Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Black and Tan

It didn't pass me by; I was aware of it. December 17th marked the 3-year anniversary of the day I first drove Puck off the lot at Evanston Motor Company (an elegant name for a modern car dealership, don't you think?). Yesterday I registered Puck in the State of California, and while I was digging for specifics (tax paid, original registration date) I found Dave's thank-you note to me. "What a wonderful Christmas present from you to you." And it was.

Puck and I have gone 47,849 miles together. I paid him off in November and the release of Lien arrived from Chrysler within two weeks, along with the original title from Uinta County, with Lynne Fox's signature on it. She's no longer the County Clerk. Lots of things have changed in Evanston in the ten months I've been gone, but nothing has changed about the way I feel for this car, the least inanimate object I own.

Since we arrived in California in April, we've sure racked up the mileage reimbursements. We've been to Monterey, Eureka, Visalia, San Diego, Santa Rosa, Napa, Sonoma, Tahoe, Redding, Chico, Placerville, Kettleman City, Ione, Plymouth, San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay, the 17 Mile Drive and the Avenue of the Giants. Twice. We've been up and down I-5, Hwy 101, Hwy 99, Hwy 50, and I-80. In the madness of California's urban traffic -- even in a city as small as Sacramento, and yes, it is small -- a car you trust and know well is imperative. When it rains California drivers lose their minds, it's as simple as that. Sacramento also has frequent thick fog and some of the most inconveniently designed on- and off-ramps I've ever seen.

I'll be on the road non-stop for the first several weeks of the new year and no matter how I feel about what happens when I get where I'm going, I'm always glad to be in this car, my well-appointed home away from home. I miss Monte (I've been tracking his movements, and I'm sad to report he's been sold twice since I let him go, so I don't know whose hands he's in now or how he's being treated) and the Cadillac, who happily went to someone who's sort of family, but Puck is the Now Car. Puck is a large part of my current identity. Puck is the one they see coming. And even with California plates, Puck is still a tie to home and family and the person I was before March, when everything changed.

And before long he's gonna need new shoes.

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