Tuesday, December 18, 2007

100,000... and Counting!

The last milestone from my trusty, now old, Volkswagen GTI VR6 was 50,000 miles. It was December 2004, and I was driving cross-country from California to Ohio, on my way ultimately to Switzerland and a year abroad in graduate school. It took 8.5 years to reach that milestone. Little did I know that the next 50,000 miles would take just under a quarter of that time.

I remember so much about this car. My mother dinged it not more than a week after it found itself into my parent's driveway; 10 years later, it would be hard for that to happen again - there is no more basketball pole, and the lane is wider after the house renovation.

At 99,998 miles, I remembered the days in college. After an epic trip with my father cross-country from Ohio to Los Angeles, I wound up with a car on-campus for my sophomore year. What a privilege to have wheels - and what a benefit to friends. There was even that one evening where an impromptu van jam ended up with 7 in the car, from front seat to trunk. Diddy Riese and its famous cookies never saw so many folks pile out of a car that size!

At 99,999 mjiles, I remembered the consulting days on the west coast. Most of that time saw "my baby" lounging indoors, parking from garage to garage as I wracked up the airmiles. I estimated over five years that my air mileage was upwards of 400,000 - but my car miles were 10x less than that. There were a couple of harrowing moments, including a break-in that stripped my car of the Sony stereo that my little brother gave me. It must have been worth something, I hope the thief made a good return on my misfortune.

At 100,000 miles, I was less than a mile from home - which reminded me of the stat that 90% of accidents happen within that distance. I pulled over to document this moment and thought about that moment and all those wonderful memories through the past decade.
A good reflection, to be sure, for this wonderful German machine has been through thick and thin - all the way back to college. Now, it joins me into my married life with Wendy. She gives me a hard time because my baby has faced some mechanical hurdles this year, what with replacement of ignition coils and wires as latest repair. I rationalize every time that it is cheaper to fix than outright buy a new car, but she is not convinced. Perhaps she knows better that I will have a hard time giving up my baby which has traveled so many roads before with me. At 100,000 and counting, it is nice to travel those roads with a trusted friend.
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