Sometimes you get lucky as a writer, and you publish something pretty good without intending to do so. Case in point: my tiny essay, “Goodbye, Coho,” which appears as a customer letter in Drive: The Magazine from Subaru.

I’ll be honest. It was only meant to be a Facebook post among friends, a short lament after my wife and I traded in two cars, including our 2005 Subaru Forester, which we lovingly called Coho.

Why Coho? Because we bought him in salmon country, and he was silver, and we were always driving up the Skagit River toward home, deep into the mountains, deep into a purpose that was professional and personal and always heartfelt. Coho embodied that: who we were, who we are. He helped us keep growing.

And then last fall, when we lived in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and prepared to depart for Arizona, our current residence, we drove to our rental house with a new Outback from a local dealership. “More room,” we said. “Better gas mileage.” But after parking it in the garage, I could hardly look at the new car — a stranger, an impostor. All I felt was loss. We’d lost our story.

So I wrote the Facebook post and later shared it with our sales agent when she asked, “How do you like your new Outback?” To her credit and my benefit, she passed my words up the Subaru chain, ultimately to Drive, and the magazine contacted me a few months later.

I hope Coho has found a good home. Meantime, we’re driving Rio.


Copyright 2015, Jeff Darren Muse.

Photo: Rio, exploring red rock country in southern Utah. JEFF DARREN MUSE