Widgets Magazine

Jan 18, 2012

Another Car Story

The Drama Queen drives a 1988 Toyota Corolla. It is literally older than she is! That hasn't always been the case. When she was a senior in high school, it became apparent that she was going to accomplish a goal she set for herself when she was a lowly 9th grader...she was going to finish high school with an Associates Degree in her back pocket. Because we were so proud of her for sticking with her goal and working so incredibly hard, we decided to buy her a car.

Not her actual car...maybe Teach can find me a pic of the real one when she gets home from school.
  Oh not a new car, we could never afford that. I've told you before that we only drive old cars that are fully paid for around here. But we started looking for a nice little used car she could take when she headed off to college to finish her last two years. And it would be so fun for her to have a car to run around in with her friends during her senior year. The idea was that we would buy the car and make repairs, etc., until she graduated from college and then she could purchase the car from us. Since we have always told the kids that we would not be able to pay for their college educations, it seemed like a good way to support her without handing her cash.
The actual Drama Queen

We finally found what we were looking for...a five-year-old white Ford Mustang. It was beautiful! And it was her dream car. We picked it up for a really good price (around $8000) and presented it to her the summer before her senior year. She was so excited! She has always been a grateful child and she couldn't have been happier. The car was SOO fun to drive! Even I looked good in it.

....But it didn't handle all that well in the snow. Drama Queen had a couple of minor accidents in it, but nothing too serious. We just paid for them out of pocket and moved on. Then she graduated and moved to southern Utah for school. She racked up the miles that first semester, coming home almost every weekend. She was SOO homesick! By Christmas she had settled in. (Ironically, after my Sweetie made an ultimatum regarding the right to drive her "Pony" home and how much gasoline cost.  Yes...we even paid for her gas for awhile.)
The actual Mustang's death photos..
Then, she was coming home for Christmas during her second year when she had the first major accident. I don't remember exact details, but she did manage to make it to most of the family Christmas party despite being on the side of the road for four hours while the cops were cleaning up three other accidents right nearby. We had the car fixed during the holidays and she headed back to school. She came home rarely after that. She was having fun at school and the drive was so long!  We even missed having her for Thanksgiving that third year, but she did come home for Christmas.

One particularly cold evening, just a day before the family party, she wanted to go see a movie with her friends. I had a bad feeling and I begged her not to go, but she wouldn't listen. I was folding laundry when I got her call. "Mom, I've been in an accident; I don't think the car will go." I panicked, of course, and immediately started pulling on my shoes. "Where are you, are you hurt?" the questions tumbled from my lips. "I think I'm ok," she managed, "and I'm only a couple of intersections from home." It was about that time that the guy she collided with showed up at her car door. I could hear him yelling through the closed window, asking her if she needed help. She had called me seconds after the crash.

I pulled on my coat and handed my sweetie his and we headed out the door. It took us about 2 minutes to get to her. By then the ambulance was there and the passenger of the other car was being transported. The Drama Queen had managed to get out of her car and I threw my arms around her and gave her a big hug. It was pretty apparent that her beautiful little Mustang had not survived. We spoke to the attending police officer and he suggested we gather everything we might want from the vehicle. Even then I'm not sure she really believed that her beloved car was not ever coming home.

There was glass everywhere! Her airbags had been deployed, saving her from serious injury, but her shin had been jammed by the gearshift and by morning her entire lower leg was black and blue. I never saw her tears, but I know I shed some. I was so grateful that she was still with us, but I had no intentions of buying her another car. So she took the only thing we had to offer...the 1988 Corolla we had purchased for practically nothing so we could teach the Dog Walker to drive. She never complained, she just thanked us over and over.

She finished school with that little car and on Saturday she was devastated when her key broke in the ignition. It really has been a good little vehicle for her. Much more practical than the Mustang (although not as cute!) and it handles much better in the snow.   Drama Queen is still suspicious about driving too much the week of the Christmas party, but now when I say, "I don't think you should go..." she usually listens. Some lessons are learned the hard way.

7 comments:

Amanda said...

poor car.. but so glad your daughter is okay! i'm glad we don't live in the snow or ice anymore but driving down here in Florida is just as dangerous. Thanks for the memories software giveaway too! I'm so happy I won!

LeAnn said...

Wow, what a blessing that she wasn't hurt badly in this one. I have a few car stories of my own. This was a miracle and I am sure the lesson learned is a blessing.
Thanks for your post today!

Megan said...

Looks like a lovely car - and got her through so much! I'm pretty sure I'm gonna cry when my car eventually goes to that car lot in the sky!

Crystal Pistol said...

SCARY! I am so scared for my babies to start driving. I know I'll be a nervous wreck. I have 3 years before the oldest is 16. That's not long at all. AHHHHHH!

mCat said...

THankfully, we never got too many of those calls, but I always feared them! Glad she was okay

Bossy said...

You know Gym Rat has a much better wreck story.... Did we ever tell the tree-bush story?

Automotive Buddy said...

Safety — As vehicle safety laws become ever more stringent, automakers are forced to change the way vehicles are built and the safety systems with which they are equipped. Some form of tire pressure monitoring is now mandatory on all vehicles sold in the U.S., and by 2012, stability control will be, too. Other technologies that are not mandated, like blind-spot monitoring systems, side curtain airbags, adaptive cruise control, and brake assist are becoming more prevalent on less expensive vehicles as their associated costs come down.

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