Farewell to Libby

Yesterday was an emotional day for me.  We traded in my beloved 2004 Jeep Liberty (aka “Libby”) for a new car.  We figured that at 10 years she’d had a pretty good run and we were ready for a larger car to fit our baby our baby’s things.

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We had been looking online for a few weeks, so when a Jeep with our specs appeared at a dealer in Chantilly we decided to drive out and kick its tires.  After a couple of test drives and some paperwork we drove away in our new car!!! (Lest you think this was a simple process, it was not.  We were at the dealer for SIX hours on Saturday.  Nursing in a crowded dealer showroom not once, but twice, was not exactly how Norah envisioned spending her day. Yikes.)  We knew we were going to trade in Libby so Mike cleaned her out before we left the house.  Once we got home, we went through everything and it was an awesome trip down memory lane.  Here’s what we had in our car:

Three road atlases.  And 12 state maps.  Of those maps, three were for DC, three were for Colorado, one for Texas, one for Indiana, one of the entire USA, and several regional AAA maps of the central states like Kentucky, Missouri, Kansas, etc. Can you tell that I drove from Colorado to Indiana a lot in college?  Also-the atlases were from 1997, 1999 and 2000.  The best one was from ’97.  My dad had given it to me with pink post-it notes bookmarking all the states I would drive through from Colorado to Indiana.  Dads are the best.

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2 hair ties, 3 bobby pins, a quarter, a dollar coin (!), an EZ Pass, and a change organizer that made me smile.  My mom had given this to me when we were in Germany in the summer of 2012 driving around on the Autobahn and trying to keep track of all of the crazy Euro coins.  Moms are the best.

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Tools that one never wants to be without.  1 Leatherman, 2 tire pressure gauges, 2 spare batteries to our garage remote, mini screwdriver set to open said garage remote, one of those snazzy tools you use in an emergency (you know, the ones with a pressure hammer to break windows and razors to slice through seat belts), and a Mag Lite complete with spare batteries and spare lightbulbs.  My dad gave me the Leatherman and Mag Lite, and Mike’s dad gave him the emergency tool.  Dads are the best.

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Insurance information from the glove box and our satellite radio channels listing sheet, from 2004 when I got Sirius radio.  None of the channels are the same of course, and now Sirius is combined with XM, but it’s still in the car! Also, please note the torn out magazine article of “What to do when you’re in an accident” with tips on how to proceed if you are ever in an accident.  Fact:  I’ve been in two accidents with Libby and I’ve been so upset I never pulled out my little handy-dandy sheet.  The first “accident” wasn’t really an accident.  I had parked my car in my cousin Mike’s driveway as I always did the night before I flew home from IU for breaks.  Mike and Michelle used to live in Indy and they would let me keep my car for free at their house when I drove up from Bloomington, and they would always give me rides to and from the airport.  Anyways, my car was parked in the driveway and Mike got up bright and early like he always used to to drive to his bagel shop in the shop’s huge delivery van.  It was pitch black (read: 3:30 in the morning) and he backed right into Libby, causing some bumper damage.  It was not a big deal at all, and Mike took care of everything while I was home in CO.   Our second accident however was quite scary!  We were driving over a mountain pass in snowy weather in WV on our way to meet friends for a ski weekend in February 2013 (I was 13 weeks pregnant).  We hit black ice, our car spun off the road up the mountain, where we then rolled down the hill back into the shoulder.  Luckily, everything was fine.  Mike hurt his hand and knee pretty badly and was sore for a couple of days, and I was put on bed rest for the weekend until my doctors could check me out.  Having hung from the seatbelt for awhile until people could help stabilize the car so we could crawl out bruised my stomach and I was very very worried that something had happened to the baby.  I was a basket case for the entire weekend essentially.  Once the weather cleared and we were able to get out of WV back to Arlington we had an ultrasound and confirmed everything was ok.  I’ve never been happier to see little Norah and to hear her heartbeat!! I almost kissed the ultrasound tech and the midwife.  (And Libby was ok too.  We replaced the tires that popped when we landed on them from rolling and had the alignment and undercarriage repaired in WV.  All in all, it was a seemingly easy fix, and USAA really took care of us, especially given that we were in the middle of nowhere WV on a mountain pass.)  Long story short: when it came time to putting our insurance information in our new glove box, I threw out the magazine article!

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This rosary, which also made us smile.  We received this rosary while we were completing our Pre-Cana marriage class that is required of couples before marrying in the Catholic church.  We left the day-long class and threw this rosary over the rear-view mirror, and never took it off.  It was fun to recall those crazy weeks and months leading up to our wedding!

