Brain Dead

20180327_151221.jpgI survived.

I want to write up about Iceland, but that post requires more brain cells than what I have available. The last few days have been rather straining and exhausting with work (sorry, about my constant lament over work) and dealing with unexpected car stuff.

My very loyal and faithful 2003 Toyota Camry traveled its last mile on its own power on Monday morning. It’s been a very good car to me. I’m not exactly the most caring owner, so a low maintenance and reliable car, while not sexy, is the one for me. Hence, in my early 20s, I bought what my friends called a suburban mom car. That was fine with me.

Over these past 15 years, we traveled over 180,000 miles together. In all honesty, I was hoping that we would be able to make to 250K, or at least 200K. She gave it a good effort, but Monday morning, she let me know by gently shuddering that her time was up. She lasted just long enough to give me time to safely pull over to the side of the freeway where I would be out of everyone’s way and there was plenty of space for a tow truck.

Two weeks ago when I was leaving for Iceland, I drove to my usual spot for long-term parking when I travel. My car gave the first sign of its impending doom. Literally it lasted long enough for me to park it and leave for the airport. Had she died 2 mins earlier when I was still out driving, I would have missed my flight because I would have been stuck on the freeway. Even in the last throes of death, my car was thoughtful about where and when she would go. Ben got it towed back home while I was gone and a friend who is generally handy came over to take a look. He cleaned off some corrosion and refilled some transmission fluid. My car came back to life. I thought I could have a few more months with it, but it turned out that the second “life” was a brief one.

As I sat waiting for a tow truck, I reflected on the years I had with my car. For so many years, my car was my sanctuary. When I was unhappy, I would often take the car and go somewhere, anywhere, to escape for a few hours and feel better. I know many people don’t like commuting, but I came to cherish the time I had in my car because so often, my life was so overwhelmed by work that the time I spent commuting in the car was the only time I could have to myself and not work without feeling guilty. I traveled all over the US and Canada with friends and family in my car. Along with the memories, I realize that the car is one of the last few physical vestiges that I have of my old life in California. And now it’s gone.

Because of work, I have to have a car. It’s a non-negotiable issue. I’m driving a rental for now. Ben and I are looking over options trying to figure out what makes the most sense for us. If things work out, I should have a new (or at least a new-to-us) car by the end of the weekend.

10 thoughts on “Brain Dead

  1. I’m about to move on to a new car too, after driving my Toyota Corolla for the last 15 years, so I can relate. It sucks that it was so sudden and now you have to make a decision soon. If you’re in the market for a compact vehicle, I can share my thoughts and research. 🙂

    • We’re going to be upgrading to a small SUV. It’s actually more of a car than we need right now, we were hoping to get it in a year or two, but this is how life is working out. I had a Corolla before I got the Camry. My mother made me give it to my sister years ago when she needed a car, otherwise, this post would have been my mourning over the green Corolla.

  2. So much relating, as my memory-laden 2005 Honda Civic was recently crunched into worthlessness on the freeway at about 170,000 miles. Letting go was much harder than I expected!

    • Isn’t it! I was so surprised by it. It wasn’t as if I wasn’t expecting this day to come. Ben and I had been in the talks of when we were going to get a new car for a few years now (and honestly my parents were expecting the car to die 5 years ago), so it’s been on our minds that this would happen.

    • I hope so too! We’re a loyal Toyota family and we (the family) have owned several Toyotas over the years. My parents were impressed with how unassuming and easy the car was to me. It easily outlasted every other car we’ve owned. We’re going out to dealers today to look at cars. #fingerscrossed #itslikedatingagain

  3. Speaking of non-sexy Toyotas, I love my Prius. The lowest of low maintenance. I barely have to put gas in it twice per month. I hope to drive it until it dies. I hope you find something you like soon. Car shopping is the worst.

    • Thanks! We got a new car. Purchased it on Saturday as the day was ending so we got a good deal because dealers were anxious to make a final sale for the last day of the month. I’ve relieved that this is all over.

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