Sweet friends…thanks for joining me for this month’s Where Bloggers Live 01.2022: Meet My Car. In this month’s edition I’d like to introduce you to my car. You’ve met my master bathroom, peeked at my junque, so you know nothing’s sacred in this series!! My car is nothing to brag about except it gets me from point A to point B safely. And has done so since I bought it new in 2008. And actually, is there anything more important about a car than that?
WHERE BLOGGERS LIVE 01.2022
For those who are new ’round here, the Where Bloggers Live series is kind of like HGTV’s “Celebrities at Home,” but…with bloggers! These posts have been some of my most popular. And they are fun to write!! Last month’s episode was a little more of an emotional ‘write’ and ‘read’ than many of the other posts have been. If you missed my post, you can check it out, here.
The creator of this series, Bettye from Fashion Schlub has put together a list of fun theme’s for Where Bloggers Live in 2022. And today’s theme is the perfect kick off to a new year’s worth of fun.
Cars in my Past
Cars and I have a love-hate relationship. The day I got my license, on my 16th birthday, I backed into and practically flattened an aluminum storage shed in a church parking lot. And it was downhill from there.
In my freshman year of college, I had a wreck up the street from my parents’ house on my way to class early one morning. My purse fell off the car seat and I leaned over to pick it up. When I did, I lost control of the car – probably because my hands were no longer on the wheel. The car swerved and ran into a parked car on the left side of the street. I thought I had destroyed the engine in my car (which was really my parents’ station wagon) in the crash so I got out of the car, ran home to tell my parents I had had a wreck up the street.
They were mortified that I had left the scene of an accident and insisted I get back to the car immediately. So, I ran back up to the wreck but was shocked to see my car driving itself across the street and heading for a tree. But very, very slowly. I was able to run up to it but when I tried to open the car door to get in and shut off the engine, I discovered I had locked the keys inside. Oy vey. I was able to hold the car in place by the door handle til my parents could get up there with a second set of keys. They were not impressed.
My first car was a Ford Maverick, I think maybe a 1969. I bought it with my own money in 1976. It was a pretty blue, the body was in great shape, the upholstery was racy black and white check. The car only had one problem. It didn’t run. Looked great in the driveway, though. We did get it running eventually. But that’s a story for another day.
Meet My Car
My current car is a 2008 Nissan Altima. Not the big engine model, but the 4 cylinder. Automatic. Although I would have rather bought a standard. At the time it was more important to me to have a green car than standard transmission. It has a taupe-ish gray-beige interior. Not the leather I would have liked to have. The more practical cloth. I bought the car new. I think it was my 3rd brand new car ever. Eleven cars total. Only 3 were brand new.
It has 120,000 miles on the odometer. Has been extremely reliable with the exception of a short period of time when it would decelerate on its own. Usually on trips between El Paso and Albuquerque, New Mexico. And it would sputter and cough at the same time. But that was about 3 summers ago and it hasn’t done it since. Maybe bad gas?
The most precious things I ‘haul’ in my 2008 Nissan Altima are my granddaughters Lucia and Camila. And Cadence when she visits. We just turned Cami’s car seat around so she is forward facing and is now enjoying – in the immortal words of Elsa in “Frozen” – a whole new world.
Lucia and I play a game she calls ‘babies’ whenever we are in the car together. It is a make-believe game where she creates a scene or story line and we act it out. The stories usually revolve around children in her class. First kids in her daycare class and now children in her kinder class. We’ve been playing about 3 years.
Our latest story line involves Lucia’s kinder class going on a field trip to the Arctic. We began talking about the animals the kids would see, and what those animals might be eating. In an effort to keep the story details as factual as possible, I bought 2 easy readers about arctic animals for reference.
See that box? That is our treasure box. When we find something interesting on the sidewalk or at the park, we put it in our treasure box. Everything in there is valuable treasure we’ve found except for the assortment of writing implements. They belong to Cami. She likes to make the tiniest little circles on paper all the way to school. Lots and lots of teensy ittle Os.
On the floor of the backseat, I keep an auto trash can that I use for corralling a cosmetic bag and several flashlights in assorted sizes. The batteries in all of the flashlights are dead. But having a flashlight seems like a good idea. Having makeup at the ready also seems like a good idea, but I never remember to use the makeup in the cosmetic bag. I put on makeup before I leave the house. Or I don’t. There’s never any applying makeup on the road.
But if I reconsider that makeup application policy, I have a second cosmetic bag handy in the front console.
And on the little tray above the larger storage area in the console, I have a comb for those days when I leave the house not only without makeup but without combing my hair. The horror.
In the drink holder I have… nope, not drinks. Little mementos given to me by favorite students or friends.
Hanging from my rearview mirror is my substitute teaching badge, some rosary beads – kind of – that I found, and my hands-free microphone for talking on the phone in the car.
