If you've never given your car a name, you may not understand this at all.
She was likely never beautiful. It's not that outward beauty is the most important thing, because it truly is not. But by the time she came to live at our house, she wasn't even remotely pretty. Regardless, two of my sons have loved her with a commitment that bodes well for future marriage prospects. Rhonda, the 1995 Ford Ranger who came to live with us five years ago, has finally waved the proverbial white flag and said, "I'm done."
She was tough, for sure. Though not equipped with four-wheel drive (let's face it--she was barely equipped with four wheels), she went mudding with the big trucks. And pulled others out of their stuck spots. And squired around loads of all kinds of crud. And I have a sneaking suspicion her bed was a makeshift cooler on more than one occasion.
After coming to live with us, she survived all kinds of abuse and neglect. Her headliner was spray painted black. She sported no less than 4 different gear shift knobs (the most recent wasn't even a knob--it was a leather glove with duct tape around it). And she was on her last leg for the last 3 years.
But she hung in there. She started every morning when I just knew that wouldn't happen. She kept plowing through the snow even though her tires were bald (there was no way we were going to spend a bunch of money on tires when she was going to die any day). And then, suddenly, when we were ready to go ahead and buy tires, she died. Her clutch just plum wore out. She gasped as if to say, "Hey, enough already."
Hopefully, she will have a new home in a few days. I hope she brings as much joy to her next owner as she did to 2 Duncan men. Rhonda, these boys loved you. Thanks for never flipping over and never hurting my boys. You were good to us, Rhonda Ranger. Thanks for everything.
By the way, sorry about the mixed messages on your windows and bumpers. The Army soldier and the future Marine had a decal war, and you lost. Then again, maybe that's why you held together so long.
So long, old girl. Thanks for the memories.