The end of poetry month, my poet laureate term, our kids’ tenure in public schools, our daughter’s college degree, The Divorce Girl tour, and what else can I put on this pile? Winter might seem a likely choice, but given the snow in our forecast, better wait on that. In any case, this is a time of finishing many phases, projects, experiences and adventures, so it makes good sense that I get a car (even if I’m the one, with my husband, who got me the car), and that it looks like a giant Reese’s peanut butter cup in box form.
“How many cars did you go through during your poet laureate term? Three? Four?” Shawn asked me during the last poetry caravan a few weekends ago. Actually just one, and I’ve been going through the Toyota Sienna, aka poetry-mobile, for many years, first using it to haul babies, then random couches found on curbsides, small trees, thousands of bags of groceries, rafts of teenagers, hundreds of pounds of recycling, many trays of basil to plant, lots of relatives, and bevies of poets. With 216,000+ miles, it still has life left in it, but that life is now mostly for Forest as he starts college. It was time for a vehicular life transition for me.
What surprised me was how fast it happened: I kind of knew what I wanted, something a bit smaller than a van but not too much, with lots of room for hauling stuff I find here and there, and it had to come in a great color. We spotted a 2004 Honda CRV for sale at our favorite dealership in town for just the price we wanted and with less than 50,000 miles. We test-drove Mon., had it inspected by our mechanic Tues. morning and bought it Tuesday afternoon. It was mercifully easy, in great part because from the moment I sat at the wheel, I knew this was my car. Maybe it’s the shimmery gold exterior (I’m also a sucker for bling) or the chocolate interior (and I love chocolate even more), but it just
felt like home, or home moving down the highway at 60 mph. Besides, as Kris said, it looks like a Reese’s peanut butter cup, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Although I’ve been on the road all-too-much for the last year, I feel ready for a different kind of road trip now, one that brings me into more spacious scenery with more time to take it in. I’m also ready to drive home repeatedly with gratitude in my heart and a shimmering gold hood leading the way.