Thursday, September 3, 2015

saying goodbye

We had one car as newlyweds, surviving on a surprisingly simple system of drop-offs, pick-ups, and a bike when necessary. About a year later when we were expecting, Roger started talking about buying a house. And I said no. After all, if we bought a house, we'd never have money for another car.

If we buy another car, he argued, we'd never have money for a house. Wouldn't I rather do the one car thing for awhile longer rather than simplifying schedules but at the end of the day be returning to a small apartment?

Three weeks before Sierra was born, we moved into our first home.

 (1998: Our first family room, complete with beadboard, DIY mirror, and a picture ledge, although back then there wasn't a word for those yet. Yes- I realize it was hung high. There were two little monkeys back then, and they LOVED TO TOUCH. More pictures of that house here.)


It wasn't until 2001 - six years of married life- that we got a second vehicle. For any of you doing the math, that puts us getting ready to become a family of six. With a car that fit five. When my great aunt casually mentioned that she was selling her newish, rarely used minivan, it was a no-brainer.

"It doesn't look that bad from the side, Mom. Plus you can't hear it in the picture." -Hayden, age 11

Oh how posh it was. I felt sorry for our 9 year old Saturn which looked old and worn by comparison. A few years later when we had our last baby, the transition to five carseats was seamless. I cannot think of raising children without this van standing proudly in the background. The trips across town and across country. Camping. Craigslisting. Moving. Moving. Moving again.



It has slowly deteriorated over the past 14 years, but it wasn't until recently that my dear husband declared It Was Time. I suppose nearly catching fire and killing your wife late at night calls for boundary lines to be drawn? My tears could not sway his cold, bitter heart into saving my Barney. I had hoped he would make it to 20 years old. 'Twas not to be.

It seemed only fitting that such a majestic, stoic companion be given a tribute.

"Look at this guy.

Durable, rugged, handsome.

Maybe it's just because he's been a part of our family for the last 14 years, or perhaps it's because only one window rolls down(ish) and the AC doesn't work, but either way: this van is hot.

He's got a cracked windshield, but the wipers work mighty fine.

He squeals when you turn him on. No, really. Like the belt makes a squealing noise that you can hear a few streets over. Seems to get worse in the rain or whenever the radio is turned down. Around these parts we call that Curfew Protection. No teen can sneak in unnoticed.

The paint is worn and boasts an elegant patina that pays tribute to years of faithful, dedicated service.

Brakes need replacing, but *dayum* those tires are nice.

The gauges are known to shut off without warning. Not knowing how fast you're going or how much gas you (don't) have leaves a little mystery to the relationship, which experts say is healthy. I used to think they'd eventually go out all together, but just like a faithful pup or creepy ex-lover, they always come back around. As of this moment they are working.

Captain chair middle row seats for easy maneuverability. You know that fabric that's on the top roof on the inside? There must be a name for it. In any case, it's saggy. As one gets with age. You can cry for times where things were more taught and firm, or simply delight in the opportunity to trick your friends. At the right angle with the fabric resting on your head just so, it almost looks like you're wearing a gray sombrero. Very appropriate given all the Taco Bell drive thrus this guy has seen."



{Epilogue: a myriad of more problems happened with the van after posting the ad. Let's just say that he went off in a puff of smoke, just like I always knew he would. His purpose had been fulfilled, and he gave up the ghost. He was taken to vehicle heaven where he was recycled. For a girl who has repurposing pumping through her veins, it seems very fitting. Barney will indeed live on forever.}

19 comments:

  1. I love this! Did you get any contacts from the ad?

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    1. We did. And even someone who texted saying that I should pay HIM for having to read through that "stupid ad" - HAHAHA!!

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    2. Well, if he thought it was so stupid, why did he continue to read it?!?!

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  2. Oh my goodness. I get updates in my email, and my heart stopped for a second when I read the subject line. My Internet bff (not a stalker, I swear!) Can't be quitting! Thank you for not quitting on us.

    And then I thought Barney might work for my 19 year old kid, well until he got towed.

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    1. Oh no!! I guess I should've thought about how that could've been taken. I'm not going anywhere, and although I will never be 100% in when it comes to blogging, it seems to be so much a part of me that I can't quit it completely either! Unofficially the new goal is to try once a week posting. We'll see how that works out ;) Thanks for the love, my dear Catie!!

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  3. It's like saying good bye to an old friend isn't it? But I'm sure you'll have a nice new friend soon enough. Personally, I LOVE your ad, can't say you weren't up front about the old guy.

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    1. Full disclosure is always my policy, and since he was my metal boyfriend a love story just seemed appropriate :)

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  4. That was so funny. My husband does recycling and rebuilds old vehicles - he said your ad was brilliant!

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    1. Coming from a man? A high compliment indeed! My husband just rolled his eyes and said it should've read "come and get it at your own risk." I have a gut feeling that it was jealousy talking...he was always bitter about my love for Barney ;)

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    1. Thanks the condolences. Has the move happened yet? Do you love it? Hate it?? We need updates!

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  6. This is so fun!

    We've been married 28 yrs & have bought two cars, a 1990 Geo Prism that my husband still drives to work then a 2000 Honda civic that I still drive. We have no plans of buying a new car any time soon. Though I've asking for the driver's side window to be fixed on the Honda so I can go through drive throughs with ease again - maybe for Christmas?!

    I will admit though, I don't think I'd have a hard time saying goodbye, especially to our old Geo but my husband is very sentimental & attached to both of them. He still had our 1980 Ford Fairmont parked out in our barn - the car we drove while we were dating & into our first few yrs of marriage. ;)

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    1. THAT. IS, AWESOME!!!

      I have heard legends of Geos running forever, but didn't know it was actually TRUE. And after years of not having windows that work, that is the #1 thing that the kids were excited about when we got another car. Pure luxury. I guess it doesn't take much to impress us poor fol ;) My husband is still driving his 2001 Expedition...hopefully it lasts forever? It needs to!!

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  7. After a brief moment of panic and then a sigh of relief I was moved by your love for Barney. I am so very sorry for your loss. He was a true hero. I hope your new car is just a fabulous, although he/she will never replace Barney in your hearts. P.S Pictures of the new car were missing from your post!

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    1. No way! I could never disrespect Barney like that. This is all about HIM.

      (we did get a "new to us" little red Kia Forte hatchback. The AC works AND the windows roll down AND the neighbors can't hear it when it's driving down the alley. It's glorious!)

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  8. Don't scare me like that! hahahaha!
    Sorry about Barney :( I was just telling my hubby that I want another van. Aren't vans the best? I don't know why people don't like them!

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    1. I love mini-vans!! I truly don't know why they are the butt of jokes. I had no problem driving one and would do it again in a hot second. Because the kids are older now (and the oldest bought her own car), we didn't buy another van. I hated driving around wasting gas with only 1 or 2 kids in tow. If we're going somewhere as a family, we can take my husbands Expedition. Otherwise, my Forte can hold me and the 4 boys...and get 35 mph on the freeway :)

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  9. I think that I need to doll up our current ad for our 1990 Honda Accord with 330,000 miles on it! Maybe we'd get more responses? It's actually still a very very good car. Hoping some hipster will delight in it's somewhat vintage appeal. :)

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    1. That's unbelievable!!!! I knew that Accords ran forever, but in this case it is literally true. Yes - your guy deserves a tribute for sure!

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