Saturday, October 1, 2016

Farewell to the Van

"For many families, it was a compromise made long ago," I wrote back in 2003. "For us, it is a new one. The day we bought our minivan it rained for the first time in weeks. It's a sign, I said. Even the heavens are crying."

Now the heavens are crying again, this time because the van has given way to a shiny new Toyota Corolla.

Though initially resistant to van-dom, I grew to love the old car. After all, it was the spiritual heir to the '60s woody station wagons, and as such reminded me of my youth in the back seat. The van was more comfortable, of course; these are modern children. But the basic principle remained the same: buy large vehicle and pack it with kids.

The van was a workhorse. It lapped up the miles without complaint, and wore its 240k with grace. In 14 years it gave us very little trouble. Though short on style it was long on practicality.  Its motto: I will get you there.

Oh, the carpools that car has known, the cellos and clarinets and sweaty track kids it has transported. The boats it has towed, the trips to college it has made, the moving of furniture into first apartments, including, just last month, the transporting of newlyweds to their home in Arlington. (We threw rice!)

All of which is to say, what a lot of living that car has known! So I can't let it go without a backward glance.

Thank you, dear van! We'll miss you!

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