My daddy is one of the most generous people I’ve ever known. When I got my driver’s license at 16, he started driving the company truck and handed over the keys to his prized blue ’73 Mustang convertible. The boys were quite impressed with my ride and immediately wanted to know what kind of engine it sported. Clueless, I asked my dad, who told me it was a 351 Cleveland. I really didn’t know much more than I had in the first place, but I sounded very in the know when I said it.

My daddy loves to tell the story of my asking him if the Mustang was a hot car. “I don’t know, you tell me,” was his answer. He had a pretty good idea that I had been testing the capabilities of that 351 Cleveland (I plead the fifth). Boy, it was a sweet car. As you can imagine, my driving experience peaked at an early age and has gone downhill from there.

I used to say that I was a large van on the outside but a BMW Z3 on the inside. Somewhere along the way, my affections shifted to apple green Volkswagon Beetles. When my fourth child (first daughter) was born, I said that when the boys were grown and gone, I would have a little convertible and my daughter and I would cruise in it. Unfortunately for her, 4 kids have come along since then, so she’s lost her coveted spot as the passenger in my ragtop fantasy.

The kids have started a new car game. If you spot a new bug you get 1 point; 5 points for a new convertible; 5 points for an old bug. Additional elements are often added to the basic game: 1 point for a convertible of any other kind, Corvettes, PT Cruisers, or whatever happens to be the car du jour. Lily just hollers “buggy, buggy!” a lot. There was some serious competition on our 2-day graduation trip; I’m amazed at how quickly they were spotting cars.

As promised, here are pictures from our out-of-state graduation ceremony trip:


My cousin Queen Shenaynay and her daughter (also my cousin, of course) fa-so-la-la of The Beehive.


If you want a good laugh, read fa-so-la-la’s ideas for the title of her college application essay. For the final, finished product, look here. She was admitted to the school of her choice, and we are all understandably quite proud if this fine young lady!

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