Saturday, October 21, 2017

Cars, Trucks, and Vans (Ten Things of Thankful)

Ten Things of Thankful

Saturday means it's time to count blessings again, and this week we got the remainder of what we were owed from the car accident back in March.  We still miss Humphrey the Honda, it was such a reliable car, just the right size, and good on gas mileage. 

Thinking of Humphrey got me to thinking about other cars, and i thought i would list the cars from my past and the good memories i have of them, and the cars we have now, as i am thankful for all of them.

The first car i remember was my parents' old station wagon.  Those were so much fun!  Riding in the back, no thought of buckling in, playing and have a great time bouncing around the seats.  Not at all safe, but we had no idea of that, we just enjoyed the ride.

The first car i spent a lot of time driving was the big, yellowish Lincoln Town Car.  (Grandpa insisted all of us learn to drive a big car, so we would be able to handle any size of vehicle.)  It was quite a learning experience, and i used to be terrified of big bridges over rivers.  That's not a good thing when you live near the Mississippi River and end up having to cross it at least once in a while.  One day, i decided i was going to get over my fear, so i took that huge Lincoln on the Huey P. Long Bridge in New Orleans.  That's the old bridge, built for Model T cars, not today's vehicles.  It also has a railroad trestle down the middle of it.

Not only did i make it across the river and back in that behemoth of a vehicle, i passed a lorry on the way.  Never again have i been afraid of crossing a river.

Once i was good enough at driving, i was given a modest sized Mercury Cougar to use to go back and forth to high school and to work, and just to do teen stuff.  Good times in that vehicle, i got to drive my friends around, playing red-light fire drill, going to the mall, just hanging out.  Several of my friends didn't have a vehicle available, and when it was time for us to get our graduation dresses (it was a Catholic school, all girls, and we had to have white formals for graduation), we stuck together and shopped and shopped and shopped until we all had what we needed.

My college years it was the yellow Volvo.  They are supposed to be so safe and reliable, but as grateful as i am for the transportation it provided, i guarantee that thing was in the shop at least once every three to six months.  It was safe, though -- when someone hit me from the back, his car was totaled, and my only damage was the muffler fell off.

The green van was a family vehicle that we used for vacations and going to university football games and events and i drove it a good bit when i was learning along with the Lincoln.  We all liked it, and were very sad the day my brother was driving it and the engine began to smoke.  He pulled over, got everyone out, and opened the hood.  The fire department came and put out the fire.

While we were sorry to see the green van go, we were very excited about the larger, high top van that replaced it.  We called it the Fan Van, as it was in school colors, and we got to continue to go to university events and family vacations in it.  Eventually Sweetie ended up driving it to work for several years before it just wore out

Sweetie and i had a red Toyota Tercel that i really liked and a small Toyota truck when we first started having children.  (The truck we eventually gave to his brother, who drove it until it gave up on him.)   The Toyotas were among the best cars we've had, and we even managed to eventually cram three car seats into the back of that Tercel.  All good things must come to an end, though, and when the fourth child came along, it was time for our first minivan.

That minivan was a used Ford Aerostar, and i eventually called it the Angel Van.  Not the best minivan in the world, but it ran and ran and got me and the kids where we needed to go for a long time.  When we decided to buy a larger van very cheap from a relative, i knew a friend up the street needed a van.  Because i had no clue if the Ford would keep running or not, i just gave it to them, no charge.  That's when i started calling it Angel Van, it ran for them for over a year, then they gave it away to another neighbor and it went for almost two more years.  It astounded me that it went that long.

The larger van that replaced Angel Van was a huge, gas-guzzling gray Ford.  It was the one i drove through a hurricane.  #1 Son had gotten his license by then, and was driving an old vehicle of Grandma's.  He was staying at a friend's house, and in the middle of a hurricane decided he wanted to drive home.  He flooded the car out, and was stranded under the overhang of a closed gas station.  Sweetie had been called in to work because the hotel was leaking.  That left me in the high-top gray van to drive through hurricane force winds, dodging hanging street lights and downed power poles and trees to get to him.  We made it, and i am grateful i've never had to drive during a hurricane again.

The Jalopy is my current ride.  We've had her for about 9 years now, and she has been used and abused, taught the three younger kids to drive, and hauled all of my cleaning supplies until she has more miles than i care to keep up with.  She has had to have the engine and the transmission replaced, but the rest of her seems indestructible.  She's the one that Little Girl ran into the front of the house and collapsed one wall and pushed another wall out.  The only thing Jalopy got from the incident was a few more scratches.

Sweetie loved his Humphrey the Honda.  It was, as noted, a great car until someone on a phone ran a stop sign.

We now have Lunceford the Land Yacht in Humphrey's place, and as much as i like Lunceford, it's just not the same.  Sweetie does enjoy the smooth ride, and i will admit it's like driving a twin of the Lincoln i learned driving in.

