Some of our neighbors probably think we got rid of it.
Never. Never ever.
We will never get rid of our 1978 Ford Country Squire, sea green station wagon with the wood paneling.
Yes, I know that for two underpaid teachers owning this car is an act of madness. I am aware that our constant search for parts demonstrates a profound lack of priorities. I know that this car is an unjustifiable obsession.
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My husband, Ralf, announced, with the excitement that most people display when they are announcing an engagement or a pregnancy: “Honey, I have found the power seat regulator control switch!”
And I understood completely.
“Wow!” I said, and began to do a little dance in the kitchen.
You need to understand: Ralf had been looking for that part for years .
This summer, after many years, we also found floor mats online – in the original box, no less, and unopened.
There is nothing like the shade of green Ford use to indulge in, in the good old days. Upon unpacking said box, I mentioned this to Ralf.
“They call it ‘jade’ green,” he said.
“Really?” I asked, skepticism dripping off my lips. “I think it looks more like…”
“Emerald,” he said, smoothly.
I think Ralf and the Ford company might be color-challenged. The green of those mats is pea green. It reminds me of the shag carpet my parents had in our living room. It, too, was pea green. And forest green. And a pale, puke-y green just to fill out the spectrum.
Once Ralf told me someone at a car wash told him the green of our car was pretty dern ugly.
I beg to differ.
The outside of our car is a homey, gentle green – rather like the inside of a cucumber.
Cucumbers are practical, important vegetables. Eat more cucumbers.
I love that car as much as Ralf does. Restoring it to full glory has been our dream and our goal for almost two decades.
I am protective. I refuse to let Ralf drive the station wagon to the university. Students drive in those parking lots. Students ain’t got no respect. I am not prepared for dings and dents in our beloved station wagon.
Yes, I realize that this is a ridiculous statement.
I grew up riding in station wagons that weren’t real until they began to acquire the dings and dents of outrageous suburban fortune.
So why do the neighbors think the car is gone? Where has our station wagon been all summer?
With Tim Banther, of T And T Autocare of Concord. Tim has been replacing the air conditioning and working on other small stuff of restoration.
We recently asked Tim to figure out a way to get the air conditioning more directly to the wayback of the car. (The official term for the contents at the rear of the vehicle is facing tailgate seats, but the wayback is a far more appropriate descriptor.) I used to play chess with our son on the two small benches in the wayback, so this is important to me.
Someday my grandchildren will sit there.
Never fear, the old station wagon will return soon to our humble driveway. Our neighbors will, I expect, rejoice along with us.
And if you happen to know anyone who sells the original tailgate weatherstripping for a 1978 Ford Country Squire, do let us know.