It was raining.
And no, I will not admit how long it took me to figure out how to turn the wipers on in my new car! I sat in the Target parking lot, two soggy kids in tow, and pushed buttons and twisted knobs like an astronaut in a space shuttle. Like Sandra Bullock in that ulcer-inducing flick, Gravity! Oye!
Believe me, there was much rejoicing in the land the moment the wipers kicked on and the rivulets of water dispersed.
I drove home shamefaced yet happy; grateful for wipers that worked and a car that ran well. I have known cars that didn't...
My first car was a 1985 Oldsmobile. A Cutlass Ciera. It was big, brown, and ugly. Your typical "piece-of-junk-perfect-for-a-teenager" car. When the teacher parking lot at the high school flooded, my car was like a boat. The only car beefy enough to brave the deep puddles and survive without stalling.
My guy friends loved my "hunk o' junk" because I wasn't afraid to take it off-roading. That Cutlass Ciera took "the road less travelled" often--rattling down dirt paths, barreling through overgrown fields, and bouncing in and out of ditches.
The radio was broken and the only way to switch stations was to slap the dashboard with your palm. It's hubcaps were missing and the AC was finicky. It was subjected to all kinds of shenanigans. It was egged, toilet papered, squided (the act of placing squids all over a car), and plastic wrapped. Once, when leaving my part time job at the bookstore at the end of my shift, I discovered my car had been completely FILLED with crumpled newspapers.
I braved epic, northern Utah snow storms in that car. I once packed twelve people into that car. I ran out of gas on the highway, lost my antenna in the mountains, and stargazed on the rusted hood. I felt freedom and summertime-joy in that car; with the windows down and the tunes cranked up. I parked with a boy in that car. A friendly police officer then caught us in that car! Relationships blossomed. Friendships were strengthened. Hearts were broken in that car.
And I'm certain I fell in love with my James in that car.
The windshield wipers in my pretty Highlander whooshed, whooshed, whooshed all the way home. Bridget blew spit bubbles in the backseat, while Cam played with his Matchbox car. I thought about charcoal-gray skies and looming storm clouds, and how the sound of rain on a roof makes me feel nostalgic.
Thank goodness for rainy days and memories.