Saturday, June 17, 2006

Au revoir, Astérix

It's been a tradition since I bought my first car to also name it. My first car, bought near my 16 birthday, was a 1977 Ford Capri Ghia. Actually, for $650, I bought two of the same vehicle, one a parts car. With my dad's help, we worked at it and fixed it up nicely (for a high school beater, anyway). I drove it for close to 2 years before parking it on my parents back pad for the next several (5+ ??). I'm still attached to the thought of it, despite sending it to the wrecker about 10 years ago. Oh yeah, it was named "Frodo".

My next car, named "Brutus", was a 1981 Ford Escort - actually a car cheaply bought from my dad. Someone broke into it to steal my tape deck in 1995-ish. It was our early-marriage vehicle, and ferried us back and forth from Roblin, Manitoba, to Regina (where our families where) for my first year teaching at a small private school. It required a lot of work to pass the MB provincial inspection - only a year later to require a little more to return to SK and pass the SK inspection. That car was sold soon after moving to Muenster to some friendly neighbours for $400-ish.

Our next purchase was from a fairly well-known car dealer in Watrous. It was my newest car, being only a 4 years old (1994) Cavalier. The test-drive was what sold me on it - it felt like it had power and almost-sports car-like handling. I needed a better car for my job as a chastity resource teacher in a rural community, travelling to different schools/communities every week. I did that for 2 years.

After the first year, my employer sent me to an Abstinence conference in Phoenix, Arizona. I convinced them to let me drive to it, and take the family along. So we had 4 of us, plus my youngest sister, on a wild and crazy driving spree through several States. Our oldest son was a little sick when we left, and didn't really turn the corner for several days. His illness provided us with entertainment on the journey there. Our first stop was at a grocery store in Williston, I believe. While searching for what we needed, my boy had a squirty accident, which then saw me carrying him to the front counter, buying the poop-tainted packages, and quietly explaining to the clerk that a clean-up was needed in aisle 5.

At our next stop in Salt Lake City we stopped at a spray wand car wash and soaked his car seat to clean it out - the toughest part was cleaning out the part where the belt clicks in. Yuck!

We stayed overnight at a small road-side motel in Utah. The place was absolutely delightful and homey. Our son, in the relief of being in one place for several hours, was running around naked in the room. Part way across the floor, however, he had a quick stop, let out a squirty pile, and then continued his run. It was extremely funny to see.

Another time, we left Calgary at 2 am, to give the kids time to sleep on the long journey to SK to visit relatives. Unfortunately, all we saw, the whole trip, was 3 pairs of beedy, bug-eyes staring back at us from the back seat.

Suffice it to say, we have many good memories of travels in our 1994 Cavalier. This car we named "Spartacus" (in the theme of the Escort). Later, when we bought the van (and named it "Obelix"), we renamed the car "Asterix".

I delicensed the car last Christmas, mostly to force myself to bike to work (my last doctor's visit gave me bad cholesterol levels, and I needed to exercise more). I relicensed it about 2 weeks ago to enable people to test-drive it while I listed it for sale.

Yesterday after school, I put two home-made signs in the window to advertise it for sale. This morning, a guy from my neighbourhood stopped as he was driving by, checked out the car for his girlfriend, took it for a test-drive, and paid cash (only $200 less than the asking price). The end to the era of our Cavalier has been quickly thrust upon us. It feels a little like saying goodbye to a friend.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Soccer City Champs!

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention (probably) my favorite school city championship team. Our boys soccer team took the Div 1 championship this evening. Unfortunately, due to a school commitment, I was only able to observe the last half the game. Fortunately, the first half resulted in a 1-1 split. The boys (one in particular, a very talented young man who I happen to teach) played a great second half, scoring 2 to end with a 3-1 win.

I watched the semi-final game yesterday as well. These boys play very well together. Our 4 defencemen play extremely well together, and have been the anchor for a solid season (1 loss, in regular play, during the spring season). Unfortunately, our keeper has been a weak point these last 3 years (probably for several years before that too). When I was in teacher-training, I assistant coached a team with two very capable goalies. If you're watching soccer, don't underestimate the importance of a good goalie. These guys were exceptional, I think, because they were a little obsessive about their keeping. The younger of our two goalies (ie. the one returning next year) seems the better of our two, and perhaps with another season behind him, will have the confidence and better instincts of a top-quality goalie.

Congrats to the boys, and to their coach. A spectacular season all around!