My backseat … where goldfish go to die

As much as I’d like to take credit for the title, I can’t – saw it on a blog elsewhere.  But oh how it sums up the state of my car.

We bought the MDX when Katie was just two or three months old.  The key criteria in purchasing an SUV in those days was ensuring the big honking travel stroller system would fit into the back end, leaving room for other things (groceries are sorta important, some days).  In hindsight, we should have realized any stroller THAT FREAKING BIG was just asking for trouble – trying to manhandle that monster every time we went to the mall  ended up being an exercise in futility and frustration (it folds in a SNAP they said … never mind that it weighed three times as much as Katie).

I actually spent time this afternoon vacuuming my own car.  All in all it wasn’t in horrible shape, but there were dried out raisins (I know, how is a raisin ever NOT “dried out”), broken crayons, crumbs galore, and yes, sad little remnants of cheddar cheese goldfish, rotting away in the floor mats.  Going through this exercise made me think of my own parents, who kept their cars spotless – I remember many a Saturday afternoon my dad would wash and wax the Nova (yes, we were that cool).  I’m sure that every time we pick my parents up at the airport, and my dad’s loafers grind yet more goldfish into the floor mats and my mom moves the broken, paperless crayons out of the seat so she doesn’t end up with a rainbowed backside, they wonder where they failed me.

But all of that grime and gunk comes from memories.  Countless trips to Colorado, Nebraska, and Austin – to see family, friends, and football (not necessarily in that order).  Katie snoozing in her carseat, watching movies, playing on the iPad.   And yes, Katie eating and drinking, contributing to the detritus on the floor boards.  We changed a more than a few diapers in that car and, famously, Katie once puked from Wichita to the Nebraska-Kansas state line.

The MDX has ferried groceries, mulch, and softball equipment as part of its household chores.  It also shuttled a good amount of our belongings as we moved to an apartment and then to our current house.  It put on a lot of miles as it ran around town, took us on our adventures, and shuttled me back and forth to work  The MDX’s days as the Harris family car are about over; she’s got 130K miles and every time I go in for an oil change, there is ALWAYS something else that requires attention (and, seemingly, at least another $250).

But I’ll miss that car when it’s gone, dead goldfish and all.


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