It’s bittersweet to say goodbye.  I was so proud of the newness of you in 2009.  You’ve been my traveling companion nearly 94,000 miles.  Songs blaring on the radio, loudly, singing along as the scenery flew by, not carrying that my voice wobbled or was out of tune.  Rain pelting, sun shining, wind blowing, we’ve driven through the day and night gazing at the beauty of this amazing world.

I’ve held your wheel, anxiously gripping tight while merging through traffic as the lanes combined or driving the wet pavement of the interstates.  I’ve steered down small, historic towns and breathtaking cities.  Sometimes, I’ve forgotten where I parked you and more times than I care to admit, I’ve locked the keys inside.

You held me as I slept in the driver’s seat upright, and huddled in the back seat with a pillow and blanket.  We’ve paused at rest stops and convenience stores; sleeping and fueling up us both. We’ve arrived at our destinations with the help of our GPS. Sometimes hopping out excitedly or crawling out stiffly from seating in one position for hours too long behind the wheel.

The highways and interstates that we conquered.  The country roads we’ve meandered on purpose and when lost.  The spur of the moments turns we’ve followed and the dirt roads we explored.  I loved them all.  Pulling over to take pictures of wildflowers, cows, and sheep.  The state lines we’ve crossed and the empowerment of the road-trips we’ve taken together, I’ll never forget.

In you, I navigated the Dallas traffic and found my confidence.  We’ve seen the beauty of Green Mountain in Vermont, Niagara Falls and driven by locks looking for ships.  With you, I navigated the crowded streets of Manhattan.

We whisked by two of the great lakes and the coastal beaches of Florida and Maine.  Driven the endless flat plains of Texas, and climbed the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee, and the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia.  We’ve explored Rocky Mountain National Park… braking for moose and elk.  We’ve chased a bear in Estes Park and turned around on steep hillsides.

I’ve long lost track of the number of cemeteries and beautiful churches we’ve visited.  Reading historic markers, headstones, and taking pictures.  The oddities that captured my imagination when passing and the turning around to go back and check them out.  Your windows have been my viewing portal.

You’ve been my carrier of dreams.  You held my tent, and my souvenir rocks and sticks.  The shells and sand I’ve collected, and even a horseshoe crab carcass.  The stink that forgotten souvenir made lasted for weeks!  You been my pack mule carrying my suitcases and bags.  I’ve eaten many meals in your interior and spilled quite a bit too!

You ferried me to work and spent hours sitting in parking lots.  You’ve been dinged from doors and had rims bent going over potholes in the road.  Maintenance I’ve tired to keep up; tires, oil changes, a new battery and more windshield wipers than I can count.  Through it all, you’ve been a reliable friend, but age and wear have taken their toll, so my companion I’ve traded you in.  May you become another person’s dream carrier until you can carry no more.  Bye my sweet Dodge Avenger….