Thursday, November 20, 2014

Larson and Stella

This is a story and a very long post about cars. 

Just before our first date, Carson sold his truck. He was walking/biking to school and work and didn't want the hassle, so he simply sold it. For our first date, he borrowed a Honda Element from a friend. Sometime in the short period between first date and "dating", he purchased a Honda Passport that was terrible on gas. Since I didn't have a car at the time, we sort of shared that while we were engaged, even though we lived in different parts of the city. (Once I walked out of my apartment to go to work and discovered that the passenger window was broken with all Carson's textbooks scattered everywhere. Car theft/breakins are like THE crime in Spokane).We drove it to Oregon and over to the West side of the state a few times before it was decided that it wasn't worth it, so the hunt was on for a new car. 
And by new, I mean used.
And by hunt, I mean search Craigslist. 

I didn't know people did that before I met Carson, but they did, and we did and with lots of faith and cash in hand, Carson purchased our little green Honda Civic. It was a 1998 with a decent amount of miles on it - or so we think. The car was manufactured in Canada, so the speedometer was in kilometers, not miles, and it was also broken, so sometimes it would tell you how fast you were going (in kilometers, so you got to practice math) and sometimes, it wouldn't. When it wasn't working, it wasn't recording the miles on the trip meter, and when it was, again, it was in kilometers, so we just guessed. We eventually replaced the speedometer before our move to Ohio, which meant that we could finally see our speed all the time - in MILES!

In 2010, Emily visited me in Spokane for my birthday, and we spent lots of time driving the car around. She's the one who named our car: Larson, for L(indsay) and (C)arson, and she always referred to "him" by "his" name.

Somehow, that little car got us from one side of Washington to the other over 14 times. We drove it on countless short road trips, across the country from Washington to Ohio, up to Canada, down to South Carolina a few times. We got there and back very safely and with little to no major issues. I mean, don't get me wrong, Larson was no looker. He accumulated many bumps and scrapes over his long life, some that he had before he joined us, and many that he somehow accumulated in my work parking lot in Cleveland (seriously got hit about 6 times in that lot while I was just working; twice it was bad enough that the passenger door didn't open all the way and Carson had to fix it). He didn't have air conditioning, he had a broken bumper that scraped speed bumps, he had coffee splatters on the sagging ceiling, and lots of spots where the paint was rubbed away. 

Since all things must come to an end, we knew that Larson's time with the family was not long. He began to experience the effects of old age and salted roads earlier this year, with a few minor but increasingly NOTminor issues. For months, we looked for Larson's replacement, generally on Craigslist, but had a difficult time finding a good solid car that was in our price range. In July, we found one in Beaufort and drove down over the weekend to purchase it. In August, Carson sold Larson to some people who pimp out cars. He had to reset his phone, which is so disappointing, because they promised pictures of the NEW Larson, but Carson no longer has the contact information to ask for the pictures. Disappointing, because that would be hilarious. 

In lieu of THOSE (better) pictures, I thought we'd walk down memory lane.
Yes, with our car. 

Here's a rare time when the first speedometer worked. It looks alarming, but it's about 60mph. It was fun to scare friends with though.

When we were engaged, I didn't go home for Christmas, so I begged Carson to help me pick out a little tree for my apartment. We ended up with a MASSIVE one for $15 and somehow it fit in the trunk.

Carson and Larson on a road trip to Olympia when we were engaged.

Emily, on the day she named Larson.

On the way back from our Olympia reception. 
We parked under this tree while we lived in Naches and you would not believe the amount of bird poop we accumulated on poor Larson.

The day we moved from Naches to Spokane... look how low that car is... we made only two trips with this thing.


There was a brief time where we owned two cars and Larson had a sibling. Carson lived in Naches all by himself in 2011 and bought this Toyota truck for the summer, since we lived three hours apart. 

Cutting off the offensive part of the bumper.

A Spokane winter.

We took lots of road trips with Larson.

Most notably, we STUFFED the poor car when we moved to Ohio. We'd shipped everything else on the train and way underestimated the other things we needed to bring in Larson (I'd pictured only bringing a duffel bag).

Here he is at Mount Rushmore.

 Larson was also the primary moving source for furniture and boxes. Carson got tables, chairs and other furniture to our house in Cleveland by using Larson to transport. I can't remember if the couch came that way, but if so, that's impressive.

Morgan met Larson in February, where I let her scrape snow for the first time.

This winter, Larson got stuck in the snow four times, three of them in our driveway (two of them during Morgan's trip).

And finally, Larson trailed behind us when we moved this summer. I was so nervous the whole way that he was going to come loose on a hill and hit the cars behind us. That never happened, obviously.

This was on July 4th. You can see that beautiful bumper, as well as the frustration Larson provided in his later months.

In July, a new car joined our family. I've named her Stella, because it seemed to work with the silvery gray car color.

We drove both cars back to Florida, and so technically, here's a picture of them side by side.

 We had a nearly five year run with Larson - five good, full years - and while I'm thankful to drive a car that's less embarrassing to drive than poor unattractive Larson, we made a lot of memories and miles in that little green Civic. 


  1. What a cute story! I have been reading your blog a loonnnggg time. If I remember, he worked as a firefighter that summer and broke his leg??? If my current Toyota ends up petering out like the last one, I am switching to Hondas. They seem to be the best.

  2. *sigh* lovely story of Larson and Stella (so enjoying her name by the way). Stella is a looker!!


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