Lots of years, lots of cars, and i'm grateful we have had and continue to have vehicles in which to travel.  Also i have not mentioned the children's vehicles, this list would get too long.

If you have a list of thankful things, why not write them up and link up with the wonderful Ms. Josie's Ten Things of Thankful.  It's always a good day to be thankful.

Today is:

A Community Affair -- Menomonee Falls, WI, US (country lunch, arts, crafts, and collectibles, quilt raffle, juried art show, and more)

Apple Day -- U.K. (to inspire local orchard revival and celebrate local varieties) 

Antillean Day -- Bonaire; Curacao; Saba; St. Eustatius 

Armed Forces Day -- Honduras (Dia de las Fuerzas Armadas)

Autumn Historic Folklife Festival -- Hannibal, MO, US (Tom Sawyer's hometown celebrates the heritage and traditions of the 1800s; through tomorrow)

Babbling Day -- an internet generated day for Blatherskites

Bridge Day -- New River Gorge Bridge, Fayetteville, WV, US (world's biggest extreme sports event)

Caramel Apple Day -- US (leave it to the US to add sugar to a delicious, nutritious snack!)

Count Your Buttons Day -- whoever came up with this one needs to count his marbles maybe?

Deutsch Country Days -- Marthasville, MO, US (authentic recreation of early German life in Missouri; through tomorrow)

Egyptian Naval Day -- Egypt

Garbanzo Bean Day

Global Iodine Deficiency Disorder Prevention Day

Humble Yourself By Having Your Picture Made Wearing A Bicycle Helmet Day -- no comment

Hurricane Bebe Day -- Funafuti, Tuvalu (commemoration of the destruction by this hurricane in 1972)

Independence Day -- Marshall Islands(1986)

International Day of the Nacho -- Mexico; U.S.

Jailhouse Rock Day -- Elvis' song hit #1 today in 1957

Monster Mash Day -- Bogue Falaya Park, Covington, LA, US (annual fundraiser for the St. Tammany Parish Hospital Parenting Center, with a day of fun for everyone)

Nagoya Festival -- Nagoya, Japan (biggest festival in the city; through tomorrow)

National Nurses Day -- Thailand

National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day

Old Farmers Day -- Loranger, LA, US (through tomorrow; learn how farmers used to live)

Overseas Chinese Day -- Taiwan (Republic of China)

President Ndadaye Day -- Burundi

Quincy Preserves Fall Architectural Tour -- Quincy, IL, US

Reptile Awareness Day -- hooray for snakes and turtles!  and lizards, don't forget lizards, and gators, and...

Romp in the Swamp Fun Walk -- Appleton, WI, US (plus hayrides, face painting, an outdoor movie, animal shows, a campfire with s'mores, and more)

Seeking of King Look Under Your Mattress -- Fairy Calendar

Saint Mary's County Oyster Festival -- Leonardtown, MD, US (oysters served every style; through tomorrow)

St. John of Bridlington's Day (Patron against complications in childbirth)

St. Ursula's Day (Patron of educators/teachers, holy death, schoolchildren, students; British Virgin Islands; Catholic education, especially of girls; Cologne, Germany; University of Paris)

Sweetest Day -- begun by Herbert Birch Kingston, a candy company employee who decided it would be wonderful to distribute candy to the sick, shut-ins and orphans in Cleveland, OH; today is the day to do something for someone that makes him/her say, "Oh, that is so sweet!"

The NILE (Northern International Livestock Exposition) -- MetraPark, Billings, MT, US (rodeo, trade show, horse clinics, and livestock sales; through next Saturday)

Trafalgar Day -- British Empire (noted, but no longer an officially holiday)

World Toy Camera Day -- now with a Flickr page 

Anniversaries Today:

Juan Peron marries actress Evita (María Eva Duarte), 1945

Birthdays Today:

Jeremy Miller, 1976
Ken Watanabe, 1959
Carrie Fisher, 1956
Benjamin Netanyahu, 1949
Elvin Bishop, 1942
Judge Judy Sheindlin, 1942
Frances Fitzgerald, 1940
Ursula K. LeGuin, 1929
Edward Charles "Whitey" Ford, 1928 
Celia Cruz, 1925
Joyce Randolph, 1925
Dizzy Gillespie, 1917
Georg Solti, 1912
Edwin Myers "Ted" Shawn, 1891
Will Carleton, 1845
Alfred Nobel, 1833
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1772

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"Butterflies are Free"(Play), 1969
"Orphee aux enfer/Orpheus in the Underworld"(Offenbach operetta), 1858

Today in History:

