Saturday, April 3, 2010

Cars in Our Lives

Hey, Y'all,
This blog today is all about cars I have driven in my lifetime. I did not learn to drive until I had graduated from Carson-Newman and had my first teaching job. Foster C.,one of my friends at CNC let me drive his car out on a country road to get the feel of driving. When we got back, the librarian, Mrs. Rymer,asked him how I did. He jokingly told her that it was like being on a roller coaster that went from one side of the road to the other. Anyway, he took me out there several times till I got the feel of driving. We backed up, turned around, all the stuff that one does when driving. He was a true friend with a lot of courage.

HIs was the only instruction I received in preparation for driving. Of course, I got a driver's manual and studied all the rules of the road. When I was ready to buy a car, I went into Knoxville to purchase a car. I don't remember how I got there. I think I must have ridden the Greyhound bus in. Anyway, I think my mom must have gone with me and perhaps co-signed the loan papers. I had been married and divorced and had no credit references to back up the loan. I selected an Oldsmobile F-85 for my first automobile. I went home and waited for the delivery of the car. I was 33 years old with two children to raise and no support from my ex-husband.

A few days later the car was delivered in person probably by one of the salesmen. He drove it into the yard of my parents home where the girls and I were living. He handed me the keys and said he would need a ride back to New Market (about 2 miles from our farm) to the bus stop. So I get into the car, the delivery guy gets in the back, and my dad (brave soul) got into the front beside me. Anytime any one used the word, "go", dad would have his hat on his head and be ready to travel. Ha. (lots of stories about dad in the family).

So, I begin to back out, and first shot out of the bucket, I scrape the car against a gate post (which dad later removed for all our safety) and I stopped the car, we got out and surveyed the damage. It was a nasty scrape on the rear fender of the driver's side. The fellow said, (nervously), would you like me to drive it back to New Market?". I said, "Nope, I bought it and I'm going to drive it." So, we got back in and I drove it back to New Market and let him out at the bus stop. I know he was happy to have that over with. Ha.

Hey, I just realized this is likely to be a long narrative. Hmm.

Later that year, I met my present husband, who was also a teacher. He drove a little brown Plymouth Valiant that he had even after we were married. I would be watching for him to come and pick me up at the farm, and down the road would come that little brown car.

In 1972, I traded the Olds for a Ford Pinto. What a neat little car that was. It was red, white and blue, and a beauty. Gramps and I courted for ten years before he finally decided he couldn't live without me, so we got hitched. By that time, I had traded the Pinto for a 1976 Volkswagen Rabbit. It was yellow and a lot of fun to drive. We got married in 1976, and went lots of places in that little Rabbit. Since it was my car, I did the driving in it when we went anywhere. I guess that set up the pattern for driving places. Gramps drove his Valiant to school and wherever he went by himself, and when we went together, I drove the Rabbit.

In 1980, we decided to get a Dodge Omni. It was a beautiful blue car, but what Gramps would call a Jonah. We had all kinds of trouble with it. We took it out west on a summer trip and took my sister, Margaret, with us. We were going through Arizona, and were saving on the air conditioning use, and drove with the windows down, and man, it was getting hot in the car, and we were getting hot under the collar, because of the heat, and we had one of the worst arguments we had ever had. We finally decided that we would go ahead and use the air conditioning and forget saving gas. Whew!

In 1984, we traded in the Omni on a Toyota Corolla, and were so glad to be rid of the Dodge. Gramps was still driving the Rabbit, and so happy with it. He loved that little car. I really liked the Corolla as well. Each morning, I would head to my teaching job in Morristown, and Gramps would head in the opposite direction towards his teaching job in Strawberry Plains.

In 1986, he took the Rabbit to have it serviced, because he was having trouble with it (he thinks someone at the school had put sugar in the gas tank) and it just wasn't repaired to his satisfaction. So we traded it for a 1986 Pontiac 6000, and he drove the Corolla, which was only two years old.

We decided to buy a van in 1990, so we purchased a Mazda MPV, and although that means Multi-Purpose Vehicle, I said it meant My Purty Van. Ha. That summer we took our two oldest grandsons, who lived in Texas, home with us for two weeks and took them on a trip to Disney in Florida and had a great time. It was wonderful for us. (IS all this boring you, yet?)
The Pontiac 6000, we sold to Carol, our daughter in Texas, and it later became her oldest son's first car.