In the arm rest of my door is a note from Cady that reads “I love you, Mimi. Keep this cotton.” The cotton is some I picked from a plant at the corn maze and pumpkin patch (and cotton field) we visited this fall.
Finally, in the pocket in my door are the things I like to keep within an arm’s reach – lotion, hand sanitizer, a lint (fur) remover, and another pair of gloves.
Masks for Every Outfit
Looped around my gear shift knob are my assortment of face masks. Probably need to bring them all into the house for a bath. I have about the same number of masks hanging by the door leading out to the garage. Just in case the ones in the car don’t match my outfit. Poor baby Lucia has to wear a mask to school and we sometimes forget to grab one before we leave the house in the morning. So I have 3-4 of her little masks hanging off the driver’s side headrest so we can grab one at the last minute.
Glove Compartment or Glove Box
Which do you call it? I say glove compartment. PC says glove box. And true to its name, I have no fewer that 3 pairs of gloves in it. Seems we always go up to the mountains to play in the snow and forget to take gloves. Or we did. Not any more. I have my Nissan manual in there, and some sunscreen, in case we forget to apply it before leaving home. And a couple of packages of antibacterial wipes. Cami can get very sticky in the 3 miles between her home and daycare.
The trunk of the Nissan Altima is very roomy. Just this past week, I packed it full of $500 worth of groceries, an umbrella stroller, a scooter and a tricycle. Of course, $500 doesn’t buy as many groceries as it used to. I stretched the receipt across the trunk so you could see it.
So, where does that leave us? Oh, yeah…
The Car Itself
The old girl still looks pretty good for 13. Not sure how old that is in people years. She has withstood at least 2 wrecks. One occurred the day Lauren and I were going in separate cars to meet the florist for her wedding. I stopped at a yield sign and Lauren rear-ended me. Another time, the truck in front of me unloaded a full-size sofa onto the interstate. I swerved to miss it and so did the car behind me. But the car behind me hit me. I took her out to the cemetery for this photo shoot because I realize her days are numbered. It won’t be long, I’m afraid, before she is pushing up daisies.
One last photo before we call it a day. I found this charm or coin when I was going through all the bits of stuff I have in the console. So glad to be reminded of this sentiment.
Lord help me remember that nothing is going to happen today that You and I can’t handle together.
What was your first car? What are you driving these days? Won’t you share a little bit about your ride in a comment below. Then please join me in visiting the blogs of my Where Bloggers Live buddies.
Daenel at Living Outside the Stacks
Bettye at Fashion Schlub
Em at Dust and Doghair
Leslie at Once Upon a Time & Happily Ever After
Iris at Iris’ Original Ramblings
Jodie at Jodie’s Touch of Style
Off to bed. Had to have a Holter monitor installed? Put on? Adhered? To my chest today so the cardiologist can figure out what is going on with my heart. I think it is just tired. Not sure there is a cure for a tired heart.
Have a peaceful weekend, my sweet friends.
Hugs and kisses,
I happened again! I was somewhat unenthusiastic about this topic, and now–reading yours–I think of all the places I could have gone (no pun intended) with this topic. That Bettye! She know what she is doing.
What lucky little grandchildren you have…their Gabba is so clever and smart and finds so many wonderful ways to make the most of the time she spends with them. You car is signature-Leslie organized (and I am so appreciative of the everything in its place places).
I also appreciated your unintentional adventures on the demolition derby circuit! Oh my goodness!
Great post, Leslie!!!
The story about your car driving itself across the street towards a tree made me laugh. I’m sorry! It’s just such a new driver thing to have happen. I liked seeing all the things you keep in your car. The last time I did a post like this was April 2020 and I had cleaned everything out and hadn’t gone anywhere so it wasn’t very interesting!
Oh that story about your car heading towards a tree has made me smile! It’s so interesting to see all the personal bits and pieces people keep in their cars, mine is very boring in comparison- all I have is a spare mask, plastic glove for when I fill up with petrol and a few loose coins for parking meters that I keep in a little elephant shaped satin bag that a friend brought me from Thailand. Oh, and an ice scraper and umbrella, because of course this is England!
Oh my goodness – you do have a lot of “stuff’ in your car. I’m thinking you’ll take the prize for that.
Your car looks great – and that’s really LOW mileage. I’ll bet her daisy days are long in the future.
Loved the teen age stories. Glad you survived in good shape.
Leslie Roberts Clingan
Thank you, Iris. My car has been very reliable. I need to remember to be grateful to her when I climb in and take for granted her engine is going to turn over and take me wherever I am headed.
I do have a lot of stuff in my car. But I have little ones to entertain in the backseat so I keep goodies for them. And I am very sentimental and have trouble throwing away any pictures my grands have drawn or love notes they’ve written. I am sure you can relate!!
