Several years ago my parents generously gifted me a car. A 1995 Lincoln Continental that they lovingly maintained and drove for years. They upgraded to something newer, and knowing that I couldn’t afford to buy a car for my daughter, they decided I could use it more than they needed the little bit of money they’d get selling it. It cost me about $300 to get it licensed and titled, and I was thrilled!
My daughter wasn’t quite as thrilled. It’s gold, she said. So, what? I replied. It’s kind of big…she hesitated. It was free for you, so it’s perfect, I stated. End of story.
My child isn’t ungrateful, I don’t mean to imply that. She was thankful to have something to drive at all. But a first car is always something of a big deal for kids, and I understood her hesitation. However, it didn’t take her long to claim the car as her own. And create her own personal pigsty in the backseat and trunk. A Lincoln Continental has pretty good space in it, enough for a week’s worth of clothing, empty water bottles, random crumpled papers, and shoes. Soon, we began affectionately calling it the Stinkin’ Lincoln. It has been a blessing to me, not just to have an extra car available, but to have an extra person to help tote around my youngest or me when my car was in the shop.
Today my daughter bought herself a new car. Something small and red and more age-appropriate. I’m proud of her for working and saving the money she needed for this step, and I’m happy for her excitement. But I’m also glad that the Stinkin’ Lincoln is still around and will be available for my youngest who will be driving soon. The car has had some problems in the last few years and is showing the wear of winter weather and teenage driving, but it’s still running. And for that I’m thankful.