Nothing Gold Can Stay



So, my car just returned from the shop. "It's a '97 Ford Escort with 175,000 miles on it," my mechanic kept saying. "It needs a new transmission. Your clutch is slipping. You need new rear brakes. You have a leak in the [insert car part I can't remember]. Is this a northern car? Because it's all rusted out underneath. And did I mention that it's a '97 Ford Escort with 175,000 miles on it?"

Yes. Yes, you did. So? SO?? WHAT'S YOUR POINT??!?! WHERE'S THE LOVE? I LOVE MY CAR!!!!!

Here's the prognosis: Either I accept that my car is dying and allow it to die a natural death; or, I spend $3500 over the next year or so to rehabilitate the car. I am, of course, choosing the first option, because I am not insane. But I do so with a heavy heart.

As Robert Frost once (sort of) wrote:

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
so dawn goes down to day.
Nothing silver with dark gray interior can stay.



This will probably be my only post this week, on account of travel and general merry-making. I hope the year closes peacefully for everyone. For those of you in the southern hemisphere, enjoy the long days. And for those of you in the northern hemisphere, be of good cheer, because the light is coming back!


Anonymous said…
Anonymous said…
I like that poem.
Sarah Prineas said…
Commiserations on your sad loss.
Unknown said…
Sometimes even cars need to die with dignity.
Sorry to hear about the loss of your car. :) I got together with old friends over the weekend, and we were reminiscing about the "Two-Tone," my old college car. Such fond memories of that car, and I still remember the day I purchased my post-college car.

My mom was following me in my brand new car, and just as I parked the car in the driveway, poor Two-Tone's muffler fell off. I think that was the signal that the tone needed to be retired. :)

Nice reference to Frost, by the way. His poetry has guided me through many times of my life. This one also brings back many memories of teaching middle school and discussing The Outsiders. :)

Happy Holidays to you, Kristin, and to everyone else as well! I'm off to finish some shopping. I'm buying two copies of Graceling for my nieces. :)

Oh I am REALLY looking forward to the longer days!
Stephanie said…
I totally understand. I have a 99 VW Bug. I can't even remember how many miles are on the thing. (Hard to believe 1999 was 10 years ago... wow...). It's slowly falling apart. It wouldn't crank when I left Target today, actually. It has tons wrong with it. I, too, am letting it expire a natural, happy death.
Faith said…
I can sympathize with your car troubles. I have an '00 Jeep with 162,000 miles and just cost me $1700 or so to fix earlier this month. I couldn't part with the first big thing I bought when I graduated college and got a "real" job. :-/ I'm hoping to make it last another year or so. Good luck finding a replacement.

