This morning I was coloring with Caedmon and I drew him a car, because he’s crazy about cars these days.
I was showing him the magic of the white crayon on black paper, the only color construction paper that really brings the poor, unused white crayon to life.
As I cut out my doodle car, I was instantly taken back about 8 years, to those magical new days when Kel and I were falling for each other, hard, in a 1987 Lincoln Towncar.
I didn’t mean to draw the Ol’ Lincoln, no premeditation brought it from my brain to my fingers but as I stared down at my creation, all the memories that car witnessed floated up from the recesses of my memory.
When we met (online) Kel was a pastor in training, working as a poorly paid intern, living mostly on scholarships and driving (by choice) a 1987 Lincoln Towncar. Everyone called it the couch on wheels, and it truly was. It smelled like leather and Dr Pepper and the first time he picked me up in it, I’m quite sure I turned up my nose.
But that car was the litmus test that this boy, the one I (at that point) only knew online had to be for real. I mean, what kind of internet creeper would admit to driving THAT car.
I can’t adequately describe the feeling of cruising around in The Lincoln, with my legs on cool leather and the windows open as we wound through the farm fields outside of Yukon, Oklahoma. Words fail to tell the need I felt to scoot a bit closer to the boy behind the wheel or the catching of my breath as our hands met for the first time, fingers intertwining.
As we cruised he introduced me to the magic of Oklahoma’s drive-thru watering holes, like Classic Fifties and I sipped cherry-chocolate diet cokes with my bare feet peeking out the open window.
I don’t care to know how many huge sugary drinks we consumed as we cruised. But back then we saw them as a gift, not a caloric or cancerous nightmare.
It’s probably good that we left that 44oz habit behind us, but there are parts of those classic car cruises that I’d like back, if you don’t mind. When we said goodbye to that poor Lincoln it was a breaking down heap, but nowadays… I sort of long for it again. Not the money pit part, but the leathery, snuggly cruises.
Because these days, something about the magic in those intertwined fingers is flickering as we resign ourselves to too many evenings of “meh, lets just watch TV again” on different couches, in different parts of the living room.
Maturity and discipline are staples of our life now, needed and freeing in their structure. Yet, even though we are “so grown up” these days, I must invite that swooning, sugar-crazed girl from the passenger seat to party more often.
Because that boy? He’s still here even though he’s changed a bit from the weight of work-stress, money-woes and kid-exhaustion.
And I think he misses that swoony girl.
I think those two could use a reunion.
I think we need to bring back some of the magic we created as we sat holding hands and listening to Stephen Speaks as the Oklahoma breeze blew my crazy purple hair around.
I’m a realist, I know that we live in a world where life takes a toll. But just because life is more diapers and groceries than diamonds and dancing doesn’t mean it must be devoid of romance.
Simple, everyday romance that doesn’t cost a cent.
I’m glad that this morning, as we move into a over-hyped week of expensive romance, my brain told my fingers to doodle the memory of that old car on the black construction paper.
Because I don’t need roses or gamble chocolates, but everyday romance? Yes, that.
Vintage Lincoln magic? Why yes, yes please.
Maybe we should take some time to remember where it started, thumb through a few pictures or old letters. Maybe we’ll Jump in the car together with our kids and connect our then with our now.
Do you need to spend some time with the memories of falling too? What place or vehicle brings those days to the forefront for you?