Christmas came early at our place.
And, our present was just what we wanted. Actually, it was just what we had to have. We got a new car. We’d rather have had a new horse, but we already have way too many of them, and they can’t go fast enough in the short time our schedule requires. Yes, our forefathers journeyed with horses, but they traveled in days instead of minutes like we do.
Dependable transportation is essential to get to work and all appointments on time, and we’re usually not too late. When Ole Red ran out of gas last week, that was the final straw, not so much because we hadn’t refilled the fuel tank, but because just about everything else imaginable was going wrong.
Ole Red sounded like a windup toy, oil went like through a sieve, tires were bald and brakes reminded us of a tool grinder. We held our breath when we turned the key, even though he still started after a handful of tries, but the white smoke would roll for minutes. While higher than most people report, mileage was 30 percent less than a week earlier.
Those were determining factors. We didn’t consider the big dent in the right side that hit and killed a deer without ever slowing Red down a bit. The windshield has at least two unlawful cracks, paint was well chipped and faded, with some overheating marks obvious on the hood, and the chrome piece on the trunk lid has long bounced in the wind.
Now we’re not complaining. We’re really quite proud of Ole Red. He’s done way better than all of his predecessors: Dynamite, Rambler, Copper (a smoky police car), Orange (a Chevette purchased brand new for two grand and the second best vehicle we ever owned), Yeller (the fanciest one that we retired too early), Bomber, Silver and Blue.
We had high admiration for several of those when they got us where we needed to be, but a couple of them were an embarrassment for even a redneck cowboy. Most people would have been red-eared to have owned most any of them. Our kids wouldn’t drive them and were ashamed to ride with us, except when they’d have had to walk otherwise.
Yep, Ole Red has been our highway method of travel for more than eight and a half years, but he’d already been around more than eight years when he came to us, with 60 grand on his axles, at a cost of 1/15 that amount. Anybody remember their algebra enough to figure out what year he is or what we had to give for him?
Red concluded his career with us at 309,243 total miles. New Silver has less than one-third that many, is a year younger and cost only 62.5 percent as much. He’s pretty doggone fancy for us. Our hope is that he’ll turn out as good as Ole Red.
Such good fortune as ours is recorded five times in the Bible, including First Kings 10:25 and Second Chronicles 9:24: “They brought every man his gift, articles of silver and gold, garments, weapons, spices, horses, and mules, so much year by year.”
Yet, we must be brought back to what is most important in Acts 8:20: “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money.”