Friday, July 2, 2004
Stop by and see us on Old Home Day
Old Home Day celebrations begin this evening with an ice cream social hosted by the Girl Scouts on the Town Green. While mosquitoes are normally quite fond of outdoor evening events, this Mosquito can best be found after the parade tomorrow at our booth in the Country Fair. Please stop by and visit.
Ever wonder what our writers and production crew look like? Mug shots will be on display for those staff members who failed to escape our photographer. We will also be selling t-shirts in a variety of colors, including two new colors this year: tangerine and jade. Boxes of old photos will be available once more. Anyone who finds a picture that they dropped off years ago and forgot to reclaim, may take the photo home for free. For all others, the price is 50 cents a photo.
While at the booth, please take a minute to fill out a questionnaire and share your suggestions for ways we can provide an enjoyable and informative newspaper. For those who will be unable to drop by the Mosquito booth, the questionnaire is printed below. Completed forms may be left in the Mosquito drop-box at Ferns, or mailed to Carlisle Mosquito at Box 616.
A last good buy
In just two days, we'll collectively mark the beginning of the American experiment in freedom and democracy. But in the very near future (maybe this weekend, even), our family will be marking the end of a more personal, though not less emotional, journey: eight happy years with one well-used but very useful station wagon. No ordinary vehicle, this champagne-colored beauty has all the amenities: auto-this, anti-lock-that, and a passel of memories.
Built in 1995, our Mercury Sable joined the family in early 1996, and has been a transportation stalwart ever since. While it excels at short runs to the grocery store and back, it really flexes its 3.0 liter V6 muscle on long trips, like the one to Prince Edward Island in the summer of 1999. With the engine humming softly and the air- conditioning blowing a cool breeze throughout its spacious interior (the A/C still worked back then), my wife, Jennine, and I listened contently for hours to mystery books on the stereo tape player while the kids stretched out languidly on the back seat — lip-synching silently to their portable CD players — interrupting us only occasionally with territorial spats and plaintive cries for food.
Our eight-seater buggy has also been a workhorse, hauling everything from a half-dozen 80-pound bags of solar salt for the water softener, to the rhododendron bushes now threatening to obscure our front windows, to the mattresses and box springs that each of my daughters finally picked out after too many hours cruising up and down the Daniel Webster Highway. These last purchases were easily affixed to the sturdy roof racks (only one of which was partially crushed by an overzealous tightening down of the twine lashing) for the ride home.
Jennine really liked the power door locks when I first brought the wagon home, finally freed from stretching like a bungee cord to reach previous wagons' manual locks, which were invariably left in the up position by fast-exiting young-uns. Of course, along with the power locks came power windows, power steering and anti-lock brakes, not to mention my favorite, the power driver's seat, which allows me to elevate myself high enough to feel like I'm driving a Volvo. And equipped with dual air-bags, we all feel as safe in it as riding in a Volvo.
No gas-guzzling SUV, the wagon has been something we've relied on to be ready to go — rain, snow, or unplanned dentist appointment. In fact, only last month it finally required its first new exhaust system, which is guaranteed to do its job for many years to come. After all, there's only 63,238 miles on the odometer (although truth be told, the first odometer had just about the same amount before it went kablooie).
Yes, we're sure going to miss this peppy people-mover. Never again will our daughters take their first turn behind the wheel in it. Nor will a Carlisle public works employee ever again drive his backhoe smack dab into its side door, which, incidentally, now works better than ever.
No, I'm afraid that's all in the past because the time has come for another family or, perhaps, recent grad needing cheap, dependable wheels, or anyone, for that matter, who can come up with $1950 in cash, to step forward, claim it as their own, and drive away in style — and with a wagonful of memories.
© 2004 The