the back hatch I wanted to run up to her window, tap the glass, and ask her to come out and give me a hug. I didn't care if I scared the scrap out of her. That sticker made me beam. In bright white letter it stated:

No Farms. No Food.

'Attagirl...

28 Comments:

Blogger From the Country Farm said...

NICE!!!

December 4, 2011 at 3:30 PM  
Blogger David Shearer said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 4, 2011 at 3:34 PM  
Blogger David Shearer said...

It's the "Wheel of life" principle at work here, Jenna...

December 4, 2011 at 3:36 PM  
Blogger Daisy Farm said...

Gotta have that bumper sticker! I was on the freeway about a year ago and someone behind me was honking and honking. I was totally confused. What was I doing wrong? Then, when they passed me in their pick-up truck while giving me the thumbs up sign, I noticed the bumper sticker on their bumper. We were both doing everything right!

December 4, 2011 at 4:16 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

I've wondered sometimes what I'd do if I saw my old Honda. It had 100k miles on it from my dad's use, and then he gave it to me. I drove it for a time more, until it only started when the stars were right and you talked to it nice. I know he sold it to somebody who thought that they could fix it; who knows it might still be going. It had a Grateful Dead "Space your Face" sticker on the rear passenger window.

December 4, 2011 at 5:37 PM  
Blogger Lee Ann said...

Can't believe I just got goosebumps from a story about a vehicle! So awesome :)

December 4, 2011 at 5:46 PM  
Blogger Lelainia N. Lloyd said...

"the scary mountains of British Columbia"!
*laughs*
If you only knew how many time and in what kinds of conditions I've driven those mountain passes over the last 20 years! I actually LOVE driving in the mountains. I find it relaxing.

December 4, 2011 at 5:47 PM  
Blogger Goat Song said...

Smart girl... :)If you ever bump into her again, you can give her a hug then! LOL.

December 4, 2011 at 5:49 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Lel! I used to drive a 6-hour loop up to Nelson and down to Sandpoint. There was a ferry up there I still dream of. Amazing. I forgot my Subaru floated across giant lakes!

December 4, 2011 at 6:10 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Love it!!!

December 4, 2011 at 6:13 PM  
Blogger Elliot said...

Laughing my butt off. Thank you!

December 4, 2011 at 7:18 PM  
Blogger DarcC said...

Awesome story! Personally, I prefer the newest version of that bumper sticker "Yes Farms, Yes Food" :)

December 4, 2011 at 7:44 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

I guess it is comforting to know your Subaru lives on and certainly sports a relevant bumper sticker. Maybe your karma will infect the new owner.

December 4, 2011 at 7:50 PM  
Blogger john said...

maybe, know farms know food

December 4, 2011 at 7:52 PM  
Blogger john said...

...or maybe

know farms know food

December 4, 2011 at 7:53 PM  
Blogger Sewing Machine Girl said...

Jenna, I still have my 2002 Forester. 256,000 miles and still ticking. I just picked up a 2008 Forester used this summer. You can't kill 'em! I've had dogs and a goat in the back, but no sheep as yet.

December 4, 2011 at 8:13 PM  
Blogger Sylvia said...

"the scary mountains of British Columbia with mountain sheep on the corners of the railing-less curves." Lol. You were obviously in my part of the world! A white mountain sheep ran in front of my daughters car last month 5 min. from our home!

December 4, 2011 at 8:17 PM  
Blogger LindaSue said...

What a sweet memory to add to your thought of that car. You are doing great gal. Keep it up.

December 4, 2011 at 9:50 PM  
Blogger KiwiGirl said...

I still miss my previous car (a little Toyota Echo). My fly-fishing adventures started in that car - it went into many, many places a wee car was never designed to go. I still miss it - last year, we got rear-ended by a guy driving a stonkin' great Mazda ute and the damage was so bad, it had to be written off. My new car just isn't the same.

December 4, 2011 at 9:58 PM  
Blogger Trekout2 said...

Ah yes I had a Toyota I traded in back home and three years later I drove by a used car lot and there it was I turned around and went in to check it out same dents on it same toyota I had drove for five years I ask the sales guy if I could sit in it for a minute. it all came back the move across county, camping trips with the family,going to the drive in with the little ones and yes the dent daughter put in it backing out of the driveway waving good bye as she hit the fence in the front yard .. Did I say that was the first day we let her take it to school. Lol how time goes by

December 4, 2011 at 10:52 PM  
Blogger georgie said...

That should be made into a ad for Subaru. Better than the current one they have about the guy at his class reunion seeing his old Subaru and remembering travels with it. The pic of you transporting sheep in the Subaru is fantastic.

December 4, 2011 at 11:22 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

Last night, I read the part of Barnheart where you purchased your first truck because the Subaru wasn't big enough for farm needs.

December 5, 2011 at 7:45 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

it wasn't, doesn't mean I still don't miss it or loved it!

December 5, 2011 at 8:12 AM  
Blogger Beegirl said...

There is one on my bumper too. I have extras.. I can send you one..
: )

December 5, 2011 at 8:43 AM  
Blogger Patsy said...

Is that Maude and Sal enjoying the ride? Would love to have one of those bumper stickers.

December 5, 2011 at 11:47 AM  
OpenID outdoors1968 said...

Amazing how a "thing" like a vehicle works its way into one's heart.

I just junked my 16 year old pickup a few months ago, and had a hard time letting go........ had brought my now 9 year old daughter home from the hospital in it, camping trips, traveled around racing. Sigh....... life moves forward!

Al

December 5, 2011 at 3:50 PM  
Blogger Kathy P. said...

Got a nice blue 2010 Forester here with the *very same* sticker under the back window. I'm hoping it'll last at least as long for me as yours did for you.

December 6, 2011 at 6:26 AM  
Blogger bree said...

What a story! Fun!

December 6, 2011 at 9:23 AM  

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