My first car was a tiny little 1969 Blue Toyota Corona that was shaped like a box. It looked like something out of a cartoon. I loved that car! And, so of course, I named it. Not having any Japanese friends, or having the internet, I named it something that sounded Japanese, Saki. It was short for Sakahashi, which I’m pretty sure isn’t a real word either. We gave it our own meaning, but I won’t share that with you.
Every day, I picked my friends Robin and Paula to go to school. They were ALWAYS in my car. We drove that car everywhere, and sometimes, I even drove it ON the road! I wondered if it would make up the hill from the parking lot to the tennis courts… Why, Yes, it would! I wondered if it would fit on the sidewalk, yes it fit there too! (Hey, if you don’t like my driving, GET OFF THE SIDEWALK!) One night I wondered what it would feel like be a racecar driver, so we drove down to the track around the football field, and took it for a few laps! It was dark and scary, but I had headlights! I drove it off road, did donuts in the dirt… and, one time I even wondered if would fit on the railroad tracks. Yep… Robin actually decided to get out of car for that one. (smart!!!) But Paula hung tight. Oh man… We are so lucky that we’re still alive! Of course 35 years ago the train only came once a day! So, kids and grownups, don’t try this at home!!!
The other funny thing is that we were ALWAYS running late (ha! Some things NEVER change!) So, there were never any parking spaces in the Athlete’s lot when we got to school. It never bothered us… Our motto was “There you go, park anywhere!”. And we did… If there was any room between 2 cars, we would take it. There were many days that we had to actually climb out of the windows because we couldn’t open the car doors. We would laugh and laugh, and then pray that we would have time to come move the car before anyone tried to leave in the afternoon. Haha!
I had that car packed full of cheerleaders all the time. It fit 4 people comfortably. However, many times, it was filled to the brim! Girls everywhere, squished in, sitting in laps, etc. It was like a clown car. (How many cheerleaders can you fit in one little tiny car? ) I think one time we actually had 10 people in it. Yes, I’m pretty sure it was illegal, but we had to get from point A to point B, and I was one of the only ones with a car. So, everyone bummed a ride, and we had a blast! One day, I was driving home from a cheerleading event with 6 people in the car. We were cutting up and we saw a cute guy on the side of the road that was getting a ticket. Someone (Julie!!!) rolled down the window and yelled “Let him GO!!!!” We all chuckled hysterically. Until, that is, the female police officer jumped in her car and followed us to the school! She pulled me over IN the school parking lot and gave us all a huge lecture about being respectful, etc. THEN, we got a HUGE lecture from our cheerleading coach because she saw the blue lights in the parking lot. We were scared and ashamed for about a minute, then we spent years re-enacting this story and laughing hysterically. Thankfully, I’ve grown up a little… (note, just a little J).
We had many late night secret missions too. You know, all the cool teenager stuff like decorating houses for football games, and trying to do it secretly at 11p before our midnight curfew. We were caught red handed, and actually chased a few times by football players that thought it was funny! We also thought it would be fun to go into enemy territory before a game with our uniforms on to yell ‘GO Panthers!’ But as we were driving through the rival school parking lot, we chickened out and rolled the windows up before we yelled! We laughed about this for years!
Another time, we were on the way to school and Saki died right there on Phillips Drive. We hoofed it to school, and I went into the office to call my mom. I still remember being on the phone with my mom explaining that Saki had died and I had to leave him on the side of the road and asking her if she could go get him so that I could go to class. When I hung up, the sweet lady in the office put her arm around me and said “Oh honey, I heard your conversation. Are you OK? Do you need to go home?” We had a huge belly laugh when I explained that Saki was just my car, and not my pet or a person or anything like that!
I have so many fond memories in that car and all our escapades in it. Every time I think back on my high school days, I laugh and laugh. Yet, it just makes me realize how totally fearless we were back then. I am so thankful that I had a mom that prayed over me every day for safety, otherwise, I would not be here today! Yes, I was fearless AND reckless. It was all fun and games to us back then. I do still have a little bit of the fearlessness in me, but it’s nothing like it used to be. I’m more fearless in business, and less fearless in life. I wonder how much fun I miss out on now that I’m older and wiser, and more scared of breaking a hip or something. (haha)
So… now you have a little better understanding why it is necessary for me to pray over MY kids every day. It’s because they are so much like me, and I know I’m in trouble!