Monday, October 17, 2011

A Chapter Closed

Most anyone who's known me for the past decade has met, or at least been aware of, an important lady in my first car: Lola the Purple Corolla.

She became a part of the family just a few days shy of my 19th birthday back in May of 2000.  Since that time, she's been everywhere.  Together, we've journeyed from Arizona, to Wisconsin, to Minnesota, to Texas.  When my brother was in need of another vehicle, shortly after I'd purchased a new car in late 2007, she moved with him to New Mexico, a couple years before I made that same move myself.  Sure, she wasn't in my possession anymore, but she was still in the family and that was great.  Then this past summer, she came home to live with Leni and I again and I loved having her around.

I did my growing up years in Lola.  Not the type of growing up where you learn to ride a bike or deal with bullies or things like that.  But the type of growing up you go through in college and early adulthood.  Owning my first car taught me to manage money and plan ahead for unexpected maintenance and repairs (in those days, I referred to my savings account as my "Save Lola Fund".)  The hell of bureaucracy was experienced in that car when I had my first fender bender and had to deal with police reports, insurance companies, estimates, etc.  I was rolling around in those wheels when I finished college and decided to spend a year as a volunteer and then later when I got a full time job with benefits.  The list goes on.

Other people have had memories in Lola as well.  Tons of people I know (myself included) learned to drive a stick shift in that car.  Some special friends had favorite music to listen to in Lola....if I had a nickle for every Dixie Chicks or Steven Curtis Chapman song that had been played in her stereo, I'd probably have enough money to buy her all over again at the $3000 purchase price we agreed to with her original owner.  

I could go on and on (more than I already have) but in the end, it all boils down to the last week or so when Leni and I decided it was time to replace Lola with something else.  I'd been begging Leni for years to have a daily driver that was a little newer and had airbags.  He finally submitted and had started looking for something else.  We found a great deal on a VW Jetta Wagon and acquired that vehicle this past Saturday. 

On Sunday afternoon, I spent about 2 hours clearing our things out of Lola and giving her a good cleaning.  Windows, vacuuming, upholstery, wiping the dash, an exterior wash etc.  Leni even charged her AC so it would be nice and cold.  When she was all clean, I hopped on the computer and posted an ad for my car on Craigslist.  We weren't expecting much money out of a 23-year-old car.  But I knew she had some life still in her and that someone else could benefit from those miles.  

It happened so fast.  I've never seen an object on Craigslist sell as fast as Lola did last night.  This is what it looked like:

5:16 pm - Posted ad on Craigslist
5:40 pm - Inquiry call
6:30 pm - Met up for a test drive
7:00 pm - Done deal....returned home sans Lola but with a little thicker wallet

Lola now lives with a kid just a year older than I was when I bought her.  He can barely drive a manual transmission and needs her for getting around between his home, his job, and his community college in a town about a half hour away.  He and his mom (who test drove the car for him as my dad had done for me more than 11 years ago) were pleased with the deal and even promised to keep the name, which meant a lot to me.

I'm always on a mission to keep the amount of cars on our property to as low a number as possible and was overall satisfied that we found a good family to live her final days with.  But I'd be lying if I didn't confess how sad I was to come home without her.  In fact, I cried on the way home.

I LOVE the car I drive now.  Still a Corolla, but exactly 20 years newer than Lola was.  And Leni's new (to us) Jetta will serve us well for many years.  But both these cars seems so sterile and without the personality and history that Lola had.  In the end, I'm happier to hand her off to another family than I would have been to have kept her and had to watch her towed to a scrap yard at the eventual end of her life.

Thank you, Lola, for your long and faithful service to the Porter-Moore family.  I know you'll be as good to your new owner and I hope that I'll see you around sometime.

Lola: serving our family 2000-2011
Keep It Real!


  1. I loved Lola. Plus I had a similar experience of letting go of my first car, my beloved black cavalier back in August.