My Car

She started life as Ms. Hyundai Elantra, teal in color, a very decent economy car. By the time she joined the Zooks, she had seen a few things in her day, had the nicks and squeaks to prove it.

The odd untimely mishap has of course occurred since then.

There was the time Ryan I mean to say, a fast curve at high velocity spilled a gallon of goat’s milk in the backseat of Ms. Elantra. The only word I can think of is putrid-with-rapidly-increasing-pungency. We sprayed the carpet with a surefire odor killer, with the interesting result of mingling English Garden Paradise and Scarcely Veiled Spoilage.

There was also the time Shari a small Zook female on her way to Guys Mills took out a large white-tailed female on her way to greener grass. Ms. Elantra suffered much from the shrill vocalizations of Female A, but more from the impact of Female B, who actually went airborne. We removed the car’s hood and swapped in a burgundy replacement. Teal and burgundy. Groovy.

And there is also the sad Rust Issue, necessitating hours of sanding, patching, and smoothing by Ms. Elantra’s owner. She now sports a gray swipe above her wheel well.

Besides this, there is the unfortunate reality that Ms. Elantra is the hook upon which her owner hangs his many hats.

Mr. House Renovator packs all his tools in her trunk, partly to have them handy in his perambulations, and partly to protect them from Mr. House Renovator, Jr.

Mr. Volunteer Fire Fighter throws all his gear in her back seat, so it’ll be available at a moment’s notice.

Mr. Tech Guy stores expensive spare computer parts in various additional nooks, because they need to be dropped off here n there.*

And finally, there is the fact that Mrs. House Renovator, Volunteer Fire Fighter, and Tech Guy, though not as polygamous as she sounds, is notoriously unskilled at keeping vehicles vacuumed. This leads to a surprising collection of gravel, aging leaves, and dried mud attractively displayed throughout.

Now. The other day I agreed to transport my beautiful, chic Lancaster friend Tresa one mile down the road to meet her son. And through a strange twist of fates, mostly my own lack of forethought, I found myself transporting her in

Ms. Elantra.

Jesus has really adorable ways of weaning us of pride.


*I suppose you could use this information to steal the “expensive spare computer parts.” Oh well. If you snitch, take the car too.

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Way too funny! I spilled milk in my car too 🙁 Same story, it just won’t come out. So every summer I vacuum up the old pile of baking soda and pour on new, I guess it does the trick.
And the rust… I have a black streak around my wheel wells, it was supposed to be clear rust inhibitor and the guy handed me the wrong thing. Dumb female that I am, I trusted him and didn’t even look before I sprayed!

Carla Zehr
10 years ago

Ha, ha! I’ve heard Ryan grouse about car cleanliness in a sermon one time long ago. I grew up with a dad who would faithfully wash the family van every Saturday so it would be clean to drive to church. Somehow, Geryll and I are far from that tradition.

I doubt you’d trade a clean car for some of the things that get attention in its place.

10 years ago

This is exactly why I call it “HIS truck”. And oh, the van is HIS as well.

10 years ago

I laughed uproariously because you use words so admirably and because I own one of these pride-busters, too. Her name is Ebony.

Carla Zehr
10 years ago
Reply to  becca

Becca, I did think of dear Ebony.

10 years ago

This was great! I enjoyed your tale thoroughly… because until we got a new car a week ago, (because someone ran a stop sign on my birthday and totaled our car), our blue Camry was so covered in dents I could barely distinguish one from the other…and the handle to the driver side door was broken off and you could only open it from the inside a very certain way (kind of like Anne of Green Gables carpetbag handle, I think!)…and the dear, rugged car was pushing past 215,000 miles and the mirror was chipped off jagged from when I backed out (unsuccessfully) of the garage at our old house…and…

I understand your tale so well, I could laugh again.

10 years ago

Suggestion: How about Meadville Mennonite Chapel, Home of the Pride Busters? I detect a pattern here.

10 years ago

Oh, there are a few “pride-busters” at Pleasant View, too — including our 12-year-old Ford minivan. It has a broken rear windshield wiper (real nice in all this rain!), non-functioning driver’s AND passenger’s front windows, rust everywhere, a spare tire, and duct tape——–and those are only the obvious flaws. I’ve seriously considered adding bumper stickers that say, “Don’t laugh, it’s paid for!” I eat another slice of humble pie every time we drive it back “home” to Lancaster County. *gulp*

10 years ago

I think that car maintenance is the responsibility of whoever’s Boss for the month. So… what are you going to do about that car?

10 years ago
Reply to  Not the Boss

Ha, ha! Not the boss gave me the laugh for the day!

10 years ago

Dear peoplewho spill milk in vehicles,
USE KITTY LITTER. A whole bag of the “old fashioned” dry weird stuff. Works best when still wet, though I have heard you can wet your old problem area and use the kitty litter. Let it sit soaking into the offending area for a week, then sweep it out. You will be amazed.
the milk lady

10 years ago

What’s so bad about a car that smells like spoiled milk? I *think* it would evoke memories of Grandpa Marner’s old “milk-delivery” car.

And Mr. House Renovator, Jr. must have cousins that live around here.

Mama Zook
10 years ago

Our pastor once commented (while behind the pulpit, of all places) that he can’t understand how a person can open a car door and all kinds of stuff falls out, but then, he doesn’t have three or four jobs that he uses his vehicle for!! It all makes perfect sense!! This post will keep me chuckling for a long time today!

[…] Confession: I don’t believe in praying that God would arrange the world around my private needs, but at times my philosophies and prayers fly mingled out the car window. (You wouldn’t think that the car window would be open in February, but I assure you that at times it is. It’s better than the resident odors.) […]

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