He started life on the freeways of southern California in 1999, and entered the "car witness protection program" two years later. He reappeared in Sacramento with 68,836 miles, and a new zest for life. He hung out at "witness protection headquarters" eagerly waiting for his relocation assignment.
Then, two short blonde chicks walked in one night, and thought they could make a deal on a car. Late that night, they finally claimed this dark green Honda CRV and drove him off the lot for good. The smarter, prettier, and wiser blonde girl made herself at home in the front seat, and proceeded to name this Honda, "Skeeter". What was in store for Skeeter?
To his dismay, she loaded him high with her stuff, drove west and picked up more stuff, then drove south -- and kept driving. She took her time, seems she was overdue for a vacation. Eventually, they made it to their destination -- very near Skeeter's original home.
She drove like a mad-woman. Seems she was also over-due for some fun! Skeeter kept up with her freeway antics, long drives to meet her "friend", and forgetfulness for oil changes and regular maintenance. They had fun. And she made sure he had regular trips to the carwash. He liked being clean.
Fairly quickly, this "friend" became her husband, and they both drove him around -- and drove each other crazy. The hubby ensured Skeeter got regular maintenance -- and took Skeeter off-roading when the blonde wasn't around. That was fun! Skeeter out-did those big fancy trucks. Skeeter and the hubby even pulled a tree stump out of the back yard one day --- to the objections of the blonde.
There were outings to the mountains, up the coast of California & down the coast & up again, up the central valley of California & down again & up again, adventures to Utah and Idaho and Nevada, camping twice -- once even they slept in the car while camping. Chili cheese fries, soda, and burritos spilled on Skeeter's floor mats and always cleaned up. Because she loved him, she wasted some money on new rubber window gaskets, and eventually a reclaimed spare tire cover.
Then these little ones arrived -- always dropping sippy cups and milk bottles on the floor. What a mess! Maintenance got very regular, but carwashes declined. Skeeter hated the trailmix and fruit snacks that were constant companions in the back seat, but loved the company. Eventually Skeeter started to feel his age. He was hospitalized for awhile for engine work, and he felt good for awhile. Then, Skeeter's transmission needed a face lift. That didn't go so well, that took some revisits to the doctor's office.
Then, both Skeeter and the blonde could see the writing on the wall. They knew that time was short. Skeeter was left at home when the family left on vacation. He was very sad, but knew he couldn't make it anymore. One day, his starter was having trouble. She gave him a little gas, and he managed to get going, and that was good for a couple of weeks. She was afraid to take him to the doctor this time. He had many miles on him, but was giving her everything he could give.
Late in June almost 10 years from the time they met, Skeeter couldn't make it over the freeway hill and he over-heated. She turned him around and limped him to the mechanic. The news was bad. He needed a new engine gasket, his second. And his crank pulley was wobbly. If they could fix the gasket, it was just a band-aid and a new engine would be needed soon. They both knew he was unsafe to drive the kids around in.
She felt bad, almost disloyal, but she couldn't afford to fix him. She cried. Skeeter cried, but they said their good-byes. She sold him to somebody who could afford to fix him with his own skills. And she hoped, for his sake, that it gave him another chance. He still had his original engine and transmission, and had served her faithfully and reliably until he had 341,026 miles. And she'll never forget him.
Her life had changed over the last 10 years, and Skeeter had been with her for every mile -- whether difficult or fun or disappointing. He had been there, and she'll never forget him.