The End of An Era

I’ve been kind of failing at writing lately. I do this from time to time, where I get all excited about writing again and do a good job of writing daily, then I’ll miss a day and try to get caught up, have ambitious plans to give myself something to write about, and end up failing. I still plan on writing the stuff I promised about Lincoln in my last presidents post, and hopefully that will happen sooner rather than later, but before I dive into that, I just wanted to write a quick note about something that happened almost two weeks ago that I’ve been stewing on, and something that I am reminded about daily thanks to the “On This Day” posts on Facebook.

Recently, my car “Pamela” was in an accident. After initially thinking that we could simply pay the deductible and have her repaired, the damage was a little more severe and instead she was deemed a total loss. While it is good that we’ll be receiving enough from insurance to pay of the current loan, and we are in the position to function with only one car, it was still a bit harder than I would have thought to have to lose a car.

As I was cleaning out the car before the insurance took ownership and took her away, I was getting a little emotional about it. Sure, it’s just a car and nobody was hurt in the accident, but it’s still losing a small piece of me. I bought the car when I got back from Iraq in 2010, and she has been a constant companion in my life as I’ve driven back and forth across the country at least a couple of times. Which is why my daily Facebook reminders have been especially hard the past week or so.

Four years ago today, I believe my brother and I were in Washington, DC in the midst of our Brothers Across America adventure that we started right before I went to grad school and all that. We had stopped in DC to hang out with my sister, but also to see the sights recover a bit from driving every day. You see, our other companion on the trip – my trusty Volkswagen Passat “Pamela” – needed a new windshield and some other minor maintenance before we started our return trip, so a bit of a pause was warranted, if only for a few days.

This trip was the second trip that Pamela had made across the U.S. The first was when I had left Connecticut to return to Utah, which was an adventure in and of itself, and she had made multiple trips back and forth from Virginia to Connecticut when I spent 6 months working for The Motley Fool. It was nice to have a reliable car as I prepared to leave the east coast, probably forever, in a few months.

The era referred to in the title of this post is the severing of my last remaining tie to Connecticut, a place I lived for over a decade. Apart from my friends still living in the state, she was the last true tie to my life in Connecticut. So I think this is the thing that made it a little harder than it probably should have been to lose a car.

I wasn’t expecting or ready to give her up, but the world had other ideas. You will be missed.

RIP Pamela – November 2010 – February 2017

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