Another, lessor anniversary passed, one that I track but don't celebrate, noting it in my mind's secret canyons: my car is 20 years old as of September.
It's a black Mazda RX-7 R1. That photo is not of my car but it's a better photo of any that I have. Here is my car, photographed 8 years and 1,000 miles ago, at my California home:
I bought it used in January, 1996, a gift to myself for retiring from the military after 20 years, so I've owned the car for 16 of its 20 years. Paid cash, 25 grand, because she who likes to save money dislikes car loans. She said at the time, "I hope this will make you happy for a while."
After I had it a day or so, I told her, "I think I'll have this car for a long time." It's a fun car to drive. I felt very comfortable in it, driving it to and from work for a few years, piling up miles and wear on Interstate 280, and Highways 92 and 101. Then, in 2000, my wife ceased working. I began using her car for my daily commute, because my car's gas mileage sucks. I also began car pooling with another, so I only drive two or three times a week any way.
In 2005, I moved up to Ashland and began working from home. I walk most places. When I drive, my wife is usually with me. She prefers not to take my car because it presents challenges clamoring into it and doesn't hold many groceries..
The car, alas, does not see much road action. I charge it up and pull it out every few months and put about ten miles on it, although once in a while, I'll take it out into the country and let it run around. Neighbors and friends have become aware of it. People seeing it lurking in the garage will stop and ask me what it is. A neighbor did today (her husband had thought it might be a Ferrari), prompting my realization of its anniversary. I talk about selling it every year, or trading it in on something more practical.
Someday, some year, I will. I don't think it will be soon, though, even if it is just a car.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com