After 14 years of driving Rubeus the blue Expedition, I can now drive incognito around the ‘hood in this:



I know, y’all thought this day would never come, and quite frankly until last Friday, I would have agreed with you. This cayenne red beauty is a 2014 Nissan Pathfinder with 6 miles on it. Ahhhhhhhhhh.

Named for Rubeus Hagrid, the gentle giant in the Harry Potter books, that old Expedition and I have been through a lot together. We’ve  camped and road tripped. We’ve moved daughters to and from here and there. We’ve hauled scrap for recycling and books for Blue Willow. He brought memories home from Glen Ellyn and dogs home from the shelter. He never left us stranded, or at least not too far from home. He carted us around for roughly 170,000 miles, but the odometer light was out so we can’t be too sure. He kept us warm and cool and dry, tho the door locks only worked intermittently and the rear windows occasionally leaked. He kept us safe and sound, tho the ABS brakes had been out for years and the windshield was cracked across and the shocks were completely shot. He entertained us with, among other things, all the Harry Potter books – back in the day when you could still get books on cassette tapes. He was full of bravado and intimidation and got really crappy gas mileage. It was time to say goodbye.

I figure I have at least a month to drive around and have no one recognize me. I can snag stuff off the curb on garbage day or run that stop sign that most people ignore anyways or park across two spaces at the grocery store and no one will know it is me. Really, it’s a very freeing thought. And then we’ll get Purdue and Rice and neighborhood stickers on it and people will learn who that red, not-quite-a-behemoth belongs to and I’ll have to start being all sensible again. It still needs a name and a mascot, but I figure that will happen soon enough. The husband is thinking “Duke” and I’m leaning to “Meriwether” but the official christening might have to wait until the right mascot becomes apparent.

Promised as a birthday present and not a surprise, I am very pleased to finally have “he/she-who-shall-be-named-later” in the driveway. And I’m settling in for what I’m hoping is another great 14 years and 170,000 miles.


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