I realized that my anxiety about when Rick was going to notice the new dent on “my” car that is actually “our” car was getting to me because I had a dream last night about herding 12 hamsters. Every time I moved them from box to box, I’d do my very best to count my furry, moving targets but on occasion however, I only counted 11 and then began worrying that the one that was lost in the house was pregnant! Therefore, I would begin counting them again to make sure I wasn’t possibly choosing to leave 12 unsupervised hamsters to find the one, who may be filled with many, that really wasn’t even missing at all!!! It was exhausting. It is however, during my dreams that I come up with some amazing ideas.

It is flat-out official. As soon as we get my SUV paid off, and I drive it for 5 more years, I won’t stop shopping for my next “new to me car” until I find one with an exterior finish made from reclaimed barn wood. Yes, you hear me correctly. I totally don’t understand why I am the first person to think this wouldn’t be perfect! I mean…ab so lutely perfect!!! No more waxing. No more worrying about bumps, dents, or scrapes. No more having to hear the question, “don’t you turn around when you’re driving backwards”? No more in and out of body shops, having to move car seats to and from rental cars then feeling even more anxious about your driving skills in an unfamiliar vehicle and after a recent mishap.

It does seem like grey shades are all the rage to use in your everyday “spaces”. My car is an everyday space that I’m trying to make a sanctuary because I tried to create one in my bedroom but there was always too much laundry lying around, that I can’t get put away, and it is where I go to swear so my kids can’t hear me. If you’ve read Essential Oils however, you’ll know my odds aren’t that great.

Weathered Gray could be its color name and this could be the sample swatch.

I’m sure you would still hear, “nice finish” even when your car was covered with a season of road dirt, pollen, or rock salt. No one would know the difference! I of course would want live edge trim around all of my wheel wells. That’s all though; I wouldn’t want to overdo it. And the more beat up the better! Wouldn’t it feel refreshing to tell your husband you did a little distressing today while backing up out of the driveway and hear him excitedly reply, “I can’t wait to get a little 50/50 Tung oil/mineral spirits mix on it and really bring out the grain!” instead of wracking your brain to come up with a logical explanation as to why you took out the neighbors mailbox. You know, “Now our neighbors have the opportunity to replace their mailbox in a more ergonomically safe position for the mail carrier; who is basically asking for a rotator cuff injury, stretching out her passenger door like she does!” “If I didn’t hit it down now, before the holiday season, the influx of catalogs would do her in for sure and we could have a substitute carrier for up to 12 weeks!” “That’s how long it takes to appropriately rehab a shoulder, Rick” “Is that what you want?” “A substitute carrying your mail?” “I didn’t think so.” “You are all welcome!” “All of you!”

I didn’t grow up in a “car family”and as a result I’ve never been a car kinda girl. I’ll never forget buying my first car.  I was 27 and pregnant with my first child, and I’d recently crashed the car that my parents had bought me; that I had been driving since I left for college about 8 years prior. (Just a little tidbit… I used to say car “wreck” but noticed that many people say car “crash”. So before actually putting it in writing I looked it up and decided that from now on, unless I’m driving a boat and hit something, I’m going to say “crash”.) Carrying on…Before I “totaled” a car, I had assumed that “totaled”= a terrible accident with loss of limb and life. I then learned it doesn’t take much to reach the value of an almost 10-year-old car in damage, initially purchased for a college bound student. And that my friends…is exactly why I don’t get worked up and excited when someone says, “did you hear Bonnie totaled her car?” until I know the make, model, and year of Bonnie’s car.

I went on to considered my car crash a fortunate coincidence that helped me obtain a down-payment. It also answered the question, “should I trade my 2 door coupe in on a four door sedan so I can get babies in and out of the back more ladylike on days I’m wearing a skirt?”.

After first deciding how much I could reasonably and easily afford per month, which at that time was $250 per month, not a penny more, I set out to find reliable transit. Following a period of research I decided that a Toyota Camry was the logical and reliable car for me. I found 2 used ones I liked at competing dealers, not more than 10 miles apart. I spent all day one day, back and forth between the two dealers, doing what they call “dealing” and I simply call “wearing down” until your opponent screams “uncle” and closed the dealership that night with a car payment of $250, an extended 100,000 mile, bumper to bumper warranty, and free car washes for a year.

Rick, on the other hand, was (at least before he married me and had children) a “car guy“. He picked out and ordered every single detail on the car he drove when I met him. I really had a hard time understanding it. That car is now 10 years old and filled with goldfish, car seats, and random sucker sticks. There was one night I truly thought we were done and over because I put the tiniest dent in his car door with mine and he simply couldn’t handle it. I’m not kidding, if you stood at exactly the right angle you could tell that the light was being deflected in a slightly different direction, creating a shadow, where my door hit his. Luckily, irrational relationships with cars was not on my “Can’t Stand” list and many more of his great attributes were on my “Must Have” list that Dr. Phil suggested making when searching for a mate. He later told me he forgave me and did okay as long as he didn’t walk on that side of his car.  That same car door could now be used like an old-timey wash board to get out stubborn stains. He has come a long way and I am really proud of him.

I really do think I’m a good driver; well at least average. You just can’t be great at everything and I’ve decided to put my time and energy elsewhere, deciding average is fine for me when comes to driving. When I’m on the main roads I might even get a B-. Other than the fairly minor accident that totaled my car mentioned above I have only ever been in one other accident on real roads. Just one of my 4 tires barely slipped over a West Virginia sized burm, washed out from a big rain, and it felt like the fence reached out and grabbed my car and shook it around a bit before throwing me back on the road making me wonder “what in all creation just happened to me!” and “what is my Dad going to say?”. There was that time though, when little Harrison was about 4 and said something like,  “I think you drove a little too close to that sign Momma.” I replied, “I sure did Honey, didn’t I?” and we kept going with me considering it a car skim and not a crash because it wasn’t violent like the definition says.

I am a terrible “off-road” driver as I like to call it. You know driveways, parking lots, garages. Almost every time my family comes over for dinner they all park in the grass. That is of course, unless they know I’m in for the night. I’ve found sticky notes stuck to my steering wheel reminding me that so-and-so was parked behind me and to not drive backward looking forward. There were also a couple of times that totally were not my fault. 1. When Harrison turned off my 4 point Sensor System that I completely over rely on. Or 2. When the garage door release rope got shut in the back door and was pulled as I backed out slamming a double-wide garage door down on to my car and of course it took me a few feet of driving to determine that the terrible raking sound over my head wasn’t my children behaving normally.

And then… there was last night when I missed the turn off to Dickey’s BBQ because the kids start chanting, “We want Dickey’s! We want Dickey’s” too late for me to whip in between oncoming traffic and I wasn’t in the mood to sheepishly and silently mouth “sorry” while giving a little wave to the people I just cut off. I then pulled off the road and turned into the first driveway I saw. I backed out quickly thinking about the free quarter plate coupon I had in my wallet and wondering if that included sides and ran right into someone’s mailbox. It was at this moment I wished I had a car, whose exterior was finished with reclaimed barn wood. I also had a peaceful moment remembering beating up my old Camry and Rick didn’t have a dog in the fight. Those were good ‘ol days. I was then quickly reminded that when I distress “my” car it’s really “our” car and he’s not into that look.

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