Happy Holidays!
when I left my first car - it was a 1986 toyota. 150,000 miles, no radio, no air. I used to have a bom box on the seat for music and had to put in a quart of oil a day before I left in the am. I thin it might be time for a new car :( Love you book
Kristin Cashore said…
Oh, thank you for all of your car sympathies! Somehow, cars become friends. And Lesley -- I also always think of the Outsiders... :)
tinkandalissa said…
I am sorry that your car is sick. I love my car too (for the most part) but it is also ailing. It's a 98 Nissan Pathfinder with only 130k something miles. My speakers are blown (I didnt get the pleasure of doing that), the volume wont turn up or down on the stereo on the off chance I still want to attempt to listen to it w/the blown speakers, I failed my inspection and had to replace exhaust things, my brakes are shot...shall I continue? Ok, now I've depressed myself. Maybe Santa will bring me a new one? Bah humbug. That bastard's not bringing me anything!
Have a happy xmas and an f***in fabulous new year!
I FINALLY finished the series I was reading and started your book yesterday. I just want to say that you absolutely rock my socks off!!! I am half way done, I had to stop and make myself go to bed at 1am this morning. (I drove from Charleston back to Asheville part of the day, so I couldnt read or I'd be further). Gettin ready to enjoy the rest of my vacation and read the rest!!! I already want more. I love your book!! I cant imagine you writing garbage.
be glad ur not me. we just had a blizzard in which if u went outside, ur skin would freeze in 3 to 6 SECONDS!!! and another ones coming. forget a white christmas, i wont be able to leave my freakin house!!!!!
oh and my rents have a '96 toyota landcruiser that they saved from death. dont give up. oldies are the best. ies. course now its the hotels (my dad owns and runs 2)(with my mom) there and back vehicale.
so charly i have no idea where u live but dont wish for snow. just move to berrien county, michigan.
great it just started snowing. CURSE YOU CHARLY!!!!
"but god it just feels so good"-misery buisness by paramore
Anonymous said…
Oh man, itdependsontheday. I'm in the Pacific Northwest. Where I live we rarely get snow - it's usually rain. In all the time I have lived here we have never gotten enough snow to really even cover the grass. (None that stuck, at least.) This year though, with the arctic front that came in, we've gotten about a foot of snow, and it is the most that our county has seen in about 50 years. I have never seen this much snow in my life - which is a little sad, but awesome for me. I think what you have there in Michigan can be counted as a bit too much though... I'm sorry. xD
MySharonAnne said…
My childhood car was a red Ford escort. I was so sad when we had to let her go.
same here, charly. this is really weird for here. oh and sorry about the curse. i uncurse you. but its like 6 in. then an in. of ice then 6 more in. not even good for sledding. sigh.
"but i knew she was jealous from the start"-boys with girlfriends by meiko
(thats for u charly ;-P)
Anonymous said…
Yeah, the top snow here is all powder and doesn't really pack so it's no good for snowballs or snowmen or igloos. It's pretty, though.

We also have a layer of ice in between it all.

If I had learned to drive when I was supposed to, my car would be an 87 Nissan Sentra. Said car was my grandmother's, and she HATES to drive (much like me) and therefore the car had (still has) very little mileage on it. I promised my boyfriend I'd learn to drive this year, and I am very sad that I can't learn to drive in my poor poor Sentra. It's in Maine, and I'm in Texas, and I'm pretty sure it would die on its way out here.

Long story short: Old Cars make me happy, too. Old Cars dying also makes me sad. My sympathies.
charly guess what! its all melting! stupid lake effect thingymajig (we live near lake michigan so effects the weather somehow)! sigh. what a great mood to be in on christmas eve.
Kristin im sorry im not talking to you. me and charly are sharing snow stories.
"breathe......just breathe"-breathe (2 A.M.) by anna nalick
Kristin Cashore said…
Charly and Itdependsontheday, I love that you're talking to each other! It's really fun for me to read along. Don't stop on my account!

And thanks to everyone sharing their sad car stories.

And for those who celebrate a holiday, happy whatever-holiday-it-is :o)
good, cause charly it froze! so now we cant walk out the door without falling down! oh and merry christmas.
"days of auld lang syne"-auld lang syne (whatever that means) by straight no chaser (i know, weird name)
Annie said…
My condolences on your car. ;) My cars are named Hondie and Shirley. Shirley is younger and has a voice. On the GPS. Once me and my cousin Sarah were driving to our tennis lesson and my mom turned off Shirley's voice, so we were singing, "Shirley come back to me! In my heart I still believe, that you were meant to lead, us to our destination!" etc.

Hondie is older, and I named him once when I was like 7 and he "saved" us from an onslaught of pouring rain.

Hondie might need to be replaced soon, by a Prius. Hondie is (guess!) a Honda Accord, with hardly any blind space. Both me and my mother will be sorry to see it go.

Sorry about that little speech about my cars. ;)

Annie said…
Oh, and Merry Christmas to you. I personally hate Christmas, since I'm Jewish; I always have to stock up on food since nothing's ever open on Christmas. For Hannukah I got this beautiful new Macbook 13 inch that I am typing on at the moment, a deep red laptop case, and a sewing machine. It sounds cheesy but it's actually pretty cool. Her name is Bertha. Sounds like a good name for a sewing machine, doesn't it?

I hate the vacation. I have a two week hiatus from school and absolutely nothing to do except ride horses, write my drash and learn my Haftorah. Ugh.

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