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A (trekking) tale of two cars

Looking forward to more ‘best of times’
(File photo)

It began at the worst of times when my husband was battling cancer.

“We’ve got to get you a new car now!” John insisted, time after time.

Reminding him, just as often, that he hated the process of buying cars, I managed to direct his attention to other details that I really needed help with. The seed was planted, however, and two or three months after he was gone I started doing something I enjoy: looking at new cars!

Spending Christmas in Kelowna with my niece and family, I discovered she wasn’t going to let me go to dealerships on my own. In driving my Toyota Rav to places she knew, she fell in love with it! It is now part of that family’s fleet of vehicles, but the road to completing that arrangement was fraught with pot holes.

Eventually deciding on a Honda CRV, I ordered a white middle-of-the-line EXL model in Williams Lake, since that is where I am moving to.

“It will be here in three months,” I was told.

My new car finally arrived after five months – not an EXL because they stopped making them during this time of shortages of everything. Instead I ended up with a top-of-the-line Black Edition. Yes, the interior is totally black, but that classy SUV is white! (And, needless to say, extra $$$ were needed when my BFF Joan and I eventually went to the bank in Williams Lake to remove the remains of John’s life insurance.)

So now there’s a bit of a challenge when the Honda finally arrives in Williams Lake: Ravi and I are in Clearwater, niece is in Kelowna and the daughter who will be the Rav’s principal driver is a student living and working in Calgary. Well, I drove Ravi to the Cariboo to pick up my new white “Black Edition” Honda, left the Rav (winter tires and all) parked in the garage of my future home — Joan’s comfy basement suite — and drove the CRV back to Clearwater.

Less than a week later the Honda and I met my niece in Kamloops along with her husband who had driven her there after they both finished work. After our chatty supper, he headed back home going east and south to Kelowna while she and I headed west and north for the Rav. As well as catching up on more chats, she was able to explain some of many “bells and whistles” and automatic settings in my new car.

A new drama was fortunately avoided when we took the Rav to the ICBC agent the next morning to transfer ownership.

“This car is still in both yours and your husband’s names,” said the pleasant, helpful gal. “I need to see his will and death certificate.”

I am sure I went pale, but suddenly realized I had these items in my luggage at Joan’s home. They had been a necessity for an appointment I’d made in Kamloops before meeting my niece and hubby the previous afternoon.

“Go get them while I fill out this form,” she instructed me.

All was well and soon I had to bid goodbye to, not only my niece, but also my Rav, now sporting new plates. With 270,000 kms on the odometer, it had taken John and me, along with lovely visitors, on a multitude of memorable, pleasurable trips and outings over the past 12 years.

By the time you read this, my great-niece will have flown to Kelowna to pick it up and driven it home to negotiate Calgary’s traffic as the next chapter in its life. Now I look forward to different “best of times.” My CRV, so far unnamed, will take me, Joan and others across the continent, over the line, and to visit many precious, very special people.

Thank you John, my dear departed husband.

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