Saying goodbye to a longtime challenging companion

Before I even had a blog, before I had this condo, long before I had this job, back when I had healthy parents and even a Woolly Mammoth in middle school I bought a car.  Danger Baby went along to the dealership as moral support, although he was only fourteen. In 1999 it was just a mode of transportation, a tool, a vehicle, a replacement for a Mazda MPV minivan.  This car had an automatic transmission because I never, ever wanted to teach another teen son to drive a stick shift.  For some thrills, once is plenty.

The Skylark gradually became more of a constant companion with a personality disorder.  It could be the pet cocklebur under my saddle blanket, or the reliable spectator shelter during a rainy night soccer game.  From fairly early in our relationship the Skylark began to display electrical system mood swings that defied repair and pushed repair shops past their comfort zones.

The Buick had a frequent hitch in its get-along. On cold mornings heading out to Plano Sr. High School it often had a special ca-chunka-chunk sound effect.  When mechanics heard that sound they predicted impending dire results, but the Buick just kept ca-chunking for another decade.  And by "cold morning" I mean below fifty degrees Fahrenheit.  Brrrrr!

The eccentricities and infirmities of the Skylark often mirrored the decline of that other old so-and-so, my Howie.  The car was more continent than Dad, and slightly less demented.  Many of the 135,000 miles I put on the Buick were missions up I-35 to Nebraska to assist Dad.  It's appropriate that Howie's life insurance has paid for my new wheels.

It brought out my inner Rosie the Riveter, and I am grateful. I never headed out in Skylark without needle-nose pliers. Knobs were always falling off, but somehow no major parts ever fell off.  It was pretty close that one time with the motor mounts, but we all survived!

I'm inviting everyone to reply with guesses of how much I got in trade-in money on the old car.  If you do not live in Texas you can also guess what I purchased as a replacement vehicle.  In a vague "few days" I will post photos of my new vehicle/blog character.

Skylark received a facelift for the 1996 model year in the form of a more conventional-looking grille. The previous 2.3 L 4 was replaced by a new 2.4 L DOHC 4 that produced 150 hp (110 kW) at 6000 rpm. The previous three-speed automatic transaxle was discontinued and the four-speed automatic became standard on all Skylarks. An on-board diagnostic system (OBD II) was standard. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buick_Skylark

© 2012 Nancy L. Ruder

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

Not smart enough to do any guessing but glad for you!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...