We’ve been talking about getting a new van for awhile.
This last January was the coldest January since 1987 or something like that. There were days at a time where it didn’t break freezing. The heater in the van wasn’t quite heating so on the really cold days I would put all the kids’s coats in the dryer to warm them up, then put them on really fast and load up to drive to the kids to school.
That is just the beginning of the things that didn’t work in the van.
So a few weeks ago after it started making a new noise, one that was embarrassing when you drove through a parking lot with the windows down, (with the windows up you could forget the high pitched squeal everyone else was hearing) we decided to amp up our search. We did our Consumer Reports research and scoped out Craigslist for a few more weeks before we test drove a car.
After spending one evening, and test driving one car, we decided car shopping was not something we did well together. Richard buys a car like Bill Cosby. Play hardball. Don’t give anything up. Take your time. ALWAYS walk off the lot.
I buy a car like a woman who has no time and who is easily impressed.
“Lumbar support! Fantastic! Our old van leaks oil! Bluetooth technology! Exciting! Our old van has a broken parking brake! Automatic doors! LOVE it! The gas gauge doesn’t work in the old van!”
I was giving everything away about our trade-in and I was an easy sell. I fell in love with that first van. When I realized Richard had no intention of buying THAT particular van I felt disappointed and delegated the car shopping to him.
Fast forward a few weeks and we had hardly said ten words to each other about the new car situation. I get a text
“I just bought a van.”
Then a phone call.
“You have 30 minutes to clean out the old van and bring it in to pick up your new one.”
So the kids and I frantically cleaned our stuff out of the old van while visions of that episode of Wonder Years passed through my mind, making me all kinds of sentimental. I cried on the way to the dealership.
It was a good thing that I only had 30 minutes to mourn the loss of that van. That van was the third generation of the Hall Family Dodge Caravans. All three drove across the country and back. They all were the vehicle of so many family memories. And just like the kitchen table, we inherited it making our own memories inside. Three of our four babies came home in that van.
I don’t have it in me to write out all the miles and moments known to that van. It will be missed. But I gotta say, the lumbar support really is fantastic.