Robin grew up in Franklin County, Missouri, with four brothers and a family of pets named after the characters on the Andy Griffith show. She is mom to three children and grandma to three. She’s been married twice. The second is the better one.

I try to keep the inside of my car clean. But I’ve got a lot ‘o livin’ to do, and I do most of it there,

My car is a couple years old, if I throw out the White Castle bags, it still has that “new car smell”. It is, as far as I know, unscratched and dent-free on the outside. But the interior has been personalized by heaps of my attention-deficit brain patterned life.

We live pretty far out—it’s about 25 miles to the “big city”. When I go to town, I have a list of stops to make.

I’ve been to Wal-Mart at least a dozen times since I tossed a pair of returnable jeans into the trunk, though. Gotta remember to take those in next time…

The makeup I got at Walgreen a couple months ago is too light and cakes like clay on my face. I shoved it into the glove box—it’s been heated and frozen for a while. It’s in there with a coupon for $1 off any Walgreen brand toothbrush. Probably expired.

My car is a moving village. I have everything I need to sustain myself in the manner to which I’ve become accustomed atop its tires.

Who knows when I’ll be stranded by the side of the road without food or drink, just wasting away until a Good Samaritan stops to help? I keep some little snackies here and there in my car-a packet of peanut butter crackers, maybe a bag of chips. What’s a few crumbs when one’s life hangs in the balance?

Drinks are not a problem; I always have at least one fountain soda cup in the cup holder at all times. Maybe hot. Maybe old and fizzless. But it’s comforting to know I won’t have to choke down those crackers without a drink.

Living in the sticks forces me to leave for work really early. I don’t always have time to finish all my personal hygiene/makeup regimens at home. That’s why I carry certain products inside my car.

Mascara. Tweezers. Hand lotion. Toothbrush. You know. The usual stuff. I wouldn’t dare admit to using any of these items while in transit; however, I feel obligated to warn you of the hazards of combining hand lotion and steering wheel. Scary.

Audio books litter the front passenger seat; loose CD’s roll here and there. When the sun hits it just right, the glare from one of those babies can be blinding.

You never know when you’ll spill the entire contents of a Soft Taco Supreme down the front of your shirt. And if you have more half-empty sodas in your car than cup holders can hold, and you have to hold one between your legs? You’re just asking for disaster.

That’s why I carry extra clothes with me. And yes…I’ve changed more than once inside the bathroom at Quik Trip.

On those few occasions John and I travel somewhere together, I make a dash for the car while he’s locking up the house. I unearth the seats with the efficiency of Mike Mulligan’ steam shovel, and dump all the junk in the trunk.

By the time he gets in the car, all he sees are tiny bits of evidence that I drive a “mobile home”; empty straw wrappers, hastily stacked books, the occasional sock.

“You really need to clean this interior,” he says. “It looks like pigs live in here”.

I smack him with my spare Dr. Scholl’s shoe insole. He just sighs. 

• • • 

Contact Robin at