About 18 years ago my husband bought a car. Not just any car — it was a 1966 Caprice Classic in pretty good shape. He drove it around for the first couple of summers, looking all cool while blaring the AM radio. He even convinced an appreciative town cop to let him go for speeding down Hoddinott Road since he’d just been to Esso to wash it and was "blowing the carbon out".
The intent was to turn "good shape" into "show quality". It would need a lot of work, but that did not concern him; he would sacrifice for the love of a car. He did not however, take into account the love of a family.
Don’t get me wrong. I wanted him to have his muscle car as much as he did. We just needed a few things first. Like sports registration and dance lessons, a round of eyeglasses every two years, vet visits, chiropractor fees, and the occasional attempt at Weight Watchers or other programs that may have worked if I’d given them a real shot. Then there were the constant renovations of the house and maintenance of a yard that got more elaborate every summer.
And let’s not forget maintaining the real, drive-every-day vehicles. They need tires, and oil changes and washes and all kinds of "car things".
Every year he vowed he would start working on it soon, and every year we would watch that car sink a little deeper into the ground at the back of the yard.
So here we are, 18 years later and we have decided to downsize. That means that we have to take a hard look at what we have versus what we need. I’ve had to make some difficult decisions about baby clothes and silverware, hubby has started to clean out the garage (aren’t we just the most stereotypical couple) and he has decided to give his car to someone who will take care of it and turn it into the show car he always hoped it would be.
We always thought that once the kids were gone we would have so much more free time.
"I just don’t have the time this car’s going to need to bring it back", he said. "Maybe when we retire I’ll get another one."
Sure honey, right after the cottage gets built and we visit my brother and see Europe, and don’t forget the grandkids…
Cher Hebert is a community correspondent for East St. Paul. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.