July 19, 2005

UP EARLY Saturday morning--

--get the grumpy kids dressed, make sure for the fiftieth time that I have the title and bill of sale and a screwdriver and the keys, finally get on the road, stop almost immediately so as to make a stop by McDonald’s for some scrumptious and nutritious breakfast “burritos,” which I ordered, then drove around and passed through the window of Reba’s van--why she couldn’t go through the drive-through, I do not know. THEN on the way to Cullman! Hooray.

Moby drove just fine, although that worrisome Check Engine light came on again. Been messing with that for ages. Don’t know what it is. But a fine morning for a drive, no matter what. Arrived at our appointed place right on time--something of a miracle, I say.

Got out, and started looking around the parking lot for the truck of the guy who I was supposed to be meeting. Heard a shout from behind me, and some guy was walking across the parking lot in a tee-shirt, shorts, and in long dark socks with black dress shoes. OH, my! ANOTHER of my vehicles being purchased by a YANKEE!

Actually, his voice gave him away as a homegrown fellow, although one who’d apparently affected that peculiar mode of foot fashion sported by so many of our Northern brethren. He quickly looked it over, under the hood, then wanted to go riding. Gave him the keys, got in, rode up the road a bit, chatted, he said he wanted it, and would give me 1800 for it. Which is really what I had been trying to get all along, if only someone would buy it. I half-heartedly protested, but after the whole incident with the fine folks at CarMax, I really couldn’t pass up cold hard cash. But, I still had to make an effort. “Well, let me talk to Mama and see what she says.” It IS in her name, after all. Got back to the restaurant and parked, and found that the crew had gone inside, which might mean that they were in the process of trying to spend all of the van money before we even had it.

I went to get them while the guy went next door to the AmSouth to get the cash. Went in and found Boy standing at the restrooms waiting for the girls, so I told him to stand there while I went and used the restroom, too. Came out, he was gone, got that horrible feeling you get when you come out of the restroom after fifteen seconds and the kid you’d just left outside the door is gone, then found them all on the other side of the store looking at a variety of faux kuntry knick knacks, told Reba the price, which she agreed to, and then it was all over except for the signing of the title and bill of sale and removing the license plate and grabbing the loot.

Actually could have made an extra hundred on the deal--he gave us one bill too many--but it was returned to him unharmed. Shook hands all around, and then it was time to head back.

And, as it always does, all of the memories came flooding back. When we bought it, how I pored over the order form, got JUST the right stuff on it so it wouldn’t look quite so dour and ubiquitous. And why we bought it--we had a nice ’92 Taurus before, but we were about to have our third child, who would turn out to be Little Boy, and all of us and our junk just wasn’t going to fit in a Taurus. We took delivery of the van not too long before we took deliver of Jonathan.

Two car seats back then--Rebecca was only 20 months old. Trips to the beach, and then ANOTHER baby to bring home in it. Still two car seats--Jonathan and Cat, with the two older girls in the back seat. A move to the new house. Those scratches on the back of the rear seat? And the splinters imbedded in the vinyl? That was some plywood I’d bought at Home Depot to put in the attic. There was the replacement transmission at 80,000 miles--Reba got stranded and I had to go get her and the van. The big dinner that Jonathan threw up into the seat. Lots of spilled food, you know--both pre- and post-chewed. The time we had to have it pulled out of the sand at Gulf Shores. Big meaty woman who drove a 4-by and worked on an offshore oil rig. She was rather attractive, in her own way. The time the whole thing crapped out on the way back from the beach one year. THAT episode even got its own blog entry. (Scroll all the way down.) There was the time we visited the Confederate Memorial park and Reba got her finger slammed in the door. Oh, and what about all those soccer trips, and trips to the soccer park. That indented place in the tailgate on the right side? Soccer ball, of course--kicked by some feral kid at the park who was blessed with inattentive parents. All those things, and so much more.

Such memories. Such memories.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at July 19, 2005 12:26 PM