December 10, 2011

200,000 miles on the car's odometer

Copyright 2011 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

My car, a 2004 Subaru Forester, turned over 200,000 miles last week. Other than the few miles the mechanic has driven when diagnosing problems and testing repairs, I have driven every one of those miles. No one else in the family drives a stick.

And now, Blue seems to have come to an end. I recently replaced the clutch and now the rear differential is grinding; she needs a new timing belt; and her tires are more than halfway finished. These repairs will cost more than the book value of the car, which makes doing this work a poor financial choice.  Given that I drive approximately 100 miles per day, it is likely that Blue will continue to need more work.  It is a sad time.

Collings Foundation b-25 Mitchell nose art

Copyright 2008 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

I have referred to Blue as “she” and the tradition of using the female gender reference for ships is historic, as described here.  Interestingly, this practice may also be changing, as described here.  Above is the Collings Foundation B-25 “Tondelayo“.  It was a common practice in WWII to name aircraft after women as well.  The psychological term for this is “personification” as these names were often based on some desired human characteristic.

As soon as you name an object, you have clearly created a relationship with it. This is certainly true with Blue.  Our relationship was initially based on safety and dependability.   Blue certainly measured up and has carried me through several important life changes.  She has transported my children to college and me around the mid-Atlantic in pursuit of my photographic career.  In fact, it was for these two reasons that I choose this particular car.  That 100-miles-a-day commute also factored heavily into the decision.  Yes, Blue met the requirements.  As a result, she is the first car I purchased new and kept long enough to pay off.  It was quite nice having a car that was still fully functional without having a car payment.  Blue proved quite reliable over the years and that relationship developed into one of comfort.

Soon, though, that relationship will end as I have a new car on order.  It, too, is blue and will be called  “Blue II”.  It is hoped that we will have as fine and enduring a relationship as this has been.  These are some big shoes to fill, though.

Take care.

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