I called it a “her”. She served me well and I knew she was getting rusty and showing her age, something like her owner. I bought her in 2008 with the help of a now ex-boyfriend who found her and said that I had better come and see her. (Thank-you).
A car broadened my world and gave me independence so I could reach places not normally accessible by bus-very important when you are a nature photographer by heart.
We (the car and I) went on many journeys together: a couple of times to a retreat at Mount St Francis in Cochrane, camping at East of Edson, Fish Lake in David Thompson Country, numerous trips to Elk Island National Park, Jasper National Park and to favourite locations within: Maligne Lake, Athabasca Falls, Medicine Lake, Maligne Canyon, hostels at Maligne Canyon, Athabasca Falls, Shunda Creek. Twice I locked myself out of the car in Jasper and had to get AMA to the rescue-not convenient. There were my spots in and around the city of Edmonton: Hawrelak Park, Beaumaris Lake, Big Lake and Grandin pond.
Last week I went out to the car to go to a park and my key wouldn’t go in to the lock.” Oh, someone’s broken in”, I thought. The lock was broken inside and out, the floor was scattered with broken bits from the dash, the starter casing, the ignition was dented and the dome light hanging from the ceiling.
There were calls to the police, to the insurance broker and company…the waiting. Today I said I would give it up, as it is a write-off.The tow truck was called and I heard from them within an hour. I made arrangements to meet the driver and give him my keys and retrieve my licence plate.
I started crying as soon as I headed out the door. I told the driver that I had become so attuned to the feel of the car, and would miss changing gears.He empathized as he has a big rig with 16 gears, “because it gives him something to do.” He asked me to put it into gear for the tow. That felt good, familiar.I took the cross from the retreat off the mirror and as I walked back to my home , the big tow rig passed, one car on the truck bed, and my little Sunfire in the back. I cried. I did not have my camera with me and thought that that would have made quite the image.
I have a few photos of the car on roads in the back country surrounded by lakes and mountains but this one says it well- I am grateful for the time together and I will miss her.