When I was sixteen, the only thing I wanted in the entire world was freedom - freedom to go where I wanted, when I wanted. Freedom to get out, freedom to come back. My extremely generous Uncle Lou and my mother and stepfather orchestrated the purchase of a car for me. A brilliant car. A car named Soren. I am now 26 and he and I are headed into our eleventh year together. My car is worth almost nothing today were I to try and sell him. I believe his Bluebook value is just a hair over $3k - if he's immaculate, and Soren is lots of things but immaculate is not one of them. Worthless on the market or not, Soren is the very essence of car-ness to me. I feel uncomfortable driving anything else. I drive my car like an extension of my body and I always like to believe I know all his little sounds. Soren recently had some major (or so I thought) engine/transmission issues. He wouldn't go above 45 without making a horrible stuttering noise and motion. Needless to say, I flipped out. But when I took it to the mechanic, I needed just $250 worth of troubleshooting to find the right spark plugs and wires and things to replace. A tune up! On a ten year old car! The mechanic said Soren is still in really good shape and I should expect to be able to drive him for many years to come. Oh, how I love my car. This love note has a point! I wouldn't ordinarily spend an entire blog post talking about my car, but he had a rather significant birthday recently, and I thought I'd share. I missed 150,000 miles by 10, but I stopped to take a picture anyway. Better late than never. So happy birthday to my good friend, the old man Soren. May he and I drive many more miles together!