Goodbye, Old Paint*

That first Buick

That first Buick

The next one looked very much like this (at least as I remember it).

The next one looked very much like this (at least as I remember it).

My parents’ first car was a Buick. There was a brother-in-law who had a Buick dealership in Hillsboro, and maybe he made them a good deal. However it happened, Daddy forevermore drove Buicks. (Well, there were a couple of Volkswagen bugs that we had when JoAnne and I were teenagers and needed to drive ourselves around. Otherwise, Buick after Buick after Buick.)

After JoAnne and I were away from home, there were two Buicks in the garage, Daddy’s and Mother’s. And, when Daddy would be ready to replace one of them, he would hand down the older car to us. Our first new car, when David got out of the Air Force and we moved back to Waco, was a Chevy Nova. When Kevin was a toddler, some friends sold us a Volkswagen squareback, really cheaply. After that, it was pretty much Buick after Buick after Buick.

The last car Daddy bought was a fully-loaded 2000 Buick LeSabre. White. Which was a departure from the usual blue. I drove the car some when he had knee replacement surgery, and then again when he broke his hip, driving him from place to place. When he moved into a retirement residence, it seemed like a good choice for him to stop driving, so I got the car for good. (And handed down to David the previous blue Buick I’d been driving.)

I discovered that it seems to be the most popular car ever produced. I know, I know. People say you always notice things like that when you actually have the same one. But this has been bizarre. I do seem to have lots in common with other 2000 Buick LaSabre owners.


It occurred to me that you might think I was photographing my white car in all the different places, so I started trying to be sure to get some of my car in the photos. And I checked as many of the license numbers as were visible, to be sure I wasn’t running across the same white car all the time.

David and I pretty much drive our cars to death, so, when that last blue Buick breathed its last, David went to … yes, the Buick place. He found a gently used Buick something. (Seriously, the salesman told him that it had belonged to a guy who had come in a few months earlier and bought a Buick and a Cadillac. Then, he developed a brain tumor and returned the cars. So, the Buick guy could offer us a good deal. Hmmmm.) It’s a very nice car, and when he brought it home and said he’d like to have the newer car, for a change, I wholeheartedly agreed, except for the caveat that I thought the newer car should be the car that traveled, which included my going back and forth to Fort Worth to bring Peter to visit. And, since the car seat is rather unwieldy to move from one car to the other, I get to drive it most of the time when Peter’s here.

The white car’s been showing its age, especially the rear shocks, which have been replaced numerous times. I’ve been glad, recently, when Peter’s been here, because David’s been having to drive that car, and I needed him to feel just how brain-rattling it is. When the most recent car payment account statement came last week, I showed it to David and said, “Look here. If we take some money out of savings, we can pay this off. Right now.” So we did (just a couple of months early).

Last Saturday, David went to the Buick place. The doorbell rang about an hour later, and he was standing at the door (not being able to open the garage doors) with keys in his hand and a brand-new car in the driveway. “Drive it around and see how you like it.” I liked it.

Now, it’s not a top-of-the-line vehicle. It’s a 2016, so they’re wanting to sell those to make room for the 2017s. It doesn’t have automatic seats or built-in automatic garage door openers (so I’ll have to go back to using that one that clips onto the visor and I’ll have to be sure my seat is just where I need it to be, before I leave the driveway). There’s not a lot of leg-room in the back seat (which means that I’ll still have to drive David’s bigger car back and forth to Fort Worth because the car seat works better in the larger car (Yes, keep saying that over and over: The car seat works better in the larger car. The car seat works better in the larger car.) But it’s a NEW CAR!! It’s our first brand-new car since that yellow and white Chevy Nova, back in 1973. So, pretty special.

I drove the new car to church last Sunday, and back home again. Then I got sick with some runny nose/coughing thing and didn’t get out img_2345again until Thursday. I was at the grocery store when the sun went down; I’d forgotten about the horrible grackles that invade the streets around the grocery store and nearby fast food places. So, when I came out of the store and got to the car? Yes, I’ve driven it twice and it’s already gotten its first bird poop splat.


*The term “Goodbye, Old Paint” comes from an old song. You can find the lyrics here and a video here.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
    my flesh also dwells secure.

Psalm 16:9 (English Standard Version)

Oh, goodbye Old Paint. It's been a good ride. Lots of good rides.

Oh, goodbye Old Paint. It’s been a good ride. Lots of good rides.

Yes, I know this verse isn’t talking about new cars. But it does express how I feel. I’m glad, I’m rejoicing, and, from a safety standpoint, my flesh is pretty secure.

And I’m already having an easier time in parking lots than when I drive David’s car, which is the basic shape and color of about half the cars I see. There are way fewer white cars, and they stick out and are easier to locate.

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