We were driving down the road peacefully listening to the radio and chatting while returning home from our vacation. Suddenly, I saw something that made me take a second glance.
Could it be? I glanced again out my passenger-side window. Sure enough, the weighted down car in the lane next to us with a sinking backend brought back memories…
I quickly reached forward and turned down the radio. “We interrupt this program for a brief segment of memories by Mommy from when she was a little girl,” I announced. My kids’ jaws dropped and their eyes widened. Lon stopped eating his Kettle corn and glanced over at me with a questioning look.
Sure, I’ve told my children stories many times from when I was a little girl. There’s just something fun about sharing silly stories from your past with your kids. For one thing, I think children have a hard time realizing that we really were little kids at one time.
However, I had never interrupted a program with a brief Mommy memory segment in such a manner. But this memory begged to be shared!
“Did you just see that car?” I gasped.
Sunshine and Doodle turned to look out the window, attempting to see past our camp trailer.
“You mean the white one?” Lon asked.
“Yes, the one with the sagging backend,” I clarified. I turned to look again, not allowing the slower-moving vehicle out of my sight. “When I was a little girl, my aunt had one just like that one. I mean just like that one. It was a 1970s Mercury Monarch and we called it the White Machine!” I couldn’t contain my enthusiasm. After all, it isn’t everyday that you see a Mercury Monarch.
Oh how I wish I had a photograph of that old treasured car! I did manage to find a photo online that is similar in style on Wikipedia. (You can catch a glimpse of it here: it’s the turquoise car in the upper right hand corner).
And now, back to the story…
“We all crammed into the White Machine and in those days in the mid-80s, we didn’t have to wear seatbelts. We were stacked on top of each other, all seven of us kids in the backseat with my mom and my aunt in the front.”
“Did you have to sit on the bottom?” Doodle asked, always the perceptive child.
“Yes because I was the oldest and it wasn’t uncommon for two more kids to be stacked on my lap. We would go uptown to the drive-thru and get 20 cent ice cream cones. My mom and aunt would order a quart of Tab drinks. They even fondly referred to the restaurant workers as the ‘Tab Ladies.’” Anyone here remember Tab cola?!
I started laughing then (along with a few snorts for good measure, but let’s keep that between us!). “And you know, that old White Machine always sank in the rear and just scooted along, like the tires were flat in the back or something.” I, of course, had to demonstrate how the White Machine traveled down our small Main Street.
“Well with all those kids it must have really weighted it down,” muttered Sunshine.
“But that’s not the funny part,” I continued. “My mom and aunt would attend Jazzercise class and they had a bumper sticker on the back of the car that said Jazzercise in big pink letters. Years later, my aunt sold the car to a man who drove that car around with pride, Jazzercise sticker and all! He was so proud of that car with the sagging backend!”
We all shared a good laugh for many miles while I continued my story.
I encourage you to share a memory from your childhood with your children or grandchildren. They might be shocked at first when you interrupt the program with your memory segment, but trust me, it’ll be worth it. Memories are precious, and besides, I hope my own grandchildren someday hear the story of the adventures of the White Machine!