25 May 2006

The Little Camry that Could - A Memoir

Mrs. Lewin has inspired me to jot down some fun memories about another car I used to have: Imogene, the little Camry that could. I wouldn't mind having another one like her. She was the sort of car that was before cars were all computerized, so if something broke on her, you could just sort of fix it yourself.

Well one bright sunny day, Mrs. Lewin and I set out for Washington. We drove down the windy road of Lookout Mountain, under all the lovely green shade of a Tennessee summer, and before we got to the bottom, the car died. Not a good sign before a 48-hour drive. I vaguely remember someone helping us fix it- Dr. Mehne perhaps? - and we set out once again. We were almost to Nashville when right there on the freeway, little Imogene decided to stop. She froze right up and we pulled over to the side. We waited and watched for a while for Steve and Dan Henry, knowing that since they were such gentlemen they would be behind us, but lo and behold they never showed up. A nice highway patrolman did though, and didn't even give us a ticket. :)

Blah blah blah, we ended up in a motel overnight in Murfreesboro, not even two hours away from dear old Covenant College. How frustrating was that. A nice hickish tow-truck man was very kind to us and offered to let us stay at his house but we are women of the 90s and so we freaked out and said no way. But the best encouragement came when who should knock at our motel room door, scaring the crap out of us, but our dear old Zach Cheney. We were never so glad to see him in our lives. (At least I wasn't.) ;) We finally caught up to Steve at Dan Henry's house in Colorado where we slept all day before setting out again for home.

Here is the lovely song that got us through that wicked trip:

"Roll on, Columbia, roll on
Roll on, Columbia, roll on
Your power is turning our darkness to dawn
So roll on, Columbia, roll on.

Green Douglas firs where the waters cut through
Down her wild mountains and canyons she flew
Canadian Northwest to the oceans so blue
Roll on Columbia, roll on

Other great rivers add power to you
Yakima, Snake, and the Klickitat, too
Sandy Willamette and Hood River too
So roll on, Columbia, roll on

Tom Jefferson's vision would not let him rest
An empire he saw in the Pacific Northwest
Sent Lewis and Clark and they did the rest
So roll on, Columbia, roll on

It's there on your banks that we fought many a fight
Sheridan's boys in the blockhouse that night
They saw us in death but never in flight
So roll on Columbia, roll on

At Bonneville now there are ships in the locks
The waters have risen and cleared all the rocks
Shiploads of plenty will steam past the docks
So roll on, Columbia, roll on

And on up the river is Grand Coulee Dam
The mightiest thing ever built by a man
To run the great factories and water the land
So roll on, Columbia, roll on

These mighty men labored by day and by night
Matching their strength 'gainst the river's wild flight
Through rapids and falls, they won the hard fight
So roll on, Columbia, roll on!"

23 May 2006


Our car, our beautiful car, is dead. She never even really had a name... too new to have character, too old to be cool...

It all started on Saturday as we were driving up to Orange County for the wedding of this guy from church. Ken was supposed to be an usher, and that morning we realized we had forgotten to get them a present, so we left with plenty of time to spare. However, while cruising up the 5 in San Clemente, the poor car just froze right up. Fortunately, we were going downhill and an exit was conveniently nearby. We coasted almost to a Mobil station. Ken got out and pushed the rest of the way.

You might be thinking - well since your car had almost 200K miles on it, you probably have AAA or a cell phone or both. Nope. Neither. We both felt really retarded (Ken felt especially bad) because we knew neither of our Dads would ever have let that happen.

[Can I just interject here, not to be bitter or anything - that I have not been in an accident since I was nearly killed that one time. Just for the record for all those lovely people who think I am a bad driver. I was. In the 90s. This is a whole new decade - a whole new century, in fact. So you don't have to let me drive your car, but please do not talk to me about it. Thanks.]

So anyway, we called Buzzy and she came down and got us, and Ken arranged to have the car towed to a local auto shop, which it was, and then they called us later to tell us the problem was the engine (great!). To fix would cost $2-3K. yikestabubba as moisie used to say. So now we are thinking new car (new to us, that is). We are getting lots of advice from people and our own strong opinions are coming out. MINE (since this is MY blog, YO) is that I don't believe in buying new cars, since like Mealtime says, they decrease by like $5K when you drive them off the lot, plus I don't believe in car payments. I also don't believe in American cars. So basically I vote for buying a Toyota or Honda that's a couple years old with 50-75K miles on it (ideally). However - great ideas like that cost like $10K. ANYWAY.

In case you were curious, we made it to the wedding when the flower girl was walking down the aisle. Pretty awesome. Unless you are supposed to be an usher. Don't worry though - someone else was wearing a black suit and fit right in. It was kind of a low key wedding. I thought I wouldn't care about my car so much but I felt kind of disturbed the whole day. And I have been feeling that way since. I really hate mooching rides off people. REALLY. It is one of the most annoying feelings ever. No one has acted like we were really putting them out, but I still feel bad. Everyone has been really nice.

Tonight was Bethy's thesis defense and she kicked butt. Larry and Nancy are here to see her graduate. We are having a huge party on Saturday. The Ericksons are coming on Friday. Tomorrow and the next day are the board meetings. I am looking forward to memorial day and then Eagle Crest so I can relax, and go on a bike ride so I don't get fat.

I've been thinking I need to take preventative measures against adult onset diabetes. I know I don't look fat (thank you) but I have a lot of body fat (muffin top, which is really bad for you), plus it's in my family. I need to try to eat more fruits, veggies and whole grains. But to really do that successfully, I need to quit my job. So I guess I'll keep eating Panda Express for now, and put Laurel's Kitchen back on the shelf. :( To legitimately stay home, I would have to have some kids anyway. Right? You can't just stay home and be a housekeeper. Unless you're Aunt Jamesina from Anne of... hmmm... Anne goes to College? What was that one called? Anne of Windy Poplars? Remember Aunt Jamesina who stayed with Anne and Philippa and kept house for them?

AHHHHHHHHHHHH. I haven't been by myself in like 3 months! It feels SOOO GOOOOOD!