driving my yellow beetle is one of the unimportant things that makes me happy, and stacie, who visited me last summer, noted in her comment she didn't see it when she was here.
it wasn't in the garage, stacie... it was on a mission.
my beetle came to me when my dear friend, lorraine, died a few years ago. her daughter made sure it came to me when lorraine passed because alison knew how much i loved to drive it whenever lorraine and i went anywhere together. i even drove it into manhattan so we could see the full monty, and liam neeson in the crucible among others.
around here its not the best car to drive in the winter - our driveway is long and uphill, the roads are narrow, winding country lanes. from november to february, i don't drive it much, but spring, summer and fall, it's such a happy color, it's hard not to be in good mood when i drive it.
late last february, i got a call from my son that his girlfriend had been in an accident. on her way to work, her little car spun out of control and crashed in a snowbank. cj was more or less okay - her little car wasn't.
i told him she could borrow the bug.
but by the time they showed up to pick it up, i knew what i wanted from her in exchange. cj is a dear sweet girl who's had some really awful cards dealt her way. she's kind and loving to my son, honed by life into a pretty little thing with a spine of steel. but she's had some tough breaks and i knew it was time to offer her a better deal. she couldn't afford a more reliable car. and one big blot on her credit score was the fact that although she'd been separated from her first mistake... i mean husband... for more than three years... she was still legally married.
"honey," i said, when they showed up, "here's what i want you to do. you can drive the bug. drive it as long as you need it. all you have to do is standard maintenance... change the oil, stuff like that. but don't worry about bringing it back. use the time and the money you'd put toward a new car right now to save up for a divorce. because until you break completely from the past, you really can't move forward."
i remember how she looked at me, still shocked from the accident. "in fact," i continued, "you can't bring it back to me until you get divorced."
on august 18, nearly six months to the day later, cj got her divorce. my little yellow bug drove her to the courthouse and back and i know lorraine was laughing in the front seat beside her, all the way.