Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Last Dance

I have discovered it hard to say goodbye to the vehicles I have owned. This is due to the relationship I form with each one. Some have been one-way relationships where I asked and received much more of and from them, than they ever asked of me.

In others I have found myself the codependent in the relationship, pouring more and more money and oil into them, hoping upon hope that just one more fix would make everything OK, but in the end, I was only the enabler of their dysfunctional behavior.

The relationship I had with my 2003 Explorer was a good one overall and lasted 5.5 years and 188,000 miles.

The pairing started out great--we met on my birthday and had a few blissfully transcendent weeks together. The honeymoon ended quickly though when an unruly junkyard dog of a rear differential chewed through its speed sensor and got out, causing erroneous ABS application. Little did I know at the time, but just replacing the chain wasn't gonna soothe this raging beast--this dog was hungry as hell and soon broke the chain again and started howling not just at the moon but whenever I took it out for a walk. I ended up having to give that dog away and replaced it with another from eBay. This one's temperament was just right and continues to faithfully do its job to this day.

This being my first 4 by 4 relationship, I guess I never realized just how high maintenance she'd be. For example, the front wheel bearings on `er have been replaced a number of times. Seems like she gets tired of `em every fifty thousand dances or so. The first time, I had `em professionally replaced but thereafter I did it myself. I thought I could do a better job of taking care of her.

And oh does she love shoes! And ankle bracelets too! I won't even go into how many pairs she's gone through.

Now, she didn't like surgery much (or was it me procrastinating due to the amount of pain she'd have to endure), and resisted it even when under the knife. Her bones were strong as steel--I should know I spent two hours once amputating the bolt connecting a shock to the lower control arm. But in the end, she had new shocks and thanked me for it by acting like a young colt let to frolic in the pasture for the first time.

I neglected her at times and took her for granted. I'm not thrilled by that. I thought that I could make it up to her by giving her fresh oil and flowers. But she always forgave and accepted my attention.

On Thursday, I had one last dance with her, 781 miles worth, to Savannah to turn her over to L. I had promised her her, if she did well at school and she has beyond my expectations. She's well deserving.

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