I loved seeing your car and what you store in it. I feel like I know you a little better now. 😊 I know it wasn’t funny at the time, but the story of your dropping your purse and the scene that followed makes me laugh now. The first car I bought myself was a Chevy Nova, early 80s model with manual window cranks and no air conditioning. It was a great little car, but I promised myself I would NEVER buy a car without air conditioning again, and I’ve kept that promise. I currently drive a 2013 Ford Edge, which I am very happy with.
Leslie Roberts Clingan
I remember those crank windows!! I think several of my first cars had them. My first car with automatic windows felt like a limo. Oh, Christie, the wrecks I have had. My poor dear parents. I am lucky they didn’t disown me.
OH my goodness; that story about your car driving itself into a tree has got go be one of the funniest I’ve ever heard (though I am sure it was not at all funny at the time!).
Leslie Roberts Clingan
Ha!! My car wrecks have all had interesting twists. But that wreck was probably the craziest of all.
OMG, your insurance must have been through the roof when you were under 25 with those accidents? But thanks for the giggle, they were a tad funny!!!!
And I adore that you shared your precious cargo and the treasure box. What a great grandma you are.
Leslie Roberts Clingan
My parents were so dear not to disown me or throw me out over the many car wrecks I had as a teen. And speeding tickets. But I did pay for my car, my insurance and my wrecks myself.
Thank you so much for the sweet words, Jodie. I take my grandmothering very seriously but love to have fun and be crazy and cut up with my grands. They are very precious to me.
Bettye L Rainwater
“My purse fell off the car seat and I leaned over to pick it up. When I did, I lost control of the car – probably because my hands were no longer on the wheel.” Yeah, probably. I mean, MAYBE 🙂
Oh god, you lived one of my worst fears: my car driving away without me! Gah!
“When we find something interesting on the sidewalk or at the park, we put it in our treasure box.” Oh, I do that, too! I also have a Treasure Box! I call it “My Apartment.”
Cute cargo 🙂
“Keep this Cotton” omg I love that so much!
Oh gosh, I have NEVER had a pair of gloves in my glove compartment. Ziplock baggies, dog treats, scissors, old glasses, straws, napkins, insurance card, user manual, YES. Gloves? No. Never.
Hope your tired heart gets a little rest this weekend, Leslie xoxo
Leslie Roberts Clingan
LOL, yeah, having your car drive away without you is an experience. For sure.
I love that your apartment is a treasure box. My loft is one, too. I put all my bestest things in my loft.
Laughed out loud that you have never had gloves in your glove compartment. Isn’t it funny how that name has stuck long after women no longer wear the gloves that probably filled the first glove boxes.
We have been sick with…not Covid but sinus stuff, sore throat, bronchitis, cough, headache, body aches, fever…all of the Covid symptoms without the positive test results. It has allowed my tired heart some time to rest.
Your accident story is like something out of a comedy. I saw the whole thing play out in my head. LOL
Your precious cargo is also the cutest cargo. How fun that you and your little make up stories. She’s always going to have that memory of you. And it will be treasured. My kids often talk about the times they spent with my mother-in-law and the fun they had doing the most random things.
Sending up prayers for a clean cardiology report.
Oh, Leslie! I can certainly understand your love hate relationship with cars! I love cars…I don’t know that I really noticed them before Nigel though. I noted over on Jodie’s page I’ve had seven cars in the years she’s had one!!! My most favorite car of all was my 1999 Saab 9-3. It was black with HEATED grey leather seats!!! I cannot tell you how much I loved it! Nigel did not. We traded it in for a Pontiac (which was his first love kind of car). The next car I had was another Saab 9-3!!! And, I’d have one now if they still made them. I don’t even know that I ever had a “first” car. Nigel and I married when I graduated from high school (I know…gulp, gasp) so it was always an “our” car.
I love how organized your car is…everything has its place and everything is in its place. And, that sweet precious cargo! I remember the days of having car seats in my car, too. Now, all of my grands are old enough to ride in the FRONT seat!
We now have a boring low end of the model Honda Civic. It gets us where we need to go, but doesn’t say a thing about my style!
Thanks for the chuckles (even though you weren’t chuckling, I’m sure)!
Leslie Roberts Clingan
My daughters’ dad wanted a SAAB desperately when we were in Panama. We tried to order one and didn’t qualify, thankfully, for the purchase. Not sure how we would ever have paid for it. But they are beautiful cars.
My third grandbaby just graduated to having her car seat turned toward the front which is reason to celebrate. She is very busy and very fussy and I really need to be able to see her when she is commandeering things from the backseat. My first granddaughter is still not riding in the front seat but I think that will be coming soon. I remember my daughters calling ‘shot gun’ when they were both finally old enough to ride up front. They finally created a schedule for taking turns and kept up with it themselves without fighting.
Such interesting stories. You keep your car well organized. I finally purchased a SUV three years ago and love it.