I don't usually get that attached to my cars. To me, a car is mostly a thing you use to get from point A to point B -- in my case, point A almost always being home, and point B usually being work or Kroger or Target or my parents' house or Stone Mountain. As often as possible I like my reason for using my car to be to depart from point A without a pressing need to get to any specific point B, just several hours (or even days) to enjoy the trip, be it up U.S. 441 to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and then into Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, or along the Blue Ridge Parkway, or just driving along a random road to see where it goes ("what's around the bend," as the song on my Charles Kuralt DVDs goes). I do expect it to have a decent stereo so I can listen to my podcasts or audio books or music while I'm making these drives, and a cup holder for my QuikTrip almond amaretto cappuccino, but other than that I don't need too much from my car.
But this car, this 2007 Suzuki Aerio, I did feel attached to -- if only for the fact that, since we got it in March of 2007 when I was still 39 (though just barely), and I stopped driving it regularly when we got the Hyundai in August of 2018, when I was 51, it, the Suzuki, was the only car I had during the entire decade of my forties. It drove me into middle age. (That sounds really funny, but I'm going to let it stand.) I've never had a car that long before.
When we got the Hyundai nine months ago, we kept the Suzuki as a sort of spare (yes, for nine months we had a spare car), since we knew CarMax wouldn't give us very much for it, and I thought it would be good to have another conventional internal-combustion-engine car for times when Anna's Leaf, with its limited-range electric motor, couldn't get either of us to somewhere we needed to go. So I haven't been driving it much lately, but at least it's been there, parked in the side yard, and it has come in handy a few times when Anna needed to drive to Hyundai and I wanted to go somewhere farther than the Leaf could take me.
When we got the Suzuki from CarMax back in 2007, it was a year old and had just under 9,000 miles on it. Today it is thirteen years old and has just under 204,000 miles on it. I drove it enough miles to go around the Earth nine times, with relatively few problems (and, to be honest, not that many oil changes either; a darn sight fewer than the folks who wrote the owner's manual would have had me get).
But a few days ago the Check Engine light came on and there was some weirdness in the transmission (though thankfully this happened in the driveway here at home, so I didn't get stranded in a parking lot somewhere), so I decided it was time to let it go. I sold it to a place that gave us $280 for it for parts, which frankly is more than I expected to get. Today a little after noon they came and towed it away. It's kind of a relief to be done with it, to not have to worry for once about how much it will cost to get it fixed, but it was also kind of sad to see it go.
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