Sunday, April 16, 2006


Back when our youngest son, Jesse, was just learning to crawl (nearly 20 years ago now!), we traded-in Nana's hand-me-down Oldsmobile for a brand new, shiny black Celebrity wagon. I WAS THRILLED!!!

"Bessie" was a simple car -- no power windows or other frills -- but she had lots of room for our family of four to pack all our most important possessions (baby swings, booster seats, strollers, Big Wheels, Legos, Playmobil, Ninja Turtles, and the family dog...) and hit the road together for miles of family fun!

Over the years, after carpooling countless kids, hauling tons of groceries, and safely carrying us through all kinds of weather, things started to fall apart on "Bessie". Her paint began thinning, her ceiling sagged, and her engine struggled to turn over in the morning. After years of faithful service, it seemed "Bessie" had finally come to a well-deserved retirement. Or so we thought...

...'Til one day recently, "Bessie" was called back into active duty! My job, once close to our home here in town, was moved out to the suburbs. With no means to buy a new car, "Bessie" was needed to take me to work and safely back home again.

At first, I was unsure she was up to the assignment -- afterall, for years she had only been asked to make the short trip on local roads to the grocery store and to church on Sundays. "Bessie" hadn't been out on the highway in "Who-Knows-When"?! To be honest, I had come to doubt her reliability, and feared being stranded by the side of the road somewhere.

And so, it was with quite a bit of trepidation that I steered her up the on-ramp of Business 40 on my first day back at work and headed west. To my surprise, "Bessie" got up to speed with ease and gracefully glided onto the highway. She hummed along without a lurch or a sputter, like she'd been waiting for this day for a very long time...

Today, "Bessie" is in the shop having her engine tuned. She would be the first to admit she's not much to look at anymore. Mother Nature and family life have taken their tole on "Bessie's" good looks. But, that's O.K. -- she's got miles of wisdom and experience from her long life on the road; and she's happy to still be of service!!

Written 3/21/06

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