No, the title is not a mistake. I did not mean to say “two-car family.” Making a two-family car even more unlikely, it was a Volkswagen Beetle. First, it belonged to the Grangers who lived on the street in front of us at Fort Sam Houston, TX in one of those exceptional friendships where all five of us liked all four of them. Our oldest and their youngest were best of friends with either mother feeling free to hand out cookies or correction as needed when they went in and out of our houses.
We got wind that they were trading in their yellow bug for another car. Since we needed a second car, we made an “as is” deal with their car dealer, and it never made it to the dealership lot. For three years, I drove it to chauffeur children to school, piano lessons, football practice, etc. Jo even gave me a carved wooden roadrunner during that time as a symbol of what I had become.
Then the Army gave us orders to Germany. By this time, their youngest son needed a car. In another deal, we sold it back to them with the stipulation that I could drive it until we actually left the country. He enjoyed the Beetle for several more years. As it turned out, we didn’t just all like each other, we all liked the car.
This past weekend we made a return trip to visit the Grangers and other friends in San Antonio, sharing memories of good times when our children were the age our grandchildren are now. After a delicious lunch, Jo said, “I have a present for you.” I knew from the twinkle in her eye, that something was up. I slid the sparkling ribbon off the blue box and pulled aside the tissue paper. A shining yellow model Volkswagen Beetle seemed to smile up at me.
I parked it when I got home on the seasonal display atop one of my bookcases. It looks at home with my Fourth of July display and will fit as the seasons change through Halloween, Christmas, and Easter. And I will smile as I pass, remembering good friends and a special car we shared.