On this day in 2016, my 2007 Ford Ranger was traded in for a 2016 Honda CR-V EX for my mom. As a result, I started driving her 2012 Toyota RAV4 Limited. My mom loves her CR-V, but the focus is on the RAV4.

This has been such a great car. There are little things I’d change about her, but she’s been a champion when it comes to what matters: reliability, safety, and capacity. She needed some suspension work a couple months ago, likely linked to driving over speed bumps at 20+ MPH daily for six months, but that was the biggest issue in the past three years. I’ve been through two serious wrecks, one that involved me spinning out on Interstate 20, another one caused by a lady hitting her gas pedal instead of her brake pedal in bumper-to-bumper traffic. No issues with me in either wreck, and the RAV4 was repaired just fine. The RAV4 can carry so much, too. I love the ability to confidently carry five dining room chairs or a giant dresser. I was thinking about the RAV4 last night, how great she’s been to me, and how I haven’t talked about or treated her better. I almost cried. And the fact my parents have maintained her and let me drive her (though I call the RAV4 mine, registration and all that are still under my parents) is something I’m very thankful for.

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Because of where I park and the situations I’m in, washing is a waste of time and money. To celebrate three years, I put on a new Patagonia sticker and a Georgia Vineyard Vines whale. The Patagonia sticker is bubbly, but it’s better than the crusty, peeling one of before.

Because I graduate in 2020, I feel like I’m always searching for something new now. A bright blue or bright orange 2016-2018 Limited would be nice, but I know letting go of my 2012 would be hard. Driving her to 200,000 miles would be great, but I don’t want to trade her in because she’s having issues. I’d want her to continue life on the note that I’ve known her: reliable, safe, and practical.