So, this is a season of transition. A year and a half ago, I moved sites in my company, Tabitha is pregnant, she moved to a new job outside the company, we moved into a house, and my parents have moved next door.
To add to this all, it has become painfully obvious that my Mustang was not going to cut it in this new phase of my life. So, after 16 years, I decided to finally trade it in for something with a viable back seat. (I can just see the dirty jokes forming in your head)
Unloading all the stuff out of the car, I was hit with a flood of memories:
It was 2001. I was in the final quarters of my Undergrad, and decided to treat myself after a grueling six and a half years in College. I had destroyed my Saturn in a car accident a few months previous.
(Fun fact about the Saturn: My previous car, a Red Ford Probe, had a spacious backseat. The Saturn SC2 did...not... As I was the perpetual DD in college, every time Sev would emerge from the backseat, he'd say, "It's a boy!")
Wanting something with a little more pep, I bought a 1999 "Cinnamon" V6 Mustang with 30,000 miles on it.
One of my very close friends ridiculed me for getting it because, "that's the kind of car you get a girl on her sweet 16." My other friends teased me about getting a FORD ("Fix Or Repair Daily", "Found On Road Dead").
Over the course of the next year, I drove back and forth to Cal Poly Pomona from Woodland Hills 2-3 times a week to finish up my few remaining classes.
I graduated, and hung my tassle there until 2006-ish, when a drunken careless date yanked it down because, "you needed to get rid of that anyway." Upset, and, kinda angry, I threw it in the back, where it was tossed around until I found it last night.
In December of 2002, I got my Job at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Port Hueneme Division. For 3 and a half years, I drove from Woodland Hills to Port Hueneme (one hour each way), putting 100 miles on it every day.
On top of that, most of my friends were at Glendora Alliance Church, so I'd drive an additional hundred miles every weekend to see Matt, Angi, Cameron, Brian, and crew.
I remember a bleary Saturday, waking up in Shannon's house after my going-away party from NAVSEA with the worst hangover I've ever had. (Erik, Sev, and Derek know the one) The Mustang was a manual Transmission, so it was quite a feeling to be pissed at the clutch for being too loud. I packed that car up with all my day-to-day possessions (It wasn't much), then drove out to Goleta to work at my present job.
The next couple years were a blur. I would visit mom and dad in Woodland Hills, my brother John in Costa Mesa, I drove to Vegas twice to support Dennis at the Scottish Festivals, etc.
It was the car in which I made my initial trip up to Stanford to visit my good friend Eric, and started the annual trip to The Great Dickens Christmas Fairthat continues to this day (Next weekend, in fact!)
Then, in a hospital room in 2008, I met a girl. We dated, and she moved up here. For a long time, my Mustang was "the good car" that we'd take when we were trying to look spiffed up.
(Side note: I had promised Tabitha that I would teach her how to drive a manual when I was going to turn the Mustang in. I forgot to do that, and now both our cars are automatics. Oops.)
Despite the years, after 249,000 miles, the Driver's seat was somewhat thrashed, the center console no longer "clicked" close, and the steering wheel was starting to disintegrate. The evaluation at the dealership listed the color as "Was Red"
It was a good little car that gave me very few problems, and I'm sad to see it go. But life is continually about new beginnings, and I'm excited to see where this one takes me.
In a related note, if anyone wants a 1999 Mustang, with a quarter million miles on it, and a severely oxidized paintjob, please contact Toyota of Santa Barbara.