It was washed and waxed almost to the point of wearing the paint thin. It was the first automobile I had purchased with my meager beginning teacher's salary. I now understood how proud teenagers must be with ownership of their first car. I was not far behind!
Suddenly my world changed. Out of the blue, on a busy four-lane highway, an aged, heavy Buick streaked out from a parking lot, missed traffic in the first lane, and smashed into my red Chevy station wagon in the second lane.
All four hubcaps and rearview mirrors flew off. The entire driver's side was undistinguishable. I was pinned behind the steering wheel with the air bag smashed into my face.
My car was totaled! As the paramedics transferred me into the ambulance, all I kept saying was, "But I had only one more payment!" Response: "But lady, you are lucky to be alive."
My mantra droned on and on into the ER. All responses were the same, "But lady you are lucky to be alive!"
Enter my husband, and with tears in my eyes I murmured over and over, "But I had only one more payment!"
My husband blurted out, "Will you shut up! You can buy another car!"
A heavy new snowstorm blew in a week later, finding us at the Chevy dealership with brooms in hand, sweeping snow from car rooftops buried under snowdrifts.
"I like the color of this one, I think. Can you figure out whether it's two- or four-door? Can you see if it's automatic shift?"
Answers, at best, were only guesses. With school opening just a week later after Christmas break, I had little choice but to play pin the tail on the donkey.
I pulled into the schoolyard a week later driving a new red Chevy station wagon engulfed under snow!
Marian Yunghans lives in Sudden Valley.