Some people really identify with the finer things in life. I use to think I was one of those. I grew up relatively poor in a VERY middle class family. I didn't exactly know that I was poor though because of all of the fun I had at home, school and church. My parents worked very hard to give us all of the necessities and some of our wants. As I grew into a teenager I decided that some day I was going to break out and make it big somehow. I likened "greatness" with a high rise apartment in downtown Birmingham with breathtaking views of the night sky, only the finest china on my mahogany table and of course the most expensive car money could buy. Let's see, in those days, a Jaguar, was my choice. Funny how different my life has turned out. I live in a modest home with Noritake china that took me at least 3 years to complete my service for ten, and I drive a Chevrolet Venture van that I bought used over 10 years ago. About 2 years ago I must confess that my eyes strayed from "Goldie" (that's my name for my van) I was wooed by another. A foreigner, actually. A lovely slate gray 2011 Nissan Murano. I got absolutely enamoured by his looks and his sweeping promise of all the bells and whistles a new car can give. Poor Goldie! She isn't looking so hot these days. She has been beaten and bewildered. Her paint job is mucho lack luster!!!! She has a big gash in her back bumper thanks to me backing out of our church parking lot a year ago and into our church van's trailer hitch. Many people have nailed her with their car doors and shopping carts. She has a "check engine" light that shines brightly with no explanation given from the computer at the dealership. Her brakes squeal with either delight or grief when I slam them very hard. I have no antennae and do not know what happened to it. I pity the poor person riding along minding their own business behind me on the interstate when it came whipping back towards them. Will somehow broke my driver's side mirror (though he maintains his innocence) and now it is held in place with a miniature bungee cord. I spilled lime green paint between the front seats, there is an unidentifiable brown stain on the head liner and sometimes when the weather is kinda damp she lets off a stench that comes from years of soured sippy cups left in the floor to explode from the pressure of the hot Summer sun. All in all, I guess poor old Goldie doesn't have it going on. She is not pretty, she doesn't give me good gas mileage and she even stinks at times, but, one thing she does is take me and my family safely anywhere and everywhere I have ever needed her to. She is one of the few things in life that I own outright and therefore, I think I will keep her. She and I have quite a bond. I praise God for a good dependable vehicle and that I have not made a car note in years. It has been wonderful. I'm sure that the Murano will come eventually, but until then, let's go Goldie, I feel a trip coming on!