Sultan Kilidj Arslan of Nicea defeats 1st Crusaders, 1096
Martin Luther joins the theological faculty of the University of Wittenberg., 1512
Ferdinand Magellen arrives at Tierra Del Fuego (Pacific Ocean), 1520
Sea battle at Dunes, Lt Admiral Maarten Tromp defeats Spanish Armada under De Oquendo, 1639
First display of the word "Liberty" on a flag, raised by colonists in Taunton, Massachusetts and which was in defiance of British rule in Colonial America, 1774
US Navy frigate Constitution, Old Ironsides, launched in Boston, 1797
Battle of Trafalgar, Adm Nelson defeats French & Spanish fleet & dies, 1805
The Penang Free School is founded in George Town, Penang, Malaysia, by the Rev Hutchings. It is the oldest English-language school in Southeast Asia, 1816
Joseph Aspdin patents Portland cement (Yorkshire England), 1824
Thomas Edison perfects carbonized cotton filament light bulb, 1879
First transatlantic radiotelephone message, Arlington, Va to Paris, 1915
Women are allowed to vote in France for the first time, 1945
Comet Ikeya-Seki approaches perihelion, passing 450,000 kilometers from the sun, 1965
The European Patent Institute is founded, 1977
The metre is defined at the seventeenth General Conference on Weights and Measures as the distance light travels in a vacuum in 1/299,792,458 of a second, 1983
Images of the dwarf planet Eris are taken and subsequently used in its discovery by the team of Michael E. Brown, Chad Trujillo, and David L. Rabinowitz, 2003
The European Parliament awards Cuban Dissident Guillermo Farinas the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, 2010


  1. There is much that I forget, but I remember every car I've ever owned, all 15.

  2. Now day, everything is going to find a new but well settled and successful stream for their career. When I came to this blog, I really impressed by all the knowledge points mentioned here. Thank you for this assistance.
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  3. What fun to remember all your cars. Don't know if I could do that. You all have a great day.

  4. I look forward to seeing what theme you picked for your thankfuls each week. Our vehicles to hold a lot of memories. Have a great weekend! XO

  5. How wonderful that you are able to remember all the cars you have driven or owned. I am now driving my 4th car and I am grateful for all the cars that we have. Have a beautiful weekend!

  6. Years ago all my cars were old and used and I had fear in my heart each time I drove somewhere. As I worked my way up the economic ladder I was able to buy new and keep them until I found I was putting more than $1500 a year into their care. I do not really like cars!

  7. I've always wanted a Camero. When I got my teaching job, I thought I would buy a Camero. My dad wanted me to have bigger car, stronger and bigger and he said that if I would buy a Monte Carlo he would pay half. Just getting my job I needed money so I thought dad's idea was good. A Camero would have to wait. As the years went on and I had three children of course I needed a bigger car to move my family. Still no Camero. After 31 years of teaching, I had mentioned to my wife that I had thought about a Camero when I got my teaching job. A few days later, Mary Lou came to see me and said. Paul lets go and get that Camero. Smiles on my face and I went into the car place and today I have my yellow Camero, zoom, zoom. I'm so thankful for my thoughtful wife who thought about my feelings knowing that years ago I wanted a Camero but couldn't get one. Today I'm thankful that I got my Camero.
    See ya Mimi.

    Cruisin Paul

  8. I remember all my cars, but most weren't cars, but trucks. Country living and all that. Dad wanted to make sure I wasn't helpless, so I learned to drive stick shift, and I could pretty much take care of any maintenance problem from headlights to tailpipe. This didn't go well with a boyfriend or two, when I could repair the problem they didn't know what was. Ahem. Oh, well... The only problem, was I'd never driven an automatic. Oh, mama, that was interesting. Then going BACK to a stick shift. It's a wonder EITHER vehicle lived! But, now I sort of have it under control. Of course, the mantra, This is a stick, this is a stick, when I am in one, helps... eep.


  9. very fun and engaging TToT this week. I suspect many of us have automotive benchmarks in our lifes, the first car the favorite, the strangest.
    Went back in my head as I read and thought not only about the cars but the portions of my life that they marked.

  10. My first car was a blue '68 Beetle. I still have fond memories of that car.

  11. This was such an enjoyable read. I love how you gave names to all your cars, and how you tackled your fear of driving on big bridges.

  12. I think you could well add thankful for your terrific memory. Maybe if I sat and worked at it I could produce a list of cars I've owned but I wouldn't gamble on that.

  13. This past January, after more than 10 years, I finally sold my very first (not my parents) car, a 2002 Chrysler sebring I got in high school. My heart broke, but the car was giving us more trouble than it was worth. When your employer says there is a problem, you get a new car. I'm pretty sure I was tearing up at the bank because I didn't want a loan on a new car. And I liked my old car. Every problem I had seemed fixable. I haven't had as many cars as you, but this post definitely brings back memories.

  14. I'm so thankful that I could learn to drive and now have a car which gets me around. I admit I probably take it for granted as I'd be lost without it!
    Mind Over Meta

  15. Cars provide lots of stories--particularly older cars that are a bit quirky. We take our van in tomorrow morning for leaking antifreeze--hope it's easy to fix!

  16. Again, great idea for a themed TToT.


    So many memories and adventures in our various forms of transportation. I have a lot of memories in multiple vehicles too. Thanks for the reminder.

    .MMMMM, pumpkin cheesecake.