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Cables and electronics galore.  We had four iPhone charging cables for four different iPhone models, headphones for talking while driving (safety first!), a Garmin that was a wedding present from Mike’s parents, an external Sirius radio player that we had been using since our internal radio bit the dust (+ the 10-foot long cable that connected it to the outside receiver), and a cassette tape that I used to use to play my iPods in my car with.  That’s right, Libby had a CASSETTE deck.  Also-please note the white cable in the baggy.  That was my Motorola Razor charger cable. Remember those?? Of course my Razor was hot pink.

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Gear for the weather.  A yellow duck umbrella, sunglasses case, one sad partner-less glove, and a sun shade for Norah that we hadn’t even installed in Libby yet.  Plus a random lock without a key.

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A tow hitch for our boat and a snow scraper.

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And then it got fun.  We found some GEMS in the car.  Such as: a bumblebee patch from the Broadmoor when I used to work there during college summers, 2 ping pong balls (don’t ask), paper elf ears from when we dressed up as elves for Chris’ first annual Christmas party in December 2007 (we thought it was ugly sweater, and it wasn’t, it was very grown-up and we looked like idiots…again, don’t ask), and two awesome pieces of paper from IU.  One is the take-out menu from Avers pizza (which is crazy-I never ordered Avers in Bloomington, I was much more a Mother Bear’s type of girl…) and the other is the ticket to the Little 500 from 2005 when I was a junior at IU.  I have no idea how it got in the car.  It was folded, so it was obviously in my pocket at one point, and it was under the mats in the trunk.  I have such amazing memories of college, especially being in my sorority, Alpha Gamma Delta, and attending events like Little 5.  For those of you who don’t know, Little 5 is a bike race and it is truly the greatest college weekend ever.  I can’t even try to explain it.  Look it up if you must. But Lance Armstrong once said, “I’ve been to Super Bowls, I’ve been to the Grand Prix and I raced with bulls in Pamplona.  But the Little 500 at IU is the coolest sporting event I’ve ever attended.”  Truth.

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Seeing the IU things made me think of the summer that I got Libby.  My parents bought her in April 2004 and gave her to me when I arrived home from school that summer.  I remember being SO EXCITED to drive it once I got back to Colorado that I took it for a test drive as soon as I pulled in.  My parents couldn’t believe that I wanted to be in the car again after being on the road for two days.   And then when I drove her back to IU that fall, I remember pulling into the sorority house and everyone running out to look at my new car.  At the time, Jeep Libertys were like, the coolest cars ever, and all the girls were so excited for me.  I loved Libby so much!

I also found a really amazing little book that my dad had given me with my first car, a ’94 Grand Cherokee.  It’s essentially a little notebook that he had recorded important info for me in to have handy if I ever needed to know the tire pressure, etc.  Mike’s dad had always recorded the amount of gas he put in the car to keep track of gas mileage so he and Mike got me into the habit of doing the same.  The first recording was from July 7, 2006 when the Grand Cherokee had 157,068 miles on it.  I kept track of the gas all that year, and then I got Libby.  I drove her to to IU and arrived in Bloomington on my birthday in 2004 apparently.  Please note that in August 2004 I put 15 gallons of gas in my car for $27.00.  Once we got married, Mike took over keeping track of logging our gas purchases, and our last written entry was put in on February 22, 2009…which is four years to the day before we got a new car!! Isn’t that crazy?  Now we log our gas purchases with an iPhone app called Fuelly, but maybe I’ll start using the notebook again for old time’s sake.

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And the absolute last thing that I need to mention that we found in Libby is this sweet email from my dad to me.  He had emailed me with last minute things on how to take care of the car if I ever needed to.  Before I took the car to IU, I got an afternoon’s worth of lesson on checking the oil, replacing the anti-freeze, changing the tires, etc.  But he had forgotten to tell me not to take the cap off of the radiator if the car had been recently running.  Dads are the best.  You can be sure I’m keeping this email forever!

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Ten years is a long time to have a car and a lot of memories are tied up with Libby for me and for Mike.  We had a great Saturday.  We absolutely love our new car and feel so grateful for it.  But I’ll miss Libby!  As we pulled into the dealer’s lot there was 98, 257 miles on her.

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After leaving the dealership, we were starving (we were there from 9:30-3:30 with no lunch) and we went right home to grab Annabelle.  Then we headed to Clare and Don’s to sit outside on the patio and enjoy the gorgeous weather while celebrating our new purchase with some margaritas.

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So tell us.  What would you find in your car if it were cleaned out today?

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