In Memoriam

Oh my God.

Car died.

Last shot ever taken of Car.

The last shot ever taken of Car. 9:00 PM, August 21, 2012. San Leandro Hyundai parking lot.

It’s so hard to type those words. She is dead. For real dead. I will never drive her again.

I had Car for almost sixteen years. SIXTEEN YEARS. I got her when I went off to college. I took flack for driving her in Detroit — especially from my own family. We were together from the time she was a shiny, desirable, sport DX package with gold trim (and a spoiler). She stuck by my side through college and early adulthood. She brought me to California, where she clunked along into her golden years…

There are too many memories of Car to recount here. She was the best car ever. She never once gave me a mechanical problem and, even in the end, she still ran great. I had to abandon her because her struts just gave out completely. She was unsafe to drive — unless, of course, I wanted to spend a lot of money to put new struts on her. We’re talkin’ a LOT of money. Then she might have crossed 300k.

But I just couldn’t justify it. I just couldn’t. And somehow, I feel like she didn’t want me to.

I have a new car now. It was surprisingly easy and cheap to get one, but I’m grieving too much to enjoy it right now. I’m pretty sure the salesmen in San Leandro Hyundai had never seen a customer burst into tears when they handed her the keys to her shiny new red car, but…

Crying on car's spoiler.

Crying on Car in the parking lot. Refusing to get in the new car. This is not a joke. Those tears are genuine.

The new car is not Car. She doesn’t have her own MySpace page. She doesn’t have a million Yelp reviews written about her. I don’t have a memory of almost everyone I know in her.

I know we’ll make new memories in the new car — it’s our first “Temple Family Car,” after all — but right now all I can do is ruminate on the loss of my old friend.

So if you have a favorite memory about Car, now would be a great time to send it my way. We don’t want too many more repeats of that scene up there……

— RIP, Car: 1997 – 2012

Car in front of my college house.

Newborn car parked at my college house in Ann Arbor.

Car and Matt in the Utah desert.

Roadtripping to Cali in 2006: Matt and Car taking a break after a sandstorm in the Utah desert.

Car in the Sierra Nevada.

Car takes her first road trip with Trent: Christmas 2007.

Putting tire chains on Car.

Car tries on her first set of tire chains below Donner Pass.

Sammy riding in Car.

Sammy got along so well with Car. 😦

Car on Twin Peaks.

The end days: Car’s last trip to Twin Peaks, April 2012.

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18 thoughts on “In Memoriam

  1. Carla Daniels says:

    Wait….you got a Hyundai!?? I wanna see your new ride!! (RIP awesome old car)

  2. Margaret Wisniewski says:

    I figured you would take the death of your car pretty hard. And I can see why. Lots of history there. Of course, I am cracking up thinking about you breaking down and bursting into tears at the car dealership. I am sure those salespeople are still scratching their heads. Just when they think they have seen it all……..

    I think you suffer from a bit of “separation anxiety”. I have it myself. I hate to let go of the old and the familiar and the comfortable. Some things in life are just so safe and steady, like “Car”. Even they way your referred to “her” in the first person. And you gave her a name. She carried you a long way in life, and I am sure you are grateful. It is good to feel connected to things that matter to you. You are loyal, faithful, steady, and genuine. Just like “Car”. You go places. Just like “Car”. You are low maintenance. Just like “Car”.

    But it is time to jump into something new and exciting! There is nothing like a shiny, new red car to lead the way! (I prefer red myself. It screams, “Notice me! I am NOT boring!”) So hop in with Trent and Sammy and enjoy the ride. I think Sammy really likes it. And I am guessing Trent is excited too, or he would not have left the sprinklers on all day! (Still chuckling about that one too. The universe will be grateful!)

    You make us laugh with your stories, Lisa. Keep writing them. You tell a tale of an interesting and wonderful life well lived.



    • mary granata says:

      Lisa you are amazing (like your mom)! Love your stories. They make me laugh. I don’t know if I am more amazed with the fact you had this car for 16 years or the fact that you have taken pictures of your car, (and were able to find them), over the years.
      Sorry for your loss. Enjoy your journey with your new car.

    • lisatemp says:

      Stop cracking up, Munga! MOURN. (thanks, Mary!)

  3. Joyce Ruschhaupt says:

    Can’t wait to see the Temple’s new AUTO… too bad it’s not a german import; you could name it AUDO… LOL

    Must say I will feel much better when I know you are driving the mountain roads to the Lake; with a new auto….

    Moving forward… it’s a great thing to do!
    CA Mom

  4. Viola Pastuszyn says:

    RIP, Car, RIP!

  5. Peter Schulz says:

    Hi I know exatly how you felt, its very hard to part with something you got very close too, I too last month had the same experience with my beloved BMW motor , which I had to part with, but I am getting over it ,( not completely ) but am trying hard, so I feel for you

  6. Marlene says:

    I remember driving car to pick out your wedding dress. And, I remember car getting us through that crazy gauntlet on the way to Reno when they were doing roadwork going up the Summit. RIP.
    P.S. I love having a new car. Enjoy it in the best of Health.

    • lisatemp says:

      OMG, I totally remember you and Zoe rubbing my shoulders while I was driving the gauntlet, trying to keep me calm… Poor Car was so little, but she made it!

  7. Marlene says:

    How about Gus for your car? it’s short for August when you bought it.
    At least someone is making a suggeston. Hint Hint to Munga.

  8. Jason says:

    I remember jumping Car with my VW Rabbit Diesel on a visit to the D. I also remember riding with you late at night through the streets of Detroit (or Ann Arbor?) both talking about Bjork and listening to you sing “That’s Amore” (well!) and other Italian-American classics, at the same time! Those two memories could have been on the same trip. Sorry to hear the news…

  9. […] That’s right – back in August, when I wrote that Car was dead? […]

  10. […] nothing but pure elation in my heart soul. After all, the last time we got a new car, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth. My beloved Car had finally died a slow death by weak strut after nearly 16 years and 240,000 miles […]

  11. […] day Car died. And then the day she came back from the […]

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