This weekend, I had to say goodbye to a relationship that's lasted more than 14 years -- really, the longest relationship of my adult life -- and it was hard. We'd been together a long time. We shared a lot of good times together, and a few bad times, too. We were partners. Sadly, cars do not last forever, and my Saturn was more than 17 years old. It was time to let her go to that great junkyard in the sky (or Lynnwood, whichever).
She wasn't my first car -- that honor went to the Beretta my dad gave me for my college graduation. She wasn't the first car I bought -- that was a '92 red Saturn coupe. But she was the first car that really felt like mine. I bought her from the dealer -- all by myself! We rode together down Rt. 9 every day; we got lost in Boston together; we went to weddings and marches on Washington together; and finally, she drove me all the way across the country to my new life in Seattle. I'll always treasure our special moments together: digging her out of a blizzard's worth of snow; jamming an entire futon in her back seat; "accidentally" driving over a traffic cone with her; repairing her hood after a window fell on it; and, of course, all 3,000 and some miles of cross-country adventure.
Athena, you were a great car, and there will never be another one like you. (Literally, of course. They stopped making Saturns years ago.)