This is, of course, a shockingly venal moment of celebration - but today I paid off my car loan, after five years of coughing up a good chunk of change each month. Indeed, she's been completely worth it - reliable, comfortable, and, being a hybrid, quite economical, too. She's been a luxury that I haven't regretted for a minute. But oh, my goodness, I'm so glad that not even a strut of her radiator grille belongs any longer to a financial company. She deserved, I thought, a bouquet of home-grown flowers to mark this auspicious date.