Friday, September 14, 2012

Mother of Pearl


So I guess you could say that it’s been a pretty good week. I’ve had a few days home (headed out for work again today), and I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot.


And I did something this week that I’ve never done before.

I bought a car.


But not just any car. World, I would love to introduce you to my 2012 Certified Pre-Owned Ford Explorer.

Her name is Pearl. That insightful name came to me around midnight the night that I bought her. Of course I couldn’t sleep. I was too excited!

Everyone, Pearl. Pearl, everyone.


Bessie has been nothing but a champ for me for over seven years when my Dad first brought her up to live with me in North Dakota before he moved to Mexico to retire. She made it through one horrible winter there and an entire year in Albuquerque before moving back to Phoenix with me in 2007.

At almost eleven years old and with 233,000 miles, no air conditioning, a severe need for new struts all the way around, and brakes probably wouldn’t hurt either, Bessie has been in need of some serious loving for quite some time.

However, about a year and a half ago, I made the executive decision to stop fixing major things on her. As soon as I spend $1,600 to fix the entire air conditioning system, the transmission goes out! It just wasn’t worth it to keep pumping money into a car that had lived a good life but could die at any moment.


I stand by my decision and have loved her, despite her shortcomings this past year. It has been most noticeable without air conditioning while trying to drive around with the windows down. In 119-degree heat, driving around with the windows down is like living in an Easy Bake Oven. But hotter.

Her latest escapade was the inability to start in gear. You had to turn the key a quarter-turn, then put the car in neutral, then start, then shift into drive. It was getting ridiculously demanding to drive this car, which had already given me so much in life.


So on Wednesday, I traded Bessie in and got Pearl.


Because she is used previously loved with a few miles on her, I was able to afford a nicer model of the Ford Explorer, which I’ve been eyeing for quite some time now.

You know, in case Bessie just up and died one morning (that has happened a few times, actually). I have been researching potential driving replacements for a while…


I was really keeping fingers crossed for Sirius radio, which I have in my airplane, Gladys, and love. Score! I got it in Pearl!

I even got a free 90-day subscription, so we’ll see if I will continue with it when I have to pay. I’m cheap cost-effective like that, you know.

And, if we’re being honest here, I have also grown accustomed to Bessie’s luxurious leather seats and was hoping to keep such snobbery in my new car, too.

Pearl came through yet again! Three rows of beautiful light tan leather seats! The interior color was more important to me than the exterior. I knew that I couldn’t deal with dark seats because of the heat. But you know what? I really love the white exterior, too!

As for gas mileage, it will be about the same as Bessie (about 21 MPG combined town and freeway), but with an even beefier engine. Instead of my 3.5-liter V6, I now have 4.0-liter V6. I will never lose off the stoplight line again.

Corolla has failed me so many times with respect to beating people off the line this summer. I can’t even talk about it.


Look at that headrest. Doesn’t that just make you happy? Or is it just me?


And here is a view of the second and third-two seating. The third row can fold flat and disappear entirely, which means we can haul some mighty large things around in Pearl.


For now, I like having the third-row seating up. It creates a nice pocket in the back to haul groceries and TJ Maxx scores.

Holy cow. Do you have any idea how much stuff from TJ Maxx can fit in this car?!


It’s definitely the best-looking thing that has ever parked in my driveway. I am in love.


Pearl will be a great family car when we start adding little ones to the equation. I love how tall she is, which means that getting kids in and out will be a breeze. And Pearl drives and handles like a super star, so I feel very safe in her.

Look at her. Is she smiling?!


Pearl is the exact length of Bessie, too, which means that I knew without trying first that she would fit into our world’s smallest garage. The new parking stops are on their way from Amazon now so I don’t have to carefully check thirty times that she is in all the way.


Sometimes, I open the door to the garage just to look at her. I am still in shock that this purdy little lady is mine! And it is such a relief to know that at any moment, I will not be breaking down on the freeway.

It’s easy to imagine little kids riding in here. Nope, we’re not pregnant. But now we’re going to be even more ready for them when it’s time for that!


She just fits. And it’s almost like we hung that bike perfectly all those years ago just to accommodate Pearl into our lives.

She belongs with us now.


These will burn if we’re at the stoplight together, just so you know. Pearl has great shifting and pick-up, so you really have no chance. And it is so smooth! I’ve forgotten what it feels like to have shocks and struts that work!

The bucket seats are a dream. And there is so much leg room…the most of any SUV this size. As you can see, Hubby has already stretched out his long legs to check for room. It handles like a dream and is so much fun to drive.

You could say that I’m pretty tickled with this whole car thing. And just looking at these pictures makes me anxious to go drive. Which I get to do in just a few hours to head to the airport for work.


I feel so blessed that I have a great job that can afford me the chance to get some new-to-me wheels and still pay down my student loans big-time. This only changes the timeframe for payoff by a few months, and it just made sense to stop worrying constantly about my transportation issues.

Welcome, Pearl. I already love and appreciate you very much. Now, let’s go cruising!


  1. I love Pearl! She's a beaut.

  2. What a beautiful Ford! must be proud of that, take care.. Whick

  3. Pearl is lovely! May you have many happy years together. Happy travels!

  4. Congratulations on the new addition to your family. Pearl is beautiful for sure!! xoxo


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