One day you’re here…the next you’re traded in and become yesterday’s news

This past weekend was something of a sad one for me. I finally had to say goodbye to the car which has been part of my life since 2005. I bought a 2004 Mazda Tribute in September of that year, and in the ensuing 12 years, we’ve been through a lot together- two cross-country trips, a divorce, a few ill-advised relationships, job changes, a move back to Portland from Houston, and a marriage. My life now is very different- and significantly better- than it was in 2005. I’m back in Portland, which despite my wandering ways, has been home for almost 35 years. I married above my pay grade and generally many to carve out a pretty decent life. Best of all, I feel as if I’m finally getting my $#!& together. I’m in a good place.

The short version is that it doesn’t suck to be Jack. The one constant through all of the Sturm and Drang was the Mazda, which held together admirably through close to 120,000 miles after I bought it. Like a lot of guys, I get attached to my cars, and 12 years is longer than any relationship I’ve had with a biped…though I’m working on changing that.

We traded in the Mazda over the weekend. Erin drove off in it Saturday morning…and came home driving a 2013 Lexus CT200h. It’s going to be the vehicle I’ll be driving, and it’s quickly assuaging any sadness I’m feeling over trading in what had come to feel like a tank. After driving a 2016 Honda CR-V for the past year, the Mazda by way of comparison handled about as well as your average Russian T-60 tank. It got the job done, but it was clear its days were numbered.

Ultimately, a car is only a thing. Like everything else in life, it has a finite role to play. Eventually, the time comes for a change. You make that change and, if you’re lucky, it leaves you feeling as if you’ve upgraded. I think we managed that quite nicely. It’s still odd to look out into the driveway and see a white Lexus instead of a silver Mazda…but I’m thinking I’ll get over any lingering sadness pretty quickly.

Life goes on…because the other option isn’t particularly palatable.

One thought on “One day you’re here…the next you’re traded in and become yesterday’s news

  1. steeleweed

      I suspect it’s very much an American thing that cars assume such a major role in our lives, artifacts of our culture.

      My first car was a 1924 Star. Wooden-spoke wheels, hand-operated wipers, manual spark adjust, tires actually stitched together with baling wire (they were no longer made, and thus scrounged from other ancient vehicles). It got me from 16 to 18 and was bequeathed to some other kid with time on his hands, a mechanical bent and good sense of humor.

      Best car I ever had was a 1986 Audi 4000 GT, Special Edition – only 100 made. Basically, the 4000 chassis with the 5000 powertrain. Drove it 280,000 miles and I drove it hard. Replaced one water pump and one clutch. Peaked at 158mph and I still miss it.

      Current Chevy got sideswiped a couple of weeks ago and is in the shop getting the entire right side replaced. Insurance pays for a rental and they gave me a cross-over, a Ford Escape. It’s been several years since I’ve owned an SUV, so it feels weird maneuvering that excess metal. And I don’t like Fords in the first place.

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