By this time, Gramps had retired from teaching, and was driving the Corolla whenever he wanted to go anywhere alone.

In 1996, we traded the Mazda for a Chevy Blazer, and took a trip out to visit with John and his family who lived in Phoenix. We took my brother, Hugh,and his wife, Imazo, with us and had a great time. It was not long after the Murrah building in Oklahoma City had been blown up by Timothy McVeigh, and we had talked about stopping there to see it. Imazo really wanted to see it, but Hugh was driving and was uncertain about how to get to it, so he just kept driving. Imazo was quite upset (to say the least), and so when we got to Memphis, she had wanted to stop at Graceland. I happened to be the one driving at that time (Hugh and I switched back and forth doing the driving), so I made sure that we got to see Graceland. Hugh told me later, "I owe you big, Sis". I said, "Aw, that's okay. I always wanted to see it, too".

Later on in life, Hugh was too ill to do a lot of driving, so I began taking us places more often.

In 2000, we bought a Corolla, and three years later bought a Rav 4, and gave the 2000 Corolla to our granddaughter, Emily. By this time, Gramps had stopped driving, due to neuropathy in his feet, and having had lost half of his left foot to diabetes. So the 1984 Corolla sat unused in our yard until he sold it later to give the proceeds from it to Allie's daughter, Rachael, to help finance her trip with her school choir group to go to Australia on tour.

Finally, Whew!, we traded the Rav 4 in on a Toyota Yaris, which I am now driving any where we want to go. Another car I drive quite often is the car that Hugh used to drive, and that Imazo can not drive. I would drive the car when the five of us would go places (Hugh, Imazo, Mae, Gramps and I) and now when Imazo, Mae, Gramps and I go places together. It has much more room in it (it is a Toyota Camry and is much more comfortable for seniors to get into and out of).

And now you probably know more than you wanted to know about the cars we have owned and driven. I will tell you this in addition, I have driven somewhere on a long trip almost every summer and sometimes in the winter, until this past year when I was so very ill. Tn-th-that's all, folks!

This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for now. Much love to each of you, my friends, and although I am quite verbose, I am enjoying this tremendously. Bye for now. More later. Have a lovely Easter weekend.



What a driving life you've had Ruby, I always wished I'd learned to drive then just when my husband persuaded me to take lessons I was diagnosed with epilepsy which of course one can't drive. It does give you that much more freedom and I expect more so even now for you,
Another great challenge blog.

Happy Easter.

Jan said...

Wow. You been places and done things! My Dad had to have a new car every three years whether he needed one or not so my interest in cars over time wasn't there. I only hoped the ones I had as an adult worked and got me where I needed to go!

Margaret Hall said...

What a fun post~!
The storylines along with the brands of cars was a fun readin', Ruby~!! Loved the part about the air conditionin'~!! Woohoo, saved the tempers of all ridin'~!! lol...

Unknown said...

Hello Ruby! I can so relate to the verbose thing...I tend to be so myself. I love it!

I also loved your 'c' post about all of the cars you've owned and driven in your life. Cars always hold a special place in our memories, trips they've taken, is fun to look back over the years for sure!

Have a blessed Easter and we'll see you on day 4!

Lisa said...

My goodness but you've owned a bunch of cars! I really enjoyed this post, verbose though it was. :)

Have a blessed Easter Grammy!


Unknown said...

What a sweet story and fun post. I especially love the part about the air conditioning. Have a Happy Easter.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I sure understand the hot ride and hot tempers. When I was a teenager, my family drove from Illinois to Colorado -- we hit Denver in the high heat of August and I thought my dad was going to skin us all alive. We were saved when we hit the cooler air as we headed into the mountains. No air conditioning in that car!

Grammy said...

Hey, Y'all,
I just realized that I could say, as they do about the Toyota, "Once you get your hands on one, you'll never let go". Once I got behind the wheel, I was, as my sister-in-law says, "happy as a raccoon on an ear of corn". Ha.
Thanks for the comments and glad you enjoyed the posting.

Unknown said...

That's quite a lot of cars accumulated over a lifetime, isn't it? It was interesting reading it, to be honest, since I prefer knowing more about one's personal history with their cars. I remember cars better with personal anecdotes about them, rather than just the specifics such as their mileage, acceleration speed and whatnot. Do you still take long trips in your Yaris?

Spartan Toyota