My dad once told me his biggest wish for his kids is that we will be able to afford and drive new cars…. Oh, and that we will also become vegetarians.
You see, my dad is a mechanical engineer (and a vegetarian)… a blessing and a curse when it comes to the world automobiles. As my dad puts it, “You know enough to be dangerous and occasionally successful.” This resulted in my childhood transportation relying solely on “gently used vehicles,” and my dad spending far too many weekends under them.
Long gone were the days of my dad tinkering with his Karmann Ghia or my mom’s Bug for fun. Working on our family cars was no hobby, but, rather, an act of survival. The kids needed to get to school on Monday, and then dance classes, piano lessons and field hockey practice. My mom needed to go grocery shopping; my dad had a job. The pressure to have running vehicles was always high. Today, with his nest empty, it’s a wonder why my dad chooses to ride his bike to work most days…
Understandably, his dream for his children makes perfect sense.
While I have yet to embrace vegetarianism, 4 years ago, after owning a slew of used autos, I proudly fulfilled my dad’s first wish – I bought a brand new car (a 2009 Fit – we call him “Fity Cent” :-(D).
After my first week on the road, I was hooked. What an incredible feeling to drive down the freeway, smell burning oil and know it’s not you! What a relief to set out on a 60-mile road trip and be confident that you are going to make it to your destination! How cute that the only reason to have AAA is for when you run out of gas or lock your keys in your car!
But some would say, where’s the fun in that?
So, two years later, we bought a 32 year-old VW bus…
The Bustache ran on magic, we said. The Bustache wasn’t a frivolous purchase, he was an investment. His imperfections are what make him endearing. He’s SO awesome we’ll write a whole blog dedicated to him!
For two full years, we naively subscribed to this philosophy. The biggest repairs we had to make was the installation of a new skylight, the replacement of the radio and the addition of a few PILLOWS. Of course, there was an enormous “to do list” but it was filled with the “nice to have – wouldn’t that be fun” kind of stuff.
And, then, this summer happened.
Now the list includes things like a new clutch, ignition coil, more clutch stuff, and ultimately a new (rebuilt) engine. Four tow-trucks, three mechanics and a stash of cash later, we’re a bit wiser to the ways to the VW life and the
joy pain it can cause.
But you know what? We might be battered. We might be bruised. And our wallets might be a little lighter … :-( but we’re still holding true to our previous beliefs! The Bustache still runs on magic - it’s just that this magic requires a bit of encouragement in the form of money. He still is an investment - he’s just an investment in memory making not $moolah$ making. His imperfections do make him endearing – it’s just that they are less endearing at 102 degrees. And hey, we’re still writing a blog – we’re just including more posts about the other amazing things in our lives - our dog and Ryan Gosling.
I’d like to think this summer was the final stage of our initiation into the VW Bus brother/sisterhood. I think we might be on the verge of full-fledged membership. Any day now, our card should show up in the mail.
But, hey, I am nothing if not an obedient daughter – Fity Cent is here to stay too. Cuz, you know, sometimes the smell of burning oil just doesn’t do it for me in the morning.
Dad, you are a wise, wise man.
P.S. A big thank you to Gary, who commented on our last post. It really helped! – “It’s like I tell everybody, I don’t have vacations, I have adventures….. Stay thirsty my friends…..”:-(D