I bought my new car thirteen years ago, a Nissan Sentra, because it was red, had a sunroof, was good on gas and reliable.

I still have this brain freeze that allows me to think of it as my new car, even though it has become an embarrassment to friends and family. 

 The roof is caved in from allowing my granddaughters to stand on it, to better reach the yellow plums that line the driveway.

My hubcaps burst free after six months of ownership. I happened to glance to my right and there they were, in tandem, making a run for it through a farmers field.

The windshield cracked coming over the mountains, a gift from a gravel truck, lengthened by a defroster on the inside, meeting ice and snow from without.

My daughter broke my sun visor, but not on purpose.

The dog chewed through my seatbelt, definitely on purpose. (He was angry at being left in the car, while the rest of us went to breakfast. I don’t blame him.)

Someone did a hit and run job on the side mirror.

Ocean air has peeled the paint.

The seats are worn, no longer a comfort to my back.

I reversed into a post, which left a dent. I decided to repair that one myself… with a hammer. You can guess the outcome.

Long story short, I’m getting pressure to replace it. My friends in new cars say they are worried about my safety, a kind way of saying they are worried about my esthetic. I will replace my new car some day, but not soon.

For now, I’m going to drive fourteen hours south to LA, so I can have Thanksgiving with my son. And it will make it, because it runs like a top, although the outside might need a little duct tape.

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