Rusty Doors: A Little Nostalgia


Admiration: a feeling of wonder, pleasure, or approval.

If you’ve read about how my dad converted a school bus into a home, then you might have guessed that he is a car guy.  If not, here’s me letting you know that he’s a car guy.  And cars have always been a big part of our lives (usually involving how he made his livelihood).

Growing up way out toward the Everglades of Florida, we had no neighbors for miles around.  In my mind, I lived on hundreds of acres because we could run free and free we ran.  Barefoot and wind in the hair. Climbing to top of the trees, pushing it to that branch that made the tree sway a little too much and finding a home in the crook of two branches that came together to form a seat fit for a king or queen (if you were really lucky, a third branch would create a back for you to nestle against).

Imagination:the ability to imagine things that are not real; the ability to form a picture in your mind of something that you have not seen or experienced.

Imagination and laughter were always in use in our home.  When my dad’s sister would come to stay, one of a her favorite things was when my mom would pretend to run out of gas.  I remember after an entire day spent at the beach (which was about 40 minutes from where we lived), we had finally made it to our street and Jami was yelling “Dawn, run out of gas, run out of gas”.  I played this game with my brother so I wasn’t always as enamored as she was and after a hot day in the sun, this didn’t sound fun.  Not to be fooled because I was all grown up… and like… 10, I peered from the back and said, “I can see the gas gauge, we have plenty of gas”.  I think that became a challenge to my mom because all of the sudden the car started lurching, stopping and going, stopping and going (I would later learn that this is caused by the repetitive tapping of brake, creating the jerking sensation) until it shut off (pesky, quick hand at the ignition)  She informed me that the gas gauge must be broken and Jami broke out in cheers.  We were going to get to push the car!!  Jami and I got out to push while my mom steered (keeping in mind, we are about 50 feet from the driveway).  We were out there giggling like mad, rolling the car forward and then my mom yelled “oh my gosh, there’s a little gas left”, started the car, and took off up the driveway.  We laughed and laughed as we ran up the driveway trying to catch up to the car.

Growing up in the middle of nowhere also afforded things not possible in a city.  I learned to steer cars early on, and then I learned how to drive.  I’ll never forget the first time I drove a manual shift.  It was a little, old red pickup truck.  My dad sat beside me telling me what to do. I pushed in the clutch, pressed the floorboard shifter into first, grinding it all the way.  I slowly pressed the gas, let off of the clutch….and lurched…to a complete stop.  I tried again and again until I was able to hop, skip, and lurch forward through the gears.  I would learn to listen for the sound of the perfect drawing out of the engine, the sound that told me it was time to shift gears.  By the time I bought my first car at 15, I could slide through the gears like a knife across butter.  I would learn to change and clean spark plugs, doing my own tune-ups with my dad coaching me.  I would learn to change a tire (and yet, awesomely, my dad would always show up to change them for  me!). I would learn the proper way to wash and wax a car and the best time of day so that the hot, Florida sun didn’t bake on the soap.


As I’ve moved into adulthood, I stopped doing those things and in general don’t appreciate my car as much as I should.  When I return home, and walk out to the shop, I feel a deep admiration for the old cars that sit in my father’s yard.  They are old and rusty.  They probably have a million stories to tell of what they’ve done, where they’ve been, and who they’ve done them with.  But I also know that in my father’s hands, they can become new again.  I have seen him build cars from the ground up.  I have seen him take a frame, all worn and rusted and spend time coaxing it into a new creation.  Carefully, cleaning out the old and in the end, creating something beautiful.

dad's car.jpg

I have been reflecting on that this week and am reminded how God does the same for us.  Getting rid of the rusted and worn, taking his time and diligently creating us anew.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17

I am making all things new. Revelation 21:5

Let your light shine!


*This is also my submission for Norm 2.0 Thursday Doors.  They aren’t typically car doors, but I have seen some 🙂  If you like doors, you should check out the rest here.

For some of my other throwback posts, check out the Tales from my past category.

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29 thoughts on “Rusty Doors: A Little Nostalgia

  1. Hey! I didn’t know I was in this one and I read it anyway…. I was always more amused by your mom and dad’s antics than you were since you got them all the time lol… I love you and I love the childhood we were blessed with.

  2. It’s funny how we were taught all these things, but seemingly no one does them anymore. I appreciate your different, interesting approach to today’s #ThursdayDoors. There’s a rusty school bus parked in a yard not too far from here, and I wonder if they’re going to turn it into a roaming home.

    1. I wouldn’t be able to find my way around the workings of a modern car. As for the other things, I’m not sure how I’ve seemingly phased them out, but I find myself thinking “oh wait, I need to teach my kids how this is done”

  3. Our neighbors growing up used a school bus as a mobile home. It was parked in their yard year round and it was painted light blue on top, and dark blue below the windows. You can imagine how much my parents loved looking at that all the time – but I thought it was cool!

    1. Janet, if I had planned better I would have had photos of one car through the process 🙂 I took the rusty ones because I like how they look against the scrubland and then got a photo of a completed one from my dad to finish out the idea. My childhood was a lot of fun!! -Amy

  4. Imagination is so important for kids! My firstborn just turned one and I can already see her putting hers in gear. She’s so active and runs I really feel like being outside lets imaginations run wild (pun intended). I’m excited to watch Scout’s ideas blossom over time.

    Also, I love the analogy of the rusty doors. So thankful for a God who makes all things new and that His mercies are new every morning… because #ineedit.

    1. I agree wholeheartedly! My kids are teens and I still like to see them doing creative things because that means they haven’t lost their sense of wonder and imagination!!
      Absolutely thankful for a God who makes things new and covers what I consider my #parentingfails with his grace 🙂

  5. Great photos. When our kids were younger we had an acre of a field attached to our garden and our kids used to drive an old Volkswagon Beetle around it – they were aged from ten to fifteen, and they loved that old car. Your post brought back lovely memories for me, thanks.

    1. Thank you. Sorry that you had injuries that made you have to give it up. I stopped when I had babies in the back seat that constantly needed stuff handed to them!! 🙂

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