Every January, I have had to get my Georgia license plates renewed. It has been an annual ritual that ticks off a year of living. An emission inspection is part of that process. This year, my car failed. That failure was not altogether unexpected, as my car is (was) a 2001 Infinity I30. I bought the car in 2003 because it had motorized adjustable seats—sitting for even short periods had become very uncomfortable. The Infiniti was a solution, not a luxury.
I should have gotten rid of the car years ago. But, every time I considered doing so, a little voice would tell me to see how long it would last. After a while, I bought into that thinking and decided it had to die a natural death.
In February, after having had a complete tune-up and passing its emissions test, the struts went bad. Replacing the struts would have cost more than I wanted to spend on a 21-year-old car. It had served me well, and its time had finally come.
In April, I donated the car to Habitat for Humanity and not long ago received a letter stating it had sold at auction. The amount was far more than I expected, but looking back, it was still in decent cosmetic condition and had just had a new tune-up. I have to admit, watching the car being towed away after so many years together was more of an emotional moment than I expected. That car and its adjustable seats had seen me through a lot.
In retrospect, I see our time together had run its course, but not because of its age or the struts. Six weeks after making the donation, the last vestiges of the discomfort that made its purchase necessary went away as well. Now, I’m doing fine, and my old car is helping to build a home —a happy ending for both of us.