My Life in Cars


Shadowbrook July 11, 2004

“I was halfway across America, at the dividing line between the East of my youth and the West of my future.”

-Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Cars can feel like time machines. I saw an old Mercury Monarch on the road recently and it got me thinking about travel and life. My life in cars…

Mercury Monarch 1978

Our family car. Left us stranded in the rain a few times when the engine wouldn’t turn over. Only in the rain for some reason.

Mercury Cougar 1985

When we were doing a little better financially my parents upgraded to this car. I learned how to drive in this giant vessel. It also got me to and from my first job at McDonald’s with the radio likely blasting something awful like Poison since our town was too tiny to have any decent radio stations. If you missed it, here’s an idea of what was on heavy rotation back then, Dance This Mess Around.

Ford Pickup 1954

The nearest movie theater was a distance on a dangerous two lane country highway. He was at the wheel of his classic pickup truck when the passenger door flew open as he rounded a turn. Did I mention the truck didn’t have seat belts? No my parents never found out I nearly toppled out like a tumbleweed on the side of Ingomar Road. Making for a memorable first date.

Nissan Stanza 1993

Very first car to my name. It got me around Albuquerque during my undergrad years as a University of New Mexico Lobo. I paid 99 CENTS per gallon at the pump! Now I’m paying closer to $4.00/gallon to fill up.

Ford Galaxie 1965

Our getaway car when we got married. My husband’s convertible joy ride. Love it!

GMC Terrain 2010

We brought home a beautiful 6 lb baby girl in this car 3 years ago.

car show

The car Oliva wanted to drive off in at a vintage show last year.

I wonder what your life in cars will look like, Oliva.

  One thought on “My Life in Cars

  1. March 6, 2014 at 8:56 am

    Lovely wedding pic!


  2. March 6, 2014 at 8:58 am

    This is a moving post, Sandra. Kind of racy, too, what with the near-tumble from the pickup on that first date. You motivate me to list my favorite in-my-name cars: 1. 1969 Chevy Nova. My first. Fast. 2. 1984 Pontiac Grand Am. My first “really nice car.” Also fast. 3. 2004 Hyndai Elantra. Because I gave it to my daughter as her first car after I paid it off. 4. 2011 Chevy Cruze. Back to a blue Chevy. Still driving great. Knock on wood.


    • March 6, 2014 at 4:37 pm

      Thanks Mark! I see a theme here…fast cars! But I like how you applied the breaks for your daughter. Went back to cruisen now I see! 🙂


  3. March 6, 2014 at 9:03 am

    The Ford Pickup, a classic for sure. Sadly we don’t get classic american cars here. I’ve always wanted a 60’s pontiac firebird!


    • March 6, 2014 at 4:38 pm

      No classics? Where’s home Mark?


      • March 6, 2014 at 5:32 pm

        Singapore. Where the oldest car is possible a 98 Honda civic! Haha


      • March 6, 2014 at 6:02 pm



  4. March 6, 2014 at 10:43 am

    At times I wish I knew more about the art of of the American car. However, regardless of my lack of knowledge, it all fascinates me. The stories, the Kerouac quote, the concept of adventure all ropes me in closer. Great piece, Sandra.


    • March 6, 2014 at 4:44 pm

      I really appreciate your thoughtful comment Christopher! Happy to hear it drew you in. Your work grabs my attention too.


  5. March 6, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    And before another minute goes by, I must add that I got so caught up in cars I forgot to tell you that you are beautiful and your husband is handsome in your classic wedding photo. Also: I definitely see the Natalie Merchant lookalike side of you in that shot, Sandra!


    • March 6, 2014 at 4:46 pm

      Sweet friend! You are so kind! I’m really glad you liked this. I hope you and Karen are safe and warm today!


      • March 6, 2014 at 7:55 pm

        The furnace is fixed, and we are warm, Sandra. Thank you!


  6. September 18, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    Every good American, native or recent immigrant, can tell their stories on their cars. Thanks for sharing.


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