Bessie made it. How fitting to be traveling down Leestown Road on my way to a homeschooling co-op steering committee meeting to grab a cup of coffee with about ten other moms. My calling and my heartbeat.
How many laughs, how many tears, how many kids, how many hours, how many miles, memories, and music. All in a 1998 Toyota van.
I can tell you a dozen stories about every ding and dent, every stain, every refurbished or worn out part. And even now Bessie proudly wears duct tape to keep one of the back vent windows secured at least until I can find a replacement plug for the push-out motor. She's even rusting a good bit in one of the tire wells. And rusting on the front hood. And rusting on the back hatch near the wiper blade. Now forget the bearings and shocks (who needs them anyway?) or the door latches and handles that don't work (they are just so dog-tired from the tens of thousands of times they have opened and closed without fail).
But no matter the flaws. No matter the failures. No matter the noises, bangs, or bumps. Bessie's got heart and she's got soul. She can turn on a dime and she loves to bust it when I gun in, her hair blowing in the wind (that's code for leaving a plume of smoke in her wake). By God's grace she survived this harsh Kentucky winter (even though she noses up and throws a bit of a temper tantrum when I demand that she start in sub-zero temps). Click. Nothing. Click. Nothing. Click. Nothing. Click. KaBOOM and VaROOM. She's a feisty one all right.
And would you believe that her check engine light came on not five weeks ago (only the second time ever in her entire life)? The codes proclaimed Catalytic converter and bad oxygen sensors. Nah. Bessie took it in the chin, and when she sensed my indignation at seeing that blasted check engine light blaring at me from her dash, she kindly put it out for me light a sweet gal ought.
You know, Bessie represents all that is worth living to me: A life and a heart that has left tread marks over 16 winding years of service to God, my family, my students, and my friends.
This kind of life is not for the faint of heart. It's a revved up adventure and a wild and exhausting ride. Now buckle up. Put 'er in D and let's go.
Therefore we do not lose heart.
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