Over a month after my oldest son got his driver’s license, I finally found the right car–a sweet silver Mini Cooper–and bought it. Not for him, of course. For me.

I had been saving my incredibly reliable nine-year-old Nissan Frontier for him and his little brother to share. That truck had just crossed over the 100K mile mark and had never required anything but an oil change.

Old Faithful and Sugarpotpie on an early spring kayak scouting trip on the Strawberry River.

Old Faithful and Sugarpotpie on an early spring kayak scouting trip on the Strawberry River.

Here is a brief and totally incomplete list of some of the more interesting places that truck had taken us over the years:

  • Mt. Hood, all over it for skiing, fishing, kayaking
  • Eddieville, the Euro-style grand prix MX track in Washington
  • Four National MXs at Washougal, Washington
  • Kayaking trips to Idaho, Washington, Utah
  • Pulled my home-built dory to the put-in on Deso Canyon of the Green River
  • Moab x 10
  • Fishlake and Capitol Reef
  • Caineville and Sideplate Alley
  • Snowbird and Alta, I don’t know, like a hundred times at least

Well, you get the idea. That truck had taken us there and back for the last nine years.

So day one of having my new Mini Cooper to commute to work in, we decide to let our oldest drive himself to school in the truck. He goes at 6:30 am, so we were thrilled to get out of the carpool business. And day one of driving home ended in an accident that totalled the truck.

Poor kid. We’ve all been there. But to have it happen on day one of driving yourself to school just seemed cruel.

Fast forward three weeks. No truck anymore, and still waiting for the insurance payout.

Same son’s report card came in for his sophomore year. All A’s except in Algebra 2, where he ended with a solid B. The kid has been doing what he can for penance: working hard in the yard, helping in the house, and beating the bushes daily for a summer job. Apparently all the dads and moms are taking the typical kids jobs this year.

So when he asks if he can drive to a party a mile from our house, I’m thinking it’s time for him to get back in the saddle.

“Go ahead and take the Mini. Just be extra careful.”

Famous last words. If anyone spots a deer with a really bad headache and the some shattered glass and mirror parts stuck in its hide, please call me. Pictures coming tomorrow.