Goodbye old green

I gave away my car this morning. The old green machine, which I’d never bothered to name, still ran, but its 23-year-old motor was wearing out. Mechanics warned me the car was dying.

That’ll happen after 214,176 miles. Leo jokes that my mileage almost equals the distance to the moon. The 1993 Honda Accord never did any epic to-the-moon, or even to-the-coast voyages, but it traveled to plenty of Minnesota parks and hauled garage sale treasures and endless trunk loads of mulch.

I donated it Minnesota Public Radio through the Car Talk Vehicle Donation Services. I guess it’ll be recycled for scrap metal.  I’m glad the car can do one last good deed—helping my favorite station.

It’s not the first time I’ve given a car away. In 2003, I wrote an essay about my 1989 Toyota Corolla hatchback, asking friends if they knew of someone who could use a car with a good number of miles and a fringe of rust. I gave it to the daughter of a Macalester alum, who racked up parking tickets before we had transferred the title to her name.

The garage is half-empty and I’m ready to be car-free, at least for a while. My goal is to bike more; to see how well I can get around without a car of my own. I’ve signed up for HourCar, have money on my Metro Transit card, and already use Lyft and Uber for traveling. When the weather turns rough, maybe I’ll buy another car. For now, there’s no replacing the old green machine.


Author: katehavelin

Whether I'm walking trails or exploring favorite places from my home in Saint Paul to New York, Paris, or Hong Kong, travel keeps me moving forward through life. I've written two trail guides for adults and sixteen nonfiction books for young people, along with dozens of magazine articles and essays.

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