Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Goodbye Old Friend

May you walk gently through the world, and know it's beauty, all the days of your life-Apache Blessing

On Monday I said goodbye to an old friend as the Silver Fox, my 2001 Volvo S40, was put out to pasture after suffering through one of the worst winters in recent memory.
The Fox joined the Focke clan as Momma Foke's car a while back...it lead a charmed existence, nights in the garage, weekly bath's, and really only driving down Summit ave to her work and back.  Momma Foke took great care of the Fox, parking as far away from other cars as she could in parking lots, washing and vacuuming, and not driving in bad weather.
But as sometimes happens in a relationship, Momma Foke needed something more exciting and the Fox, despite its sun roof, couldn't deliver the way the drop-top Saab could and with the Ghetto Sled (my car at the time) to the point where I carried an extra battery and jumped it every time to get it started, the Fox fell into my hands...
When the car first moved from St. Paul to Mpls it used the Moniker, A Boy Named Sue, she tried hard to make the adjustment (like dogs do) from being a house car (garage) to an outdoor car, and the adjustment didn't go all that well.
One of the first trips we took to the cabin ended when a bird, or as I thought at the time, a turkey, flew into the grill, smashing it and getting stuck there until I could fish it out with a stick.  After that it was like the car was a magnet for wildlife.  On a trip back from Colorado with Alex, she took out a giant snapping turtle that had found its way onto the South Dakota highway. 
Back in the Cities I was driving to St. Paul when again we took out a bird, this time it just missed the windshield, only to get clipped by the passenger side mirror.
Heading out of town one night to Mora, I took the exit north when a raccoon appeared out of nowhere and met its demise at the hands of the front passenger tire...
Despite its aversion to wildlife, I still tried to force it to be an outdoor car to no avail.  She endured a lot, there was the time someone smashed the front passenger window and stole my laptop right in front of my house.  Later, innocently parked on the side of the road, some guy going way too fast for the neighborhood lost an axel and sideswiped it taking off the mirror and damaging the whole driver's side.  I got that fixed up and she looked like new, but didn't always act like it.
The cold weather made the Fox temperamental, the locks wouldn't work below 15 degrees, you would have to unlock & open the door with the key still in it from outside, there was no chance the backdoors would unlock in that kind of weather and the heat could be on full blast only to stop...sit for a few moments, spit once, then start up again....
The past 9 months were the worst for the Fox, it was hit in my driveway by someone who left a fake  phone number, a headlight that was replaced began to flicker from time to time as if it were winking at you, during a blizzard a 'good Samaritan' trying to help me get unstuck decided to use the mirror as leverage and ripped it right off the side of the car (some silver duct tape later it was back on) and finally the potholes took their toll, one so deep the front bumper couldn't make it out unscathed. 

There were plenty of good times in the Fox, starting with as she somewhat ungracefully made her way into old age the nickname went from A Boy Named Sue, to the Silver Fox which was much more fitting.  The trip to Colorado to hike in the mountains, then to Mount Rushmore, driving 8 hours through driving rain, handling like a champ!
A jaunt out to Columbus to watch the Buckeyes take on the Ohio U Bobcats, and down to Dayton to see Grandma, the many trips to the cabin in the spring, fall and winter keeping me safe through all the elements.
And the trunk which doubled as a sporting goods store, want to play football, got one, basketball?  Indoor or outdoor, had 'em both, golf clubs, frolf discs, life jacket, five gallon bucket to sit on, bike rack, she held them all and more.

The Silver Fox always started too, no matter how cold it got (and it got really cold this winter but she always shook off the snow and fired right up) and I appreciated that more than anything.  She wanted to be an outdoor car, gave it her best but just may not have been cut out for it.
As we said goodbye Monday it wasn't as emotional as the last day with the Ghetto Sled, the Fox and I tolerated each other towards the end, but I will miss her quirks and wish her nothing but the best in her twilight years, hoping she lands to someone with a garage and takes nothing but trips to the grocery store & church.