|9/11/16 water-soluble colored pencils|
Driving a convertible was always in my destiny. Even as young as a kindergartener, I saw my much-older brothers drive various European convertible roadsters, and I knew someday I’d have one of my own.
Fast-forward to 1996, when I was driving a boring but serviceable Mazda GLC sedan. Economical and easy to park, it got me to where I needed to go with no fuss (but also no fun). One morning I walked out to the front of our house where I always parked it, and it was gone. One of several ‘90s-era Japanese models that were known to be easy to steal, it had disappeared into the night.
Around that same time I had just changed jobs and industries – from local government to software. A little premature for a mid-life crisis (I was only in my late-30s), I had nonetheless decided that my stolen sedan was a wake-up call. It was time to get the car of my destiny!
Unlike the leaky, unreliable roadsters of my brothers’ era, Mazda’s relatively new convertible had a reputation for being both fun and reliable. In bright tomato red, a Miata was the car of my dreams. I drove one home on Sept. 20, 1996.
Twenty years later, I am still driving her. The paint’s a bit faded and dull, and she has more than a few dings and scratches. All year she’s economical, easy to park and gets me to where I need to go. But in the summer when her top comes down, the wind in my hair and the sun overhead, even routine errands feel like small adventures.
Happy 20th birthday, little red Miata! You’re still the car of my dreams.