Editor's note: Jessica Ann is a restaurant owner who's blogging about trying to rebound from the coronavirus pandemic at My Rebound by FOX 17. She founded The Candied Yam, a Grand Rapids restaurant serving Southern cuisine, in 2016. She is married with a daughter who just graduated high school and an adult son. She lives in Kentwood.
I name all my cars after a women names. I think cars are just like a woman in the fact that they are mainly complex, well-built, made to handle our every day lives well and can go from zero to 60 if pushed the right or wrong way. Providing transportation to and from the most important things we do, cars are Uber important to have around. Uber important. See what I did there -ah! Whether it’s to our job or traveling to carry our kids to and from practices or just to take a Sunday drive, cars are a necessary evil.
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Folks might not like the pollution emitted on the roads but you can’t argue with the fact that you can get where you need to go quicker than walking or taking public transportation.
A study by Statista found that on average, there are 1.88 vehicles per U.S. household. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the percentage of households without a car or light truck came to around nine percent in 2017, meaning that about 90 percent of households had at least one light vehicle at their disposal in that same year.
For so long my dearest friends have known me to drive what most people call ‘beaters’. I am not a huge fan of car notes and we all know how insurance gobbles up a paycheck. Ask anyone with a fair amount of driving tickets or teenagers. It is my preference to save the money and then pay cash for a vehicle. Free spirited, living my life like its golden and fun loving, I drive a convertible. I LOVE convertibles. I have owned four in my 30 plus years of driving experiences; a well loved red VW Beetle bug, black sunbird and a white Audi I called Snow White - the past few years have been full of joy riding. For the past few recent years my choice is an i35 silver drop top BMW. Her name is Sylvie and boy is she fast as all get out. She is definitely not a Sunday driving car. Sylvie is the type of car that you can get in, you put the pedal to the metal and you are gone faster than lightning.
My teenage daughter had an accident with her very first car, which was her daddy’s old beater. It WAS a Honda with many miles and a few dings but it ran like a champ and was super reliable as most Honda’s seem to keep strong value. Last year my baby girl’s car was totaled in the accident then Sylvie was the car she used. For two months I watched slowly as she banged, scratched up and dented my poor car. I had to finally bite the bullet, buy her another car then take mine back. Sylvie did not like Caitlyn. She also does not care for my husband. He is bald and is a son lover so he likes to borrow her from time to time to take up all the sun his caramel skin can. The first day I purchased Sylvie, he backed into another car. So, she has been holding grudges for a very long time against him. Plus they both like to leave items of little or no value in her - old water bottles, tissue and candy and chip wrappers. I like to leave her spotless and well loved. Now, my daughter is in the same boat as him. No love.
I also have a different vehicle that I fell in love with a couple of years ago, her name is Donna, an early 2003 Sedona Kia model. I purchased her as my work van for The Candied Yam, delightful southern cuisine. Old, but she’s reliable and she’s got charm! Donna, which means hard worker, is colorfully wrapped in deliciousness - exactly - she is wrapped in fried chicken and mac n cheese. You can’t miss her easin on down the road. She’s big n smelly inside but I just love her! She is also a wee bit rusty underneath and gets a bit sticky when we are catering the candied yams or peach cobbler, smelly from leaking collard green or country green bean juice. During Covid she has missed greatly the frequency of weekly trips where she gets to be soapy washed and hand vacuumed and detailed from the team at Mister Carwash, formally know Southland Autowash. Nobody asks to drive her for fun. I am ok with that, except some family and friends DO ask me to borrow Donna if they need to move a bed or moving trash. I am always a little bit offended because after all, she is a delivery van - NOT a UHaul!
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Sylvie the convertible BMW is fly, fast and fun. She is great, but she is not as eye catching as Donna. A driving ‘billboard’ She has paid for herself time and time again. People are always asking for menus and where the restaurant is located. The fun part of to come out of somewhere and see people taking photos of the address and telephone number.
Donna might be old, the most uncool ride for my teen who would not like to be driven to sporting events or dropped off at school in the van with fried chicken and Mac n cheese on it, but she (Donna) is definitely MY smartest vehicle purchase and choice of a good drive!