The End of the Bubbles Era

So, it looks like I have someone interested in buying my faithful car, after I take it for one last spin around the country.

Bubbles has been with me since November 1998. It helped get me out of a terrible lease deal, that was just gonna cost me.

I bought Bubbles, a VW Jetta Trek, to go on a long trek. I knew if I took my leased car, I would go over the mileage limit for the year, and who knew what would happen after that. But I was sure it would involve more money. So I traded in the lease (a two door hatchback VW GTI) and got the very grown up 4 door with a trunk Jetta. My boyfriend was helping with the payments and insurance, but we couldn’t put his name on the purchase, because his credit sucked, it would have increased the payments. I thought I would marry this man, we were talking about having children, and that was what we referred to this car, as the baby mobile. Having those back doors to put the child seat in would be extremely helpful, since you couldn’t turn off the front passenger seat airbags, like you can in more recent cars.

I took me and my two cats across the northern United States around Thanksgiving that year to go live with my parents for two months in Albion, NY, to work on my novel. That was the big trip I bought the car for. I had enough money saved up to do this retreat on their retirement farm. (They had bought it as their retirement project. They spent 10 years fixing it up, and then sold it for the same price they bought it for, to a nice family from Holley, NY who needed more space for their three teenage girls.) The novel never got finished, my boyfriend started seeing someone else half way through my visit, but we patched it up once I got back. But the cats bonded on the trip. And I still have one of the cats, the one who was a kitten at the time. Named after the sleepy bedroom community near my parents because he slept on my lap the entire drive across country, Hamlin. Last name Grayson, because he was definitely the eager sidekick trying to win over the senior cat he travelled with, just like Dick Grayson to Bruce Wayne. (That, and he’s gray and white.) Middle name “Big Trek” for the car and the journey. His name doesn’t fit on his file at the vet’s office, where he’s known by my last name anyway. (Silly people, he’s not my child. He has his own name!)

My car has been an integral part of my life all these years, my second home when away from home. I am always prepared in my car, with extra hats, shoes, sunscreen, blankets, jackets, water, even a sleeping bag or two. And I have slept in my car, when too tired, or the weather forced me to stop at a rest stop waiting for greater visibility, or whatever. The same cat who slept so peacefully in the car years ago, sweats fear whenever we get in, because he knows he’s on his way to see the vet now.

A roommate’s dog also travelled in this car, all the way up I-15 to my parents in Great Falls, MT, where they now live. Their retirement retirement home. That dog wouldn’t let me sleep the entire trip. And she loved Montana, where she barked herself hoarse around 4th of July, barking at the random fireworks that went off for three days straight, along with all the other neighborhood dogs, and no one cared. Barking dogs (and random fireworks) in a city in Montana is not anything to call the police about, unlike Los Angeles.

Bubbles celebrated the 200,ooo mile mark this year. As her third and fifth owner respectively, most of that was me. I bought her when she was at less than 50,000 miles, so I drove over 150,000 miles in her, mostly just commuting and tootling around my city homes.

Bubbles gets good gas mileage, always above the 30 mpg mark. I will miss her terribly, but she also has served her purpose. Without a job, I only drive her a few days a week, and most places I could actually bicycle or take public transit to. Most of her expense these days is insurance and parking. She’s just not worth it right now. I made a vow the last big trip I did that perhaps I should take public transit for a year to redeem my carbon footprint. So after this last extravaganza, it shall happen. And the person I would be selling her to, is stressing because of his lack of a car, so this would solve both of our problems. I will show her to him next week, but I’ve already given him a general history of her problems and recent repairs, so he knows what expenses he doesn’t have to worry about any time soon. With a new clutch and brakes in the last year, those shouldn’t need to be replaced for at least another decade. And I will give him my mechanic too, so she is properly taken care of.

And more importantly, he told me he has always favored older cars, because they have already proven they are reliable and can last. And he loves driving a stick. And his last car was magenta, so he doesn’t even object to her color, like I always have, since she is just so girly to me.

I think Bubbles will be happy with her new owner, once we get back from our one last trek.

Bubbles in all her Glory

Bubbles in all her Glory

But never fear, I already have my eye on my next car, the Volkswagen Diesel TDI, which gets mileage in the 40s, and is completely bio-diesel enhanceable. I have a friend who has already done it, in his commitment to not use foreign oil and make an impact of one less reason we need to be fighting in the Middle East. They were finally introduced here in California this year, because of meeting California regulations it took longer than the rest of the US, and so after a year of no driving, there should be some used ones available on the market, two years old, just like Bubbles was when I bought her. No more manually rolled up windows for me, which frightens me dreadfully, one of my irrational fears gained from growing up along the Erie Canal and Great Lakes. I might drown! I think I’ll get over it though.

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3 Responses to “The End of the Bubbles Era”

  1. gary Says:

    Bye bubbles!
    I know–I hate motorized windows too.

  2. redroomsalon Says:

    Is it from an irrational fear of drowning whilst in your car also? Or more the how silly not to expend the energy to roll down a window?

  3. Carol Elaine Says:

    I love motorized windows, but I’m lazy.

    I’ll miss Bubbles too. I learned how to drive up to 3rd gear in that car! *sniff*

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