We were introduced in January, 2008 under extreme circumstances. My previous vehicle, a Ford Taurus had been totaled. I had to find a new vehicle quickly. You were the only one I looked at and after that first test drive I knew you were the one. If not love at first sight, it was at least an intense like.
You fit me in style, comfort, age. Not brand new, you had a few miles on you - about 21K. You had been around the block a few times. You fit me in all areas except maybe color. But I grew to love and appreciate your hue.
Your official color is Blazing Copper. The Barblings' dad called you the Flaming Pumpkin. Many people refer to you as red (maybe it's a blue dress/black dress thing going here). I see orange and thus your name, (Orange) Julius.
A 2008 Ford Escape, escape we did! We've escaped to 12 states and 2 countries. We've been up and down mountains, You've carried me through snow, rain, heat, gloom of night. We've been through tornado-like winds in Indiana and a snow storm across the wiiiiddde state of Ohio.
There was Martin Luther King Day in 2013 when my normal 50 minute commute home took 150 minutes because of a blizzard. THAT trip ended with me sliding in to the back of a WalMart semi and you cracked your bumper cover.
We ran out of gas. We had flat tires. We hit a turkey (more correctly, the turkey hit us) and shattered your windshield. And there was that incident last winter where I drove you (unintentionally) in to a snow filled drainage ditch (sorry).
We've carried kids and dogs and camping gear and shopping bags. You've heard me laugh and cry and scream. You keep my secrets.
Now, after 154K miles together, it's time to put you "out to pasture". I do so unwillingly but both our safety is at stake. I'm not sure we'd make it through another winter.
The first bumper sticker I ever placed on you was a "Longmire for Sheriff" sticker, after the Craig Johnson book series. That bumper sticker is now in tatters, much like Walt Longmire himself.
Tomorrow, I trade you in for a new vehicle, but you can never be replaced. You'll stay in my memories forever. I can't imagine anyone better for me than you, Julius.
Goodbye my faithful friend. You've served me well.