Back in 2001, across the pond in a large factory in Japan, my little baby was forged in a hot bed of flames, machinery, and able-bodied hands. From there, he was transported to Nevada (the poor guy) and lived with a man named Greg for six years. After a stint in the sand and sun, he was sold to a small dealership in Brainerd, Minnesota.
And that's where this story begins.
It was beautiful August day, a few short weeks before the inevitable return to Gustavus would send me spiraling back into the academic madness of the school year. I would be living in a house--the same house I'd spend the next three years of my life. And though it was not technically off-campus, it was a part of the city of St. Peter, street parking and everything. So, I suppose it made sense to have a vehicle. I didn't have a car my freshman year, so journeying home to see the family was a trip reserved for holidays and special occasions. By bringing a vehicle to school, I would have more opportunity to travel back home, and plenty of reason to explore the area surrounding my school.
So we stopped at Denny Hecker Toyota in Brainerd to take a look at potential vehicles.
You know when you meet someone and you have that sensation of upwelling joy and agonizing desire? That sort of love-at-first-sight thing?
I had that feeling...with a car.
Perfect size, perfect shape, perfect price. I knew from the very first time our salesperson brought us to the front door that this was going to be my car.
My parents insisted that we take a look at some other options. So we did. We looked at a Honda, some Camry across the street, and a little bigger SUV down the road. And while I must admit the browsing of the other vehicles was less than half-hearted: sometimes you just have to trust the 19 year-old to know what's best.
And I wasn't wrong. Apollo was everything I was looking for in a car, and I treated him well. Trips to Grandma's in New England, midnight romps around the lakes of Minnesota, a five AM trip for tires on Black Friday: we've been through quite a bit.
I remember feeling miserable when our family sold the Chrysler Van--the one we drove to Alaska. It was like someone took a member of the family out of my arms and sold them down the river. It was crushing. You have all these incredible emotions tied to one piece of machinery, which sounds so silly(!), and you can't help but feel like some little part of you has been taken away forever.
So, yesterday, when my sweet angel found a new home with Carlson Toyota, I totally cried like a baby.
Like a mushy-faced, over-emotional toddler. An ugly cry, if you will.
But I suppose that's how I know he mattered. That I had a pretty incredible ride with my first car.
And while I am excited for a new vehicle, there's something sentimental and wonderful to appreciate about your first.
You'll have to wait until tomorrow to meet his successor, but I think he or she (unnamed!) is a worthy replacement.
For now, a note.
You will be achingly missed. Thank you for getting me to point B in so many ways.