Nostalgia is a funny thing. Like dejavu, it hits out of the blue and can make you warm and tingly inside or breaks your heart all over again. About a month ago, I was driving, going to pick up my son from work. In my rear view mirror I saw a pale blue car that instantly threw me back to the mid 1990s. I found myself smiling at the memory of my first car, a pale blue, 4 door, 1990 Ford Tempo. My mom and I didn’t know much about car shopping but we went out and found my first disaster, I mean, my first car at Tucker Motors in Tuscaloosa, Al.
I was so excited to have my own vehicle. I washed it inside and out and gassed her up. Four road tests and a tearful breakdown in front of the state trooper later, I was licensed to drive. I remember feeling so grown up. I was barely 20, in college, had a reliable job, and now had my own car. I named her Betsy Blue.
The nastalgia I felt today as I kept that blue car in my sites was so refreshing. It reminded me of a time when I was young and free. I hadn’t had my heart broken, didn’t know the agony of moving away from home for the first time, the sting of chronic pain and fatigue, nor the heartbreak of losing a sibling or a parent. I rarely even got sick and it appeared figuratively, that everything I touched turned to gold.
I loved being able to pick up and go. I remember taking my mommy to see my dad in the nursing home. On my off days, she and I would leave the house around 9 am and go walking in the mall, do a little shopping, eat lunch and then go home. I just wanted something to take my Mommy wherever she needed to go and be able to get to work without having to walk home at midnight. I loved my Ford Tempo.
The moment took me back to my youth; when I was just discovering who I was and what life was all about. I wish I could have stopped the driver of that pale blue car and thanked them for the amazing memories that came streaming down, flooding my mind and heart with goodness and joy.
You may be wondering what made Betsy Blue my first disaster. Well old Betsy Blue ended up being a lemon. She broke down a month or so after I got her. The car lot refused to take her back and I refused to pay for a car I could not use. A little spat over an involuntary reposition came about when I had a tow company leave her on their lot but don’t worry, it all worked out. I never got another car from Tucker and was blessed with good driving cars since then. But I’ll always remember Betsy.
Property of Valerie Furr Collins
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