A couple years ago, when our ancient car breathed its last in a construction zone during rush hour, my husband finally acknowledged it was time to get a different car. As we laid that vehicle to rest, Mike started doing research. We decided it was time to take a step of faith that I was really going to go back into painting and with that in mind, started making a list of what would meet my needs.
First and foremost was gas mileage. If I was transporting art, or attending workshops hither, thither and yon, I wanted great mileage. Then, there was the need for space. When transporting large canvases or panels (or antique mirrors), I’d need something that could fold down to lay things flat. And, since I love to paddle on rivers and lakes, I wanted to have a roof rack to transport my boat plus a hitch to pull a trailer full of kayaks. At first we were looking at station wagons, but then focused more on crossover SUVs. We found the Chevy Equinox fit the bill. It got the same mileage as the now defunct sedan, had lots more room for art supplies and as an added bonus - for someone who lives in the great white north - had seat warmers.
The Artmobile, as I called it, gave great service. It hauled me all over the Midwest, helped me move into my new studio, and was great for my mother-in-law to get into before her stroke, since she didn’t have to bend to get in nor have to be lifted to get out. It was an all-around great investment.
With a tear in my eye, I must report that the Artmobile has died. I was broadsided at an intersection on May 15th and was immediately enshrouded by airbags. It its final moments, the Artmobile took good care of me. There were a few cuts on my hand, but with the airbags, side curtains and seatbelt I was secure. I called 911, got my information together and then tried to move the car but it was no go. It was eventually taken away on a truck. I had the wherewithal to take a photo of the car before the towing company came. It’s the last I saw of it.
I am greatly blessed. No one in the collision (three cars were involved) was hurt. Mike and I had been wondering what to do with Dad’s car since he can no longer drive, and it is now sitting in our garage where the Artmobile used to reside. We have good insurance and have been reimbursed. All is well…or as well as it could be. I’m back to driving an old sedan with no seat warmer but it does have a roomy trunk. If the work starts pouring out from the studio we can look for another vehicle. For now, the Buick will do.
But if I’m completely honest, I have to admit I miss my car. It was good, it was solid, and I had plans to keep driving it for twenty years. We’ve all heard the saying, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.” I’m pretty sure I’m hearing some giggles from heaven right now.
Donna Kemper put aside her art career to care for a mother she hadn't seen in over a decade. For seven years she followed her mother's journey into dementia, caring for her and putting forgiveness into action.