We got our first Subaru in 1985. It was a white Subaru Brat Truck. We got our second Subaru in 1988 when we quit our jobs and went off to graduate school. We got our third Subaru in 1996 when we moved back from Alaska to the “lower 48.” Tonight we got our fourth Subaru.

Sometimes a do-over is not a good thing. Sometimes you have something because you did others over and it was the one that you liked. Twenty-seven years we were with a Subaru, 22 of those with red station wagons. When we told the people at the car dealership that tonight one of them said with a straight face, “Well, I guess you got the color right.”

The Subaru wagon that came home with us tonight is not red. It is white. It is the one that wanted to come home with us and we were happy to let it. I did not even test drive the car. I knew if it was a Subaru, the doors were still attached, you did not put your foot through the floor because of rust and the steering wheel was not a vise-grip it was a good car. Actually my spouse did test drive it, I stayed behind with Sophie so she did not get fur on the seats of the car in the unlikely even we were not going to buy the car. I trust Subaru and I trust him. Enough Said.

The people at Phil Meador Subaru were very sympathetic and supportive. One of the men who worked there had family members who lost their home. The two cars that we went to see had both been sold today. There were no more Subarus in our post-fire price range of $5000 to $6000. We bravely agreed to look at other cars in our price range but it was making us sad.

The man who assisted us checked around the inventories and then said, “I think may have thought of something that might work if you will give me a bit of time to check on it.” We assured them that we had learned patience if nothing else from the fire and that we were happy to wait. After a bit, he came and told us that he had located a white 2002 Outback that was a little above our price range but within what was called “hollering distance” where we grew up. Soon a white Outback arrived on the lot. We waited a bit longer while they changed out the plates and then the moment came. I poked my head in the back door and looked around. Looked like a Subaru. 25 of 100 points. Had a steering wheel, 20 points, appeared to be standing on its own 4 feet (tires) 50 points. Does it drive? Yep, it did. The final 5 points. SCORE! Who cares that it had 150,000 miles on it. That is just a babe for a Subaru.

When it came time to drive home, I took the Subaru. I don’t like driving our mini-van, it is big and the shape of it is hard for me to keep up where its front is when I know where the back is and vice versa.

We got into the new-to-us Subaru, Sophie and I. We transferred her seat belt, she took one satisfied turn around the back seat and plopped down with a big sigh. She had a Subaru. On the way to see if we could find a Subaru I said to her, “We’re going to go get a Subaru!” Well, silly me, she knows the word. “Go get in the Subaru.” has been a phrase for her whole life. We have always had one and when I was with my mom she had one too. That one was Sophie’s favorite but all Subarus are good. She started standing up in the seat and whimpering and pacing a bit. I had to be a bit stern with her to get her to settle down. She was now content, she had a new Subaru.

I pulled out of the car store and started following my spouse home and a flood of goodness came over me. It just felt right. I don’t know how to say it other than I felt like a piece of me was restored. I felt safe. I had no idea that the car meant that to me. I mused on it for about a mile and then came to the same conclusion, a Subaru, not a car, made me feel safe.

Each time we find something that unexpectedly restores some part of our lives lost to the ashes we are grateful. The new-to-us Subaru that could never replace our old beloved one that melted in the fire, has stolen my heart and is part of this family.

subaru with large piece of metal leaning against it

New Subaru, meet old Subaru. The large piece of metal leaning against the car is part of the old Subaru mixed with our kitchen pots. The kitchen was above the garage. The pots fell into the Subaru and they both melted together. When we pulled the car out of the ground where the garage had been these metal puddles were there. We think of them as sculpture and plan to hang one on the wall of our new house to remind us of our old.