To read the story of our precious Harlynn Renae, start here and follow the "next" links at the end of each post. Thank you for coming and sharing with us in this journey.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


After we moved to Wyoming, my parents bought a house about three miles out of town, in the middle of a 14-acre field. It was a great house, and I find myself missing it quite often.

The house was nestled back about 1/8 of a mile from the road at the end of a long, curvy driveway. There was a turn-about that went around a decorative well right in front of the house. I will draw a picture to illustrate....(that sounds so redundant!)

That picture is completely off-scale, and the turn-about hugged the well much closer, but art is not my forte, and you get the idea...

When I obtained my driver's license, my parents bought a 1971 Chrysler Newport the color of pea-soup-vomit. It was because "cars should be built for safety, not appearance." I think they desired I never ever want to drive. They nicknamed it "The Green Bean". My friend Tiffani and I nicknamed it "The Beast". I don't have any pictures off-hand of our particular car, but here's one similar, complete with a person so you may reference the ginormous size and semi-putred appearance of this car.

The car is so big it can't even fit in a photo! So! After becoming a legal driving citizen, I would often have to take my little sister places in order to maintain my driving privileges. This was fine by me as I loved driving, even if it was in a car the size of a baby whale.

Sometimes after running Sis to and fro, I would drive down our long driveway, and just drive in circles around that well in the turn-about. Around and around and around and around. Every time I make a circle, we would both just laugh so hard. Can you imagine what the neighbors thought, seeing this huge car do laps around a tiny decorative well, for no reason whatsoever? It was a riot!

When I finally parked the car we would have to sit and collect ourselves before going inside.

I have no idea what gave me the bright idea to randomly drive in circles around that well, nor do I remember the two of us ever laughing any harder together, than each time I decided to "go for a spin".

That car is the main character in a lot of my memories from back-in-the-day. One night after the fall high school play, we piled 9 people in that car (don't tell my parents) and drove around town. We stopped at stop signs to do Chinese Fire Drills, but only two of us were able to access the door to get out and run around like crazy. The other people were stuck in their position. I had to beg each of them for financial contributions because in the thirty minutes we cruised around town, I burned half a tank of fuel. After I had dropped everyone except Tiffani off at their house, the two of us drove around the neighborhood by the hospital and did some "Thanksgiving Caroling". I turned the hazards on (you could see them blinking above the hood of the car) and we drove up and down various streets singing, "Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Thanksgiving, On November 27th!" to the tune of Jingle Bells.

I used to cart kids to youth group gatherings in that car and the inside was deemed "The Happy Car" and no one was allowed to complain about or insult anything or anyone inside The Happy Car. Who would want to, while riding in the luxurious 1970s retro pea-soup green fabric-coated interior?

I scraped the side of that car alongside a giant metal dumpster once and I'm pretty sure the dumpster had more damage than the car.

So many fun times in that horrid vehicle. By far, though, my fondest memories are of taking my sister for a spin around that wishing well. It's making me laugh now just remembering how hard she would get to laughing. "Valerie, don't go again, don't go ag---ahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!"

My parents sold that house and now live in the middle of town. There is no long driveway, and there is no decorative well. I have always wanted to take my sister for a drive and go back to that house and drive circles around the well. I'm sure the owners wouldn't get near a kick out of it as we would.

UPDATE....It has been brought to my attention the original picture I posted of the car may not always come up. Here is another for your viewing pleasure.

1 comment:

  1. Ahh, cars, the bane of every parent's existence and the goal of every kid of legal driving age.

    I remember my friend Alex. Alex turned sixteen when I and my friends were still fifteen, so he had the unenviable job of driving us around if we paid for gas. Alex had a silver 1988 Ford Probe. Many good times were had in that car, even though the most that we had to do was drive around "the loop" which consisted of the main streets in the small town where I lived. I recall one time in particular...we met a group of Canadian girls, as one is capable of doing when one lives in a border town. I promise that this story does not get inappropriate. Anyway, the Probe was a two door turbo, so there was no way we were fitting four girls and three guys in the car without some serious space management. You might be asking yourself, "What does one do, Eric"? The answer is that you cram the four Canadian girls into the car and put your friend Jeff in the trunk. Yes, this actually happened to me. Jeff was a little strange, he did not mind the trunk as girls climbed all over me. It is one of my fondest memories. Alas, Alex dropped the transmission on the overpass west of Ranier, MN, and the Probe was toast. It was his first stick shift and he was still learning. But I digress.

    The point is that cars represent the freedom that we believe that adults have until we grow up some more and realize that things are not all great. I am reminded of that AARP commercial where the kids talk about how the adults can do whatever they want all day. When we realize that a car is just a way for us to get to work, it loses its appeal and becomes merely a tool to accomplish a task. But for that fleeting moment in the spring of our lives, it gives us the ability to do everything that we ever wanted to, and for that, we are thankful.