I didn't expect things to turn out like this, but they did. .
On February 16th, I reached the 365th day of my journey. And on February 17th, we brought home our new car.
You might be saying: "Yay, a new car!"
You might even be thinking: "It's about time!"
But I know that some of you are wondering: "... what about Stella?"
Oh, Stella. Stella the Tercel. The amazing and mighty and never-say-die Stella.
It was with a heavy heart that we had to let her go.
And I haven't been the same ever since.
OK, it's only been a few days. But still.
I want to sum it up. Make it pretty. Tie it nice with a bow, throw a few cherries on top, hope that it helps.
But I can't.
How can I? How does one sum up a journey that spanned 14 years and traveled 192,997 km (or 120,623 miles)?
I'm sure there's a way.
I just don't know it yet.
It is somewhat ironic (and more than a little heart-breaking) to realize that I'd just spent the last year documenting my final 365 days with Stella.
I had no idea that this was coming.
For a long time, the husband and I both were so sure that Stella would be around forever. We had great plans for her.
We'd move to California, where Tercels of all ages roam free, belying their age. For Tercels, twenty is the new ten.
We dreamed of having her restored, making her brand-new again. Back to "off the line" condition, as Husbo would say. I'd imagine her as she must've looked once. Gleaming and full of promise. Blue metallic paint, glinting like a diamond in the sun.
We toyed with the idea of turning her into a convertible. Or even adding A/C. We'd heard stories of pristine Tercels in California being driven by famous people. And I believed.
But dreams of California are still off in the distance. Close enough enough to see. Nowhere near arms' reach.
This winter was especially brutal for Stella. For the first time ever, we had to push her out of the snow. Her once-little rust spots bubbled threats. The cracks in her windshield. Telling taller tales.
I do like our new car. It smells nice and has power locks. Which means I no longer have to measure my worth as a wife by how fast I can reach across to unlock my husband's door. With Stella, I even used to go the extra mile and pop open the door, just a little.
The last time I did that was the last time we sat in Stella. The husband said he missed it already.
It's hard for me to imagine what life will be like without Stella. At the moment, it just feels a little empty.