For those of you not aware of what “overdrive” is in a car, I’ll try to simply explain it. Overdrive is a gear in the transmission that is less than a 1:1 ratio with the engine. Effectively, the wheels turn faster than the motor.
It's great for cruising at higher speeds. The engine doesn’t have to work as hard, so it’s a more efficient use of fuel. There is so much weight and momentum behind the car that it could happily glide along with barely any input, needing only to overcome wind resistance and the occasional uphill segment of highway with a millimeter more depressing of the accelerator pedal.Read more
My new car is awesome. I never drive it or think about it without a wistful wish that Mike were here sharing it with me, but it is still awesome. He would have loved it too. A brand spanking new car with bells and whistles like I've never had before. My Subaru was a 2003 and Mike's truck is a 1996 so I feel like I've been dropped headfirst into a technological future I had yet to experience. A touchscreen in a car? Cool. USB ports? Certainly. Keyless entry and ignition and voice activation? Really??
What's really nagging at me though for some reason is the odometer. When I got it, shipped on the barge from Oahu on November 9, it had 54 miles on it. As I am writing this, there are now 470 miles. I have been obsessively watching the odometer diligently counting the distance. It does not lie; it does not cheat. There is some kind of sadness, or regret somehow, in seeing each mile tick by. Each block I drive the engine works, its organs pumping and clicking and igniting, is another day closer to its end, and I can't help but think of the analogy to my own life.
Some weeks I feel like I’m just going to repeat myself. Because some weeks, nothing much changes. Nothing changes in how much I miss Mike, and nothing changes in how many changes I’m seeing happen in my life. I can’t stop it. Time is hurling itself forward at an increasingly rapid pace…at least, that’s how it seems, some days.
Before Megan, before Shelby, before dating and marriage and sickness and death, there was my car. I bought my Mustang in 2000, when I was only 20 years old, during my service in the US Marine Corps.
It was my first passion. I drove that car to the beach every weekend with my buddies. I drove it 14 hours one-way from North Carolina, once a month to visit my family and friends in Ohio. I spent at least a few hours every week washing, polishing, and waxing it. When I left the Marine Corps, and met Megan, it ferried us to dates. We would spend time at the drag strip with it. It took us on our honeymoon. I tore down and rebuilt the entire thing over a winter after we were married. We went to car shows, parades, and cruise-ins, where we made some of our closest friends. There were so many good things that the car brought into our lives.
Outside of Megan, I was always focusing on that car.
My car is dead.
Mike and I bought our Subaru in 2005 anticipating the arrival of his girls on the island; at the time we had only his pickup truck - which I still have - so we needed more of a family car.
It’s funny how cars hold such a sentimental value. I’ve been asked several times if I’d sell his truck: NO WAY. It’s old, dirty and rusty but still runs great and it would never be worth in money what it is to me. He LOVED that truck. In fact, I have kept it pretty much as he left it. A pair of his shoes are in the cab along with the emergency kit he insisted on, and in the glove box are the gloves and do-rag he used when we rode his bicycle. Tarps, bungee cords, and other baubles he collected are in the toolbox along with the gloves he used when he went to the dump. I still use those same gloves every time I go now.Read more