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Hot Wheels, Dirt Bikes and Car Repairs

When I was a kid my favorite toys to play with were Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars. I had quite the collection back then. All the cars that would fit were put into carry boxes that I took with me everywhere I went. Sometimes I carried only one box which were my favorites. Sometimes I carried more than one box if I planned to share them with friends. Every opportunity that would present itself to acquire a new one from Kmart, I was all over it. The Easter bunny put them in the baskets that were left for me. Santa filled my stocking with them and Grandma was no match for my new car Hot Wheel car request when I slept over at her house.

I would spend hours with my favorite past time. When I was by myself, I would make up elaborate cities where I would park all my cars or I would build race tracks that went all over the house or I was playing in the dirt outside with my least favorite cars(didn’t want to get my favorites dirty you know). When I was with my friends, we would fill a basement with cars and tracks and argue over which car could go faster in a race, destroy the most cars in a smash up derby, was the loudest, I think you get the picture. Time would fly by and when we had to clean up for dinner, it was always a sad time for all of us.

As I got older, my friends and I went through a dirt bike riding phase. We would spend hours making ramps to jump and riding down at the city park that had a BMX track. That part of my life ended almost as quickly as it began when I took a jump and the handle bars from my bike came loose from the frame and I went over the front of my bike in a not so graceful a way. I was bruised in an area that I would not even show my mom for about 2 weeks.

At the age of 16, I got my driving permit and I left all my childhood cars and bikes behind. My first vehicle was a 1978 Caprice Classic. My dad had driven it for years and he was passing it down to me. I didn’t care that the turn signals made the fuel gauge go crazy. I didn’t care that the cruise control was broken which left exposed wires that could shock me if I touched it. I had my first car and I didn’t think things could get any better. Car ownership was my right of passage. I was a man. Wait, I didn’t have to pay for said car so I guess that man part would have to wait.

Fast forward to 30+ years later and now we own 4 cars and pay insurance on 5. Over the past 5 months it seems we have had a car in the shop constantly. Kori’s car had been so reliable until October and it has just been one thing after another. I think she has driven it a grand total of about 30 days since the beginning of October. As I wrote in a previous blog, I just donated my Swagger Wagon to Chariots 4 Hope as I wasn’t putting any more money into our loved van that had over 182k miles on it and needed transmission work. This forced me into investing in a new used vehicle to replace the van. No longer do I view car ownership as a right of passage but more of a necessary evil.

As I said in my previous blog, the family vehicle can hold lots of great memories. At the same time, they can quickly remind you that nothing lasts forever and cars can be costly. These moments makes me think back fondly on years gone by when all I worried about was which Hot Wheels car I was going to use on my racetrack. I rarely think back on my dirt bike days anymore. Probably because having bruised privates is something I never want to think about again.

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