Rain Sensors

When I was 18, endless hours as a coat check girl finally earned me enough money to buy a 1984 Ford Mustang. Recently, when I told Sam about that car,  he said “Cool Mom!” –his 10 year old mind frantic at the thought of a sleek, fast, gas guzzler.  No, no. There was exactly nothing cool or fast about MY car.

One day,  I remember driving to the local library to study; a habit born to help me escape my father’s drunken Arabic yelling and my mother’s quiet crying. 18 is just too young to fight an unending war in your house.

Long before, I had learned that at the library, I escaped into my books and papers knowing they would ultimately be my ticket to a better life. That fateful day,  I parked the car outside the building, removed the key and went in. I had just unpacked my highlighters in 6 colors, countless notebooks and texts when two security guards came racing to my table.

“Miss…miss…”they stammered. “Your car…that you just parked..it’s on fire. There appears to have been an explosion.”

Only me.

Heart pounding, I walked out to see my car engulfed in flames and smoke. As fire engines shrieked, and a mandatory evacuation ensued, I sobbed. Not because I, or worse, some innocent stranger could have been killed. Not because there was a front page story in the making. I sobbed because, at that moment, I had a revelation: never again would I drive a leaking, creaking, self-combusting car. I knew, right there on that side walk,  I would someday have a better car: one that was comfortable, predictable, safe.

The rain sensing wipers rhythmic swipes triggered this memory as I sat in my cool car today. My BMW certainly is comfortable, predictable, and safe. And, come to think of it, so is my life.



  1. Love your posts! One of my first cars was a 1971 Oldsmobile Delta 88. The car was 18 feet long!! You could fit six people COMFORTABLY in the trunk!

    • 6 people–in the trunk—do we need to consult with law enforcement officials?? BTW, where does one get such a car now??? Thinking that would be a perfect first car for my preteen!

  2. Love the story Christine! You are such a vivid writer I can picture the seen perfectly.
    The first car I drove was a 70 something Ford LTD- it was literally a land yacht. I was safe but I’m not sure about people on the street.
    Your story has also made me think of how far we have come. Be proud:)

  3. Your blogs and life stories would make an excellent comedy/sitcom!
    Love the candor!

  4. WOW!!!! Oh my gosh! I remember my frist little car…..slightly larger than a rollerskate…..not safe at all…. But that little car took me to a job that started off a great career for me. God bless you! xoxoxo

  5. I absolutely love your posts and now this blog! You make my day and there is always words of wisdom behind every fabulous story! Thank you so much for always keeping it real!

  6. Love the story. I’ll tell you about my inherited Ford LTD sometime!

  7. oh my goodness, I so enjoy your stories but now a blog!? LOVE IT!!!
    p.s…….if I were asked to add a “word” to your birthday cake, I would have said INSPIRATIONAL.

  8. Thank you so much for the feedback you guys!! I am so excited to do something I love, make people smile, and hopefully get some good information out there!

  9. I love reading you on Facebook but your blog is awesome. You can make me laugh and cry all at the same time. Don’t stop, Christine….
    You are marvelous. Bless you.

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