Carmel Magazine

Carmel Magazine, Summer/Fall 2018

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Page 55 of 315

U npacking it will be a task. It's daunting. Inside, it holds four yoga mats and at least a pound of dog hair, loose change and rem- nants of scattered thoughts, unpaid parking tickets and ghosts of wrong song lyrics. There's a varied selec- tion of those cute 99-cent grocery shopping bags from Safeway, Lucky's, and Whole Foods. It has weathered storms that hailed from the sky, and those that orig- inated in my head. Tears stained the leather seats some days; coffee on others. Somewhere, in some crevice, lies the busi- ness card of the sweet lady who loaned me $20 when I ran out of gas at 7-Eleven and didn't have my wallet. (If you're reading this, I still intend to pay you back when I find that card!) I leased an Audi A7 at the end of 2014. A luxury. A splurge. I signed lease papers just one week after signing divorce papers that signified the finalization of a long marriage. Since then, the car has escorted me through moving houses after more than 20 years in one place, and a wonderful remarriage. It sailed through three years of commuting to San Jose State University as I completed coursework for a master's degree. Now, time's up. The car needs to be returned, but I'm attached. I'm not a "car person," and haven't cared much about what I've driven over the years. Back in 1981, my parents proudly presented me with my first car, an early '70s Honda Civic, yel- low, with one blue door and a backfire so loud it could wake the dead. My dad paid someone $200 for it, a steal even in the '80s. I drove it with pride. Pre-seatbelt enforcement, I, and about five of my best girl- friends, would cram into the tiny Honda's every nook to boldly leave our high school campus during lunch time. It had a strange waddle to it once it hit speeds over 30 miles per hour—a certain sway, an uneasiness. When I finally decided to investigate, I checked the contents of a compartment under the trunk and found a huge, archaic adding machine that had been left behind by a previous owner. It weighed so much that it took several people to remove it from the car. I've had my share of interesting cars since then: a Volkswagen Fox, a souped-up muscle car Mustang, and a Porsche 914, aka a "Poor Man's Porsche" (at least that's what the bullies screamed at me in college). And I've driven a plethora of loaned luxury vehicles during my many years with a well-known star, who always preferred driving "an old beater." Next up was my Audi. The car was akin to what I wanted my new life to be: smooth and reliable. Not flashy, but a little sassy with practical functions throughout. The car was so nice, I didn't mind long, lonely drives since it made the act so pleasant. This car has never not run perfectly. I use a double negative to emphasize its constancy. My lovely Oyster Grey Metallic, midlife crisis Audi. Recently, we went out of town and I looked forward to driving it for the few remaining days of the lease when we returned…just in case it turned out to be the nicest car I ever had. But something strange happened. The trunk wouldn't unlock. Then, the ignition wouldn't work. In fact, noth- ing worked. I changed the battery in the key fob and still— silence. When my husband checked, I could hear him call my name from inside the house. "Quick, you have to see this!" Dozens of nibble marks dot- ted the squishy, black foam that lines the hood. A large rats' nest sat squarely in the engine. Wildlife: 1. Car : 0. A quick call to the dealer confirmed that, yes, this is a com- mon occurrence in our area. Yes, there'd be some kind of fee for me keeping the car a few days past its due date. No, the lease inspectors could not come to my house before July 25th, mean- ing the car would sit, idle, in our driveway for another month. The Audi still sits within eyeshot. I can't drive it, but I can admire it. But, I'm prepared to let it go. Time to move on, just like I did three years ago. I'll star t looking for a car that reflects my place in life at this point—bold and flashy need not apply. Dina Eastwood is a former news anchor at KSBW TV, past host of "Candid Camera" and has starred on a reality show on the E! Network. She is a writer, editor and yogini. She resides on the Monterey Peninsula with her daughter, Morgan. BEHIND THE SPOTLIGHT D I N A E A S T W O O D And I've driven a plethora of loaned luxury vehicles during my many years with a well-known star, who always preferred driving "an old beater." Hot Wheels: Saying Goodbye 54 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S U M M E R / F A L L 2 0 1 8

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