Tuesday, May 1, 2012


A special member of our family is celebrating a birthday this week. Her name is Pearl and she just turned 16. Pearl has been with us since before we moved to Vermillion. We adopted her as a newborn in Duluth back in ‘96. She came as slightly damaged goods. Some prankster filled her gas tank with gravel while she was still on the car lot, and even after the repair, Pearl was never the gal she should have been. She has never had any acceleration power for passing others. We loved her anyway.

She toted Sam with his juice packs and pre-school friends back in 1996. She was both wheels and motel (they were too poor for Super 8) for him and his 3 buddies on a 2010 road trip through the Great Lakes and Chicago. In between, she has been a loyal provider for 16 years. She has heard our arguments, kept our secrets, absorbed our laughter and tears, and eavesdropped on some major discussions. She knows the gravel road to the cabin without being steered, and she has put up with hoards of dirty trash in her back end for dump runs. She’s been a faithful gem, and given us little to complain about except for two A/C overhauls.

She has a squeak now, though old ladies can have those. Cosmet-ically, she has aged pretty well. She sports just a few age spots as you can see. 

Her one and only mishap occurred at the hands of the only 14-year-old who was allowed behind her steering wheel. I dare say that Pearl probably forgave him before we did. I think she trusted her young charge, and we trusted her with him. If our new young driver needed wheels, he got Pearl, so they are a tad bonded. I think Sam is grateful he never gave Pearl any more trauma than the infamous freshman light pole dent.

The freshman dent.

She has held us all in her safety net for 16 years, and we appreciate every week we still have with her. In honor of her birthday, Pearl hit a milestone; her 175,000 miles a sign of her tenacity and grit. Though her younger garage mate, Rosie, has only lived 125,000 miles, she doesn’t hold the place in our hearts that our Pearl does.

Happy birthday, ol’ gal!!

1 comment:

Cole said...

I love it! I didn't have my "Lola" for quite that long but she was my first big purchase on my own. I still miss her and the fun road trips, the tears, the cheers, and everything in between.

I must say Pearl looks pretty darn good for her age! And as my favorite poster of all time, that my Grandpa had taped to the door of the garage, "Keep on Truckin'".