Ponderings wth Doug – October 9, 2015


The car show was amazing.

One can only imagine the time and expense that goes into restoring those vehicles. One could see the owner’s pride as people complimented the craftsmanship and made inquiries about the process that created such marvelous examples of automotive restoration. It was awe inspiring and a cool way to spend a Saturday afternoon. I am preparing my entry for the 2045 car show.

The conversations overheard at the car show are worthy of repeating. The most prevalent conversation would include pointing to a vehicle and telling a child, “When grandmother first learned how to drive this is the kind of car I had.” The child would gaze into the vehicle and ask, “Where are the seatbelts and how did the car seat fit in the car?” Of course granny would be telling her friends of the same vehicle, “I can’t believe my dad made me drive that heap to school. I wanted a new car and I ended up with this old thing.” I think that was a universal response. As teens, what we saw as heaps and jalopies were now the stars of a car show. If we had only known that those cars would become collectable classics. If anyone has a 1971 Volkswagen bug I am interested!

The other conversation would happen in small giggling groups. Where grandpa would tell his posse, “I kissed her for the first time in the back seat of a car like this.” There was sufficient evidence from grandma’s response that indeed grandpa had kissed her in the backseat of a car like one of those. The benighted grandchildren wanted to know if the driving took place in the front seat how did nanny and pop end up in the backseat.

Can you remember those ancient days of yesteryear when the new models would arrive at the dealerships? The dealer would keep the big window shaded until they were ready to reveal the new model. I know some of you find this incredible, but back in the day you could tell the difference between vehicles. One could even identify, without much trouble, the model year of the vehicle. From a distance only a dealer can tell a Ford from a Toyota. Today the new models look like the old models except for a few tweaks, which always raise the price of the new models.

I looked at my automobiles and thought, in thirty years my cars will be a classics. Can you imagine a car show in the year 2045? I would have my Toyota Prius in the car show. People would snicker at the size of those ancient batteries and they would marvel that a car had a combustible fuel on board. I suppose by 2045 cars will run on solar power. Future car show folks will marvel at the steering wheel and the pedals for accelerating and stopping the car. Those pedals will be as foreign to my grandchildren as a clutch is to kids today.

For those of us who are not shade tree mechanics or automotive artists, the car show was about “the good old days.” And keeping with the automotive imagery, I remind you that you can’t drive forward looking in a rear-view mirror. Hope is stronger than memory. While we enjoy remembering “back when” the key to joyous living is to know that today is the only opportunity you have to live. As you are living mindfully you do so facingthe future not looking to the past. Looking backwards invites too many accidents. It is much better to have the hope while fully living in the moment. Tomorrow is not yet and yesterday is gone, so live out the joy of this day fully. Like the car show, look at every vehicle in front of you before moving to what is next.

Even as hard as today might be in your life, years from now you will look back on today and remember “the good old days”fondly.