Monday, September 16, 2013

Preparing to move ~ carless

We debated long and hard about what to do with the car. As soon as we made the decision to move out, we occupied ourselves with the car. Should we leave it behind stored like the belongings that were not travelling with or should we sell it? How about lending it to a friend for the length of our stay in Morocco and reconnecting with it upon our return? Driving it cross-country and parking it in the Northwest? Or putting it on a ship so that we can have it on hand in our new "home"? Every option carried its own weight and we were pulled in different directions.

I hesitated to sell the car. CR-V was like a member of the family. When we brought her home seven years ago our lives were changed. We had had a car before but we sold it shortly after we got married. Then, when we moved to DC we opted to make use of the public transportation system for as long as we could. But when Jeff's school held its classes on a non-metro accessible campus and I took a job that required an offsite training in the early hours of the morning, buying a car was a wise move.

We drove CR-V off the lot the same day we went to look at her. We had only one condition when we arrived at the dealership: we wanted a stick shift car. They had what we were after, but only one. We had little choice in color unless we could wait for another month. We bought the golden car. We were satisfied customers.

We took good care of our car. When we moved to PDX, she came with us. When we returned to VA, it journeyed back. Where ever we went, she went: New York, West Virginia, Charlottesville, Pennsylvania, Seattle, Vancouver and Bend. It took us to work, to the doctor, to school. It took us out to breakfasts and lunches and dinners. It drove JR home from the hospital and then brought Yousef back with us from there, too. It did airport runs, beer runs, pharmacy runs. We were constant companions even as we lived a pedestrian life in the city.

Then one day we had to part. We wanted to ship it; we could not: it did not pass the age requirement. We wanted to lend it to a friend; we could not: she did not drive a manual. We wanted to store it; we could not: there was no one to maintain it. We had to sell it. We posted a "trial" ad. We had an interest. In less than 24 hours we had a buyer. The buyer was kind. She let us hang on to our wheels until the end of the month. We were not carless yet.

But August 30th came too soon. The day of car/cash exchange was marked with joy and sorrow: the new family's joy at acquiring a wonderfully kept car and our family's sorrow at parting with it. Some things have to be done, though, and this was one of them. And so JR, Yousef and I were carless for what remained of our time in the US and will probably remain as such until we return to the US again.

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