Our dear old red station wagon has seen better days. While the engine still runs well, making the old boy reliable, the roof material is falling in, there are plastic parts falling off here and there, and the vents for the air conditioning (which no longer works) are battered from once regular violent meltdowns from both Taz and Chip. It holds the memories of nearly 20 years of mine and Charlie’s lives. It holds the scars from children, bat poop and dogs. It’s been there in our lives longer than all of our children and almost as long as all of our dogs. We have travelled long distances in our dear RufusBob. He was kitted out to be our dog car back before children, but we also chose him to give our future children as much space as possible, plus decent comfort. Of course, we had planned on two children back then. Two would’ve surely had plenty of space, but it’s gotten cramped for our 3. Nonetheless, it’s gotten to the stage when RufusBob needs to retire from our family.
What better thing to do than visit the beach. It’s a place dear RufusBob has taken us plenty of times before. Our family loves the beach. Even in winter, it gives us such positive energy. What a fitting place for RufusBob to take us on our final family outing with him.
Taz still finds it hard to get too excited, even with a good change. He has comfort in the things he knows, and it’s quite obvious he will miss RufusBob. Chip isn’t too attached. Dale got nostalgic today though. I’m hoping the special outing will help both Taz and Dale cope with the departure of our trusted old car.
The sunset was quite understated, the weather wasn’t overly nice and it wasn’t our favourite beach, but this was our last family trip with RufusBob. I wonder if the boys will remember today. I know I will. I will remember watching the Spirit of Tasmania coming in while we ate dinner, checking out the Queen Mary 2 in the other doc, and having gluten free potato cakes (AKA scollops). I will remember cuddling each of the boys, watching them play at the beach, and pondering the years that RufusBob was part of all of our memories. Charlie and I went on many long trips in our trusted car. I brought each of the boys home from hospital in RufusBob. We rushed a whelping mum to the vet as I cuddled a puppy in this lovely red car. We slept in the back out bush, travelled on the Spirit of Tasmania, and the ferry to Point Lonsdale. We transported numerous dogs, ours and others, navigated mountains, visited all sorts of places. We ran out of petrol just down the road from home, had to change a tire on a 40 degree day, used to frequent the local car wash to keep RufusBob looking glamorous in the early days and had him repaired after minor accidents. Countless trips to the airport, to doctors, to bring home real Christmas trees, to buy new bikes, bring home new pets, and take pets on their last trip to the vet. So many things have happened in our well-travelled car.
One of my favourite memories is sitting in RufusBob breastfeeding Chip and Dale, while looking out on the waves of Elwood beach. I can see that day clearly in my mind. I felt the freedom of a car which took me away from home, yet had me feeling secure enough to relax and feed the twins.
It’s hard not to shed a tear or two with the departure of our dear old car from the driveway. He looked so dwarfed by our new 4WD Evie, as the station wagon has become an icon of the past, and getting enough space now requires a mini-van, or if you wish to tow, a 4WD. Taz, Chip and Dale all gave him a hug as they set off to school, knowing he would be moving out that day. We may well be enjoying many new adventures in our new Eevee, but I will always have a place in my heart for RufusBob.
How do you farewell your old cars?
What do you do to help your children say goodbye and transition to the new car?
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