The Purple COw
When I was in ninth grade, I came home to find six nuns in our kitchen. My Gran was serving them tea while my teacher, Sister Mary Margaret, ironed our clothes. Seriously, my teacher was ironing my uniform blouse. She said, “Hello Anne! Come sit with us for a cup of tea.” It seems she offered to iron while Gran searched for the scones. I still wasn’t sure how they arrived until my dad appeared with a wrench in his hand. “Jimmy, you are a blessing,” one of the nuns said in her Irish accent. He just smiled and said, “I almost have the radiator fixed. By the time you’re done your tea, I’ll have you back on the road.” “Oh how can we ever repay you for this kind gesture?” My dad thought a minute and said, “Well, if you ever decide to sell that wagon, I’d be interested.” I looked at him and thought what is he going to do with the nun’s station wagon? Maybe he would sell it for scrap at the junk yard.
Years passed and the nuns came by one day. They vowed to keep their promise. The station wagon was up for sale. My dad was thrilled. I was wondering who was going to drive that thing. It was a beast of heavy metal. My dad loved it. I thought it was the ugliest thing I’d ever seen.
My friend picked me up for high school in her brand new pale blue Malibu. It had a white interior, a pinstripe and her initials on the door. When something was wrong with that car, she used her dad’s Mercedes. I was used to riding in style. Much to my chagrin, guess what I drove. You guessed it! The nun’s wagon. The Blessed Mother statue was glued with something they must use at NASA. She would not come off. She just kind of rocked and rolled along with the bumps.
Under the lights at night, the car turned into a deep purple color. I christened her “The Purple Cow”. I thought it was hideous to begin with, but at night it was horrible. My friends Malibu was the same color day or night. Friday night came and we had plans to go to a dance. I was the only one who could drive so I sadly picked my friends up in my Purple Cow. By now the floor on the shotgun side had developed a hole. When I drove through a puddle the person in that seat had to pull their legs up real fast or they’d get soaked. There was a lot of screaming when that happened.
I always parked far away from the dance so no one would see the Purple Cow. At the time I was so embarrassed by that car. Now I realize that my dad thought it was the safest thing for his daughter to drive. I swear if a train hit it, there might be a slight dent in the fender. It was like an army tank. Now it’s a fond memory and I’ll bet you that my memories of my Purple Cow make my heart much warmer than any old Mercedes or a Malibu (even with pinstriped initials). I wish I could take her for one more spin…with my Dad, on a sunny day, of course.