Uncomfortable Changes

I have an ancient car.  Not quite a Model T but a pretty old one nonetheless.  It’s a 14 year old Geo Prizm with over 210000 miles on it.  You read that right.  I wanted to get a car to over 200000 miles and I reached that goal this past summer just outside of Memphis.  Oh and the car line doesn’t even exist anymore.  But my little gal keeps hanging on.  I had some extensive work done on it while on that road trip last summer, it helps to have a mechanic who’s a future brother in law, and she’s been running just great.  Just a few quirks, like I don’t really have any heat in it when I’m on the highway as the heat core is shot and needs to be replaced.  The part is pretty cheap but the labor is almost a grand.  And the back passenger window doesn’t roll down anymore.  And the check engine light is lit up again.  But she still gets me from point A to point B and she doesn’t look bad at all.  The paint is in great shape with no rust.  The body is dent free.  I did have an owie this past winter when a snow rut rolled me into the back end of an SUV with a trailer hitch that pushed out a bit of my bumper.  So she’s not without a blemish but overall she still looks great.

I know I’m waxing eloquently about a car, and not a very noteworthy one at that, but you have to understand something.  I’ve only ever owned 3 cars in all of my adult life, 4 if you count the 68 Chevy Nova I used to drive in high school that was really my parents car.  And this little car has a lot of memories connected to it.  I bought it with my Dad’s GM family discount so he’s still on the title.  And now that he’s gone, it’s still something that connects us.  And I used to cart the dogs back and forth to my parents house, first Lily by herself and then later we added Bailey to the trips when I shared custody of him with my parents.  I have many a memory of Lily in her cage on the passenger seat next to me checking in to see if this was going to be  a quick trip or one where she needed to settle in for the long haul.  When we got close to our destination, I’d let her out of her cage so she could sit on my lap and sniff out the window.  Her little paw on my leg as she emerged still makes me smile.  Bailey’s ear shattering bark from the back seat when he got bored or bladderful still makes me jump.  They’re both gone now as well but I am reminded of them frequently when I’m tooling around town.

The reason for all this reflection is I have the opportunity to purchase my Dad’s car, a 3 year old Camry in fantastic condition and kitted out to the extreme.  It’s a great opportunity and one I don’t want to pass up.  It’s just that I wasn’t ready to let go of my old car just yet.  Maybe I won’t.  Maybe I’ll just keep the old one and slowly make the transition.  I wasn’t given that choice with all these other losses.  I think I just need some time.  So I’ll take as long as I need to say goodbye.

7 Responses to “Uncomfortable Changes”

  1. Bob Souer Says:


    Good idea. You can take as long as you need. It’s your choice. Thanks for the beautiful story.

    Be well,

  2. Arnel Gallanosa Says:

    Pam, I have to confess that I’ve ALWAYS thought you’d be in the movies. I remember one summer at ACC I was hanging out with your sister, Mary at the snack bar and we were just sitting and talking. You guys had been swimming that afternoon and I was taking a break from playing tennis. Anyway, I remember sitting there thinking, “Wow! Pam’s going to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated someday.”
    The point is that once you are holding your little golden Oscar, you’ll have the last laugh…

  3. Mary Pat Says:

    That Nova was one sweet ride! I can still picture it- Purdue colors from what I remember? I still have a funny childhood memory of us borrowing your Dad’s car and trying out his cassette tapes for some musical entertainment. To our shock and then laughter, we came upon tapes of surgical “how to” seminars. Not quite the Jackson 5 as we had hoped 🙂

    On the Geo, hang on to as long as you want! We still have my ’92 Grand Prix in Mom’s garage aka “the red car” with only 75K miles. It gets used regularly by a variety of friends & family who are very appreciate of our hot rod. We would be lost without it!

    Take Care,

    • Pam Tierney Says:

      It was Purdue colors…great memory MP! I’m keeping this old thing until she can’t work no more. It’s not a cool as your Mom’s car, but I like her.

  4. Peter K. O'Connell Says:

    It IS a great story and Bob’s correct, take your time because

    a. The memories ARE priceless and
    b. as rightly special as your car is to you, a 14 year old Geo Prizm with over 210000 miles on it is not really what might be considered a terribly hot seller.

    It’s really a win-win.

    Best always,
    – Peter

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