Yes, the header photograph is my car.
I purchased it new in Texas during December of 1999. I was taken by all the safety features, seeing as how my beautiful forest green Grand Am was totaled on the freeway about 7:30 am while carrying my children--and a neighbor child--to school.
Just days earlier, the family had suffered another tragic loss. Our German Shepherd, Sasha, was put to sleep after being part of our family for more than 13 years. We all cried and cried for days.
But within a couple of days after I brought the Saturn home, the girls' father met me at the kitchen door in the garage, hands behind him and a sheepish grin spreading uncontrollably across his face. When he brought his hands in front and displayed a five pound black and white pekingese, I met my current companion, Mr. Blue, for the first time.
He rode with me in my new Saturn to Puppy Kindergarten twice weekly for two months. The emergency brake still shows the teeth marks from a very anxious, teething Elijah Blue. I was anxious too. It was trying at times to juggle parenting two young girls and a demanding corporate job with training a new pup. But Elijah Blue and I came to an understanding eventually and he graduated with honors.
Once his training was complete, he'd occasionally ride with me across town to visit my friend the nurse or to watch the city-girl play tennis. When we had tournaments out of town, he'd travel two hours or more and stay with us at a hotel. The staff generally thought him to be too small to qualify for a pet fee.
The Saturn has carried other precious cargo as well. The city girl daughter's cello fit nicely in the trunk throughout her Philharmonic Orchestra endeavors--as did 250 Ipaqs for a client (when they were the hottest thing on the market). And more recently, I dismantled the Bowflex and moved it to my new digs in that car.
Blue had his longest ride ever when we traveled from Texas to Virginia in 2002. I really thought that two day trip would have broken his desire to "ride." I put his pillow in the back seat and stopped periodically at rest stops to walk him. Looking back, I think he was just happy to be with someone he knew loved and cared for him. He and I had a two-day road trip. And even after all that traveling, he still gets bouncy excited if I mention the word "ride."
The Saturn may not be the prettiest thing on the road, but it still gets me where I'm going. Through our 11 year relationship, we have both learned to communicate our needs to one another. The Saturn sometimes hesitates and expels a thick cloud of blue white smoke when it needs a little attention. I, in turn, do not cast a wandering eye on younger pretty cars. I appreciate the relationship--the understanding we have for one another. I know I have something in my worn little blue Saturn.
Just today, I loaded a wooden bench from Pop and Momo's house into the back seat. Pop cast a doubting gaze when I first suggested it would fit. I tried to explain to him that same bench he just repaired had originally fit in the back seat, along with one child, when I had first purchased it in Buffalo Gap, Texas years ago.
Needless to say, the bench fit--and I brought it home to my townhouse.
The car may be aging--as well as the dog--but both have a tremendous amount of good in them yet. They may well be my most prized possessions!