I recently experienced the trauma of replacing my car. After 176,000 miles and 16 years, the time had come for my buddy Canberra to retire.

My parents got the car in the fall of 2000, and it was the first car I ever drove regularly, the car I tested in when I got my driver’s license, the car my mom helped me pack up and drove me to college in Massachusetts. One summer when my parents were traveling, my sister and I “daringly” took it on a little road trip from Chicago to Kettle Moraine State Forest in Wisconsin. I got in trouble a few times for keeping the car out after curfew.

I eventually inherited the car, and named (renamed?) her Canberra. Again she was packed full of my belongings, and this time I drove myself to Maryland to start graduate school. She’s driven across Ohio more times than I can count, and survived more than her fair share of road trips, some involving blizzards (ask my mom about that, she has some thoughts).

16 years is a lot of use to get out of a car and I’m lucky she held up so well. Still, nothing lasts forever, so I’m very pleased to introduce you all to Brisbane, my new (and hopefully loyal) automotive sidekick!

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