That's the name that Mark gave his 1976 beetle after he bought it 16 years ago. Fate. It's as if an author who wrote Mark's and my story felt very clever about including foreshadowing when naming the car. Every now and then I enjoy a little bit of sappy though, especially in my own love story. So, I'm going to indulge myself in sharing my affections for this car...and, more specifically, my memories associated with it. If you'd prefer to skip my trip down memory lane, just scroll down and look at some really cute pictures of our boys giving Fate an overdue wash!
I first met Mark back when I was 16 years old (exactly 1/2 my lifetime ago!) through a mutual friend of ours - Tommy. He and Mark were close friends and ironically I had a crush on Tommy at the time. I met Mark a couple of times (once playing chess at Grounds for Coffee, and once when I came to watch Tommy perform at a talent show at their highschool) and I thought Mark was nice, but never had a real conversation with him until a couple of months later (December of '94). So here's a re-cap of how I really met Mark:
I thought that Tommy and I were on a date that night with 2 other couples (Mark, Ryan and their prospective dates) at Ryan's house, but Mark's "date" never showed up. Then the other couple and Tommy took off to go do something downstairs for a while, leaving Mark and I watching the video alone together. For a long time. While I enjoyed chatting with Mark during the movie, it became increasingly obvious to me what had happened and I was feeling pretty peeved with Tom. Just then Tommy popped in and apologized to me that he'd forgotten about something and needed to hurry home. I lived 20 minutes away so he asked Mark if he would mind taking me home, and Mark agreed. While it wasn't anything personal against Mark - I was pretty bugged that he was driving me home. I had a whole list of things that I'd decided to say and discuss with Tommy on the drive home after this stunt...and now this guy was driving me home.
So, the change in my mood that night ironically began when we got out to Mark's car and I found out that he drove a VW bug. Shallow? Maybe, but cut me some slack...I was just barely 17 years old and had just figured out that the guy I'd been crushing on for months not only didn't want to date me, but was also (secretly) helping to set me up with his friend who wanted to go out with me. (Here's where I say a heartfelt *Thanks, Tommy!*)
I had always loved VW bugs and was not only excited to ride home in one, but figured that if this guy (Mark) drove one then we must have at least a few things in common. While we drove home it was confirmed that Mark was indeed a really cool guy. He had great taste in music, he was funny, and seemed genuinely nice. I saw that he got noticeably nervous as we got close to my house, which I was endeared by, and he asked me if I would like to go out on a date that weekend. I said yes, we picked a night (which I can't remember now if it was that Fri or Sat...either Dec 30 or 31st) and by that point I was home. We said quick goodbyes and as he drove away in Fate I found myself surprised with how excited that I was for our date, and how little I cared about what had happened with Tommy earlier that night.
As the months went on I fell head over heels for Mark. He really was my first true love. And, all that happening during such a young, impressionable time in my life made things so emotionally charged - and they became etched into my memory (I was a teenager, for Pete's sake!). Because of that, things that I attach to that "highschool era" of our long and complicated courtship (which I won't attempt to document all of here) are of particularly sentimental value to me. There are songs, smells, places, etc. that bring back memories, but Fate (the car) is the tangible memory that I have of that time of my life.
Nearly every memory that I have (happy and sad) of Mark and I from that time has Fate positioned somewhere in it. We drove her to and from too many dates to list here. I got giddy after school when I'd see Fate, knowing that Mark had skipped out of class early to be there waiting for me. I remember listening to that classic VW bug trill as he drove away after dropping me off, and having that bitter/sweet infatuated-sadness (that I'd have to wait X-amount of time until I'd see Mark again). I remember playing mixes of songs we liked (on cassette, mind you) in Fate while we drove...or while we stood outside her with the doors open and danced with each other. I remember sitting in silence together inside Fate listening to the rain pound down on her after we had broken up. (I warned you about sappy...but this is stuff that I've never written down, and would like to)
It was almost like Fate was a third party in our relationship and I loved her like she was a part of it, but didn't fully recognize it at the time. You know those things that are so much a part of your life that you forget to notice them, or specifically recognize them?...by taking a picture of them for example (I looked and don't have one picture of her from that time). Fate was like that. I didn't know how much I associated her with Mark (and with us) until later. Like when you smell something and it takes you right back to a moment that's tender to your heart...and then you take make a mental note to remember that smell, so that it can take you back to that place when you want it to. That smell may or may not have particularly meaningful at the time, but it is now because it directly connects you to that moment.
So, I know that Fate is "just a car" and cars are just things. True. What I really love about Fate though is her ability to so quickly access those memories and emotions from that time in my life. And, now that Mark is my husband and sweetheart forever...those memories are even more precious to me. Fate is old and rusty...and needs lots of work (which we hope to be able to do in the upcoming years). She is worth nearly nothing monetarily, but she means a lot to me. And, I have to say - I think that Fate was a pretty fitting name for this sweet little ride.
I know that I'm writing this mostly for myself...but if anyone else is reading this - Do you have something that you see, smell, hear, taste, or touch that brings you right back to a particular moment or period of time? I'd love to hear...
So! My parents have generously allowed us to store Fate at their house for years. It won't be long before we'll be transporting her down here to Arizona to be with us, and then slowly start chipping away at our list of things we want to do to fix her up. I'd love to be able to take her out for date nights with my sweetheart again! Anyway, before leaving I decided that she needed a good wash - and what a perfect activity for the 1st day of July to soap her up with my two cute boys!
Noah and Linc sitting on the bumper.
I gave her a good spray down...after figuring out the spray nozzle.
The boys trepidatiously began spraying down the car. Starting with this firefighter stance...
Then it was time to suds her up!
Gotta get those blinkers...
And the headlights were popular with both boys. They got cleaned a few times.
The boys had a lot of fun washing the car, but they also seemed to take their job quite seriously. It was like I could flash forward to them shining up their car for a big date...
At one point I turned the sprayer on the boys, and they loved that idea...
And Noah followed suit when he was rinsing the car...turning the hose on Lincoln.
Luckily Lincoln decided that he loved it, and would run through the spray all on his own.
Linc taking a turn with the hose all by himself.
I simply adore this next set of pictures, so I'm just including them all. I just love these two little dudes.
Classic Noah and Lincoln. Linc being a tease and covering up Noah's mouth, which Noah clearly doesn't like (and he puts an end to it) - but he still leaves his arm around Lincoln...
...and then 2 seconds later everything is fine and they're all smiles.
Such cute brothers.
After getting Fate all clean, we headed to my parents backyard to just hang out. Noah loved the hammock.
Linc on the trampoline.
Had to include this one just because I miss being right at the foot of those mountains...
The boys holding hands and jumping with a sprinkler on underneath the trampoline. I used to love doing that when I was little.
The boys in pretend-land. Muscle guy? Martial artist? Not totally sure.
Grandpa (my dad) with Noah.
Linc and Grandpa.
"This was a good day." (one of Lincoln's favorite things to say right now)
And a fun little tid-bit to add to this post...Mark is still good friends with Tommy and Ryan. They shared the role of best man at our wedding, and we've stayed in contact with them and their beautiful wives over the years. The 2 or 3 people that actually follow my blog may remember that Tom's wife Megan is (among other things) an awesome photographer, and took some amazing pictures of Lincoln a little over a year ago (click here for her site). Mark, Tommy & Ryan do a hike together annually too (which this year is in Texas) and they are actually off doing that right now! They met here in Arizona, spent the night at our house and then left early for Texas. I'm sure I'll be including a post on Guadalupe Peak soon enough...