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I do not like the kind of clothes hangers that are all tubular plastic.  I like the kind with the plastic cross piece and a metal hook that swivels.  Because of recent purchases of “tops,” I’m down to using hangers meant for “matching top and bottom” combinations — the hangar has a bar across the bottom with metal clothes pins to hold a skirt or slacks, and a cross piece for the coat or top.  If you do not have anything clipped to the bottom of the hangar, the tops of the metal clothes pins stick out past the cross piece and make pooches and worn spots in the fabric on the front and back of what you’ve hung on it.

Walmart had a really good deal on a “24-pack” of the kind of hangers I liked.   I also ordered 4 more tops, also at really good prices — I have lots of tees but few long sleeved tops.  I got two “fleece crew” sweatshirts and two long-sleeve tees.  The tops were to be shipped directly to my home, but the hangers were “ship to store” which is free shipping.  When your order arrives at the store, they send you an email, you print out the email, take it to the store and pick up your order.   Tuesday, I got the email saying the hangers had arrived, so after knitting group, I went by my local Walmart to pick them up.  Guess what?  They weren’t delivered to the South Loop store.  They were delivered to the store way the heck out on Milwaukee Avenue and 82nd!

Thursday afternoon, I went to the Gene Messer Toyota dealership to see what they had, how much I could get in trade-in for the Crayola, and what kind of deal I could get on a new(er) Toyota Corolla.  The dealership is on 19th Street about a mile past where I go to knitting group, which itself is 33 streets north of where I live.  So I go traipsing out to the dealership and the salesman and the trade-in guy and the sales manager all have a good laugh over the mileage on the Crayola — 44,489 actual miles on a 27 year old car, which also includes a trip to Carefree, Arizona by way of Santa Fe, New Mexico. (I worked about a mile from my house for the first four years I had it, then I worked from home for the next 22 years).  I got a quote on a used 2013 that had 32,000+ miles on it — which was almost as much as the Crayola had! — a quote on a new 2014 (the only one they had left), and quotes on two new 2015’s, one of which was cheaper than the 2014.

Once I’d done what I came to do, I went zippity-doo-dahing down Milwaukee Avenue from where it intersected with 19th Street all the way to where it crossed 82nd Street, wandered around trying to find the stupid Walmart store out there, and finally found it.  So I hike all the way to the back of the store where the pick up area is located, and they can’t find my order.  Then they hunt around some more and discover that it is, in fact, at the store, but it’s still in the semi trailer that’s parked out behind the store, one of two waiting to be unloaded!!  Remember, this is about 6 p.m. on Thursday, and the email saying it was ready to be picked up was sent on Tuesday!  I was told it would take maybe an hour, maybe more to find it.  I gave them my cell number then called mom to see if she was home.  Not only was she at home, she offered to feed me navy beans and cornbread!

As we ate, we talked.  I showed her the fruits of my quote finding and we picked out a nice new silver 2015 Corolla. (Hi ho, Silver, away?)  Still waiting for Walmart to call me, I went home, wrote the previous blog post, had a good cry, and hit the hay.  Got up bright and early Friday morning and de-stuffed the Crayola — emptied the trunk/boot, and the glove box, and got my umbrella from under the seat, and the cassette tapes in their carrier from the back seat foot well, (they’re going on craigslist — I have nothing to play them on any more), peeled off the decals, took Po down from the mirror, etc.  I had time to clean out the kitties and get them ready to be left for the day before mom got done at the beauty saloon and got her grocery shopping done.  She called about 10 o’clock and we decided she would drive over and leave her car at my house.  The two of us took our last ride in the Crayola.

The new Corolla does not have a keyless entry remote, so I still have remote envy.  It has an automatic transmission, the first time I’ve driven one since 1980 when the Datsun I got from my brother died at the intersection of Avenue Q and 34th Street (probably 100 yards from where my dad died, actually.)  That’s when my dad took me to see Calvin Brunken, his buddy from the Lion’s Club, who had the Toyota dealership, and I got my first Toyota Corolla — another silver one, as it happens.  It did not have air conditioning, but I was young then and didn’t care.  That was the car I traded in on the Crayola the year after I started working as a medical transcriptionist.  Brunken sold the dealership to Messer in 1993.

We talked turkey for a while with the salesman, and he took us all over the dealership.  We met his boss, we met the service manager, we met the guy in the secure document area who takes your money and makes you sign humpty gazillion forms.  (They’ll let me know they have the car license plates and I’ll go get them.  The title will be mailed to me.)  I still have the paperwork from when I bought the Crayola — the bill of sale, etc. and I brought it with me just for grins.  They could tell from the VIN number that the Crayola was made in Japan, and  I had the bill of lading, which is in Japanese, to prove it!  The new Corolla was made in the US.

I drove it around the lot, with the salesman in the front seat, and my mom in the back seat.  Then I drove it out on the street.  It was a strange feeling.  The salesman made the remark that he couldn’t wait to drive the Crayola.  After we dropped him off, mom got in the front seat, and we drove around the lot some more.  After he had driven the Crayola, the salesman told me he thought the clutch was about to go out, so I may have dodged a bullet there.  As we were driving around the lot, my mom remarked about how comfortable the car was, how it was bigger on the inside than hers, and how I was going to drive her to Houston in it to see her brother HJ, who is not in good health.  She’s talking the third week in December.  Leaving on a Monday and coming back on a Thursday.  That trip willl put more miles on the odometer in four days than I put on the Crayola in a year.  I drove mom back to my place by way of Walmart (I finally got my hangers!).

So now I have a new car.  The first new car I’ve had in 27 years. I should be chuffed.  Bouncing around excited.  I kind of am, but I’m feeling such a jumble of other emotions.   I think part of it is that I had the Crayola for so long.  I’ve moved twice since I got it.  It was a part of all those things that happened to me during a period of time that is five years shy of half my life, and now I don’t have it any more.  It’s come hard on the heels of losing my dad.  Goodbyes are hard.  But Po is hanging from the mirror,  the Celtic decal is on the back window, my umbrella is under the passenger seat, and it looks like I’m going to get a lot of practice driving an automatic here pretty quick.

Oh, did I mention, it has a killer sound system? . . .

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