Today I spent the day surrounded by fellow literacy lovers and advocates at the Michigan Reading Association annual conference. I’m finding it difficult to write about what I enjoyed most right now because my mind is swirling, and my brain feels exhausted. There are some pressing questions that were asked of me that I am still processing and figuring out an answer to, maybe not the final answer, but at least a sufficient answer.
Instead, I will focus on a brief moment of my morning before arriving at the reading conference. I left my house with enough time to stop and get some coffee. Because there was a significant line in the drive thru, I decided to park and go inside. I pulled up right next to a blue Ford Escort. It had to be from the 1980s because it looked almost exactly like my first car which was an ’85 Ford Escort. This one, however, was blue and mine was a gorgeous shade of goldish brown. My friends and I lovingly nicknamed it The Turd. We even made up a song about it. I can’t remember all of the words, but I know the name was repeated often and something about it going bump, rattle, and shake. It did not have power anything, so my arms got nice and buff while figuring out just how one drives a car without power steering. Ahhh memories. They came flooding back to me when I saw this beauty.
The blue Escort I parked next to this morning was left running without anyone waiting inside the car. This reminded me of how my dad once drove The Turd back from the college I was attending to get it fixed, one of the several times it needed something repaired. Later, he told me how he didn’t turn it off when he was getting gas for fear of it stalling out and never starting up again. But in all seriousness, that car, my Turd, despite its many mechanic visits, is probably still being driven around today. It was a beast. I believe we ended up selling it, or possibly giving it, to a family friend.
When I entered the coffee shop and placed my order, I noticed there were only two other people, a couple, inside and that they must be the owners of that fantastic vehicle outside. I was tempted to talk to them, reminisce fondly about my very first car, but I lost my nerve overthinking it because perhaps I would offend them in some way. Plus, just keeping that memory to myself this morning was pretty great. I got my coffee, and left before the couple got their order, so I was able to soak in the glory of the Ford Escort one more time.