On Sunday December 15, 2013 at around 3 p.m. I had the best drive of my life.
It all started on Friday at 3:18 p.m. when my daughter was born at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital from the Maine Coast Woman Care Midwives in Ellsworth, Maine. A midwifery, I should add, that has had some of the most caring, patient and intelligent health care workers I have ever met.
I had taken our Subaru Legacy with us to the hospital originally, but while my wife and baby were laid up in the hospital suite, I made the 40 minute drive home to check on the house and grab the Land Rover in preparation for an upcoming storm that dumped more than 8 inches on the region.
That afternoon when Marin, our newborn named after Marin County in California, and my wife Natalie were released, I walked out to the still ragged and snow covered parking lot.
I fired up the Disco and cleaned it off. Stupidly, I wore my Nikes which were great for walking around the hospital and being on my feet hours at a time, but soaking wet and ice cold in the storm.
I pulled up to the hospital entrance and locked Marin into her car seat, my wife in the back seat next to her. The rover was toasty warm and after we hugged one of the midwives that helped us through labor we were off.
Snow was still falling and the roads were still horribly sloppy. I started slipping and sliding all over. After we reached Highway 1A, the Bangor Road, I pulled over and popped on my locking differential. The car stiffened up and trudged through the snow without hesitation. The braking was great and driving was fun.
We were slowed by a plow truck clearing the road. The winds were strong and over the hill near the Lucerne Inn our visibility dropped to nothing but the tail lights of the truck in front of us. It was quiet inside the cab despite the heavy gales that pounded the Disco.
Natalie, my wife, was nervous. In an attempt to calm herself and the baby she started to sing the alphabet, first in english, then spanish and french. Next came twinkle twinkle little star, these had to be the first songs baby Marin had heard. I looked back and Natalie’s eyes were welling up, I was happy and she was happy.
Between the low rumble of the Land Rover and Natalie’s voice the baby drifted to sleep, unaware of the storm around her.
An hour and a half later,thanks to the Land Rover, we were safely home. Along with the indescribable love that comes with becoming a father, came a new and deeper love for my car.
At $1,800 and 179,000 miles, it has it’s problems. But Natalie and I both agreed that the Rover has become a part of our family. Like all family cars, it’s there through our major life events, good times and bad. It causes it’s own speed bumps, my stubborn alarm system for one, but always adds to the adventure of life.