I’m driving with my 11 year old son, following behind my husband. We’re headed to the dealership, where he’s just negotiated a deal on a used Dodge Sprinter. He’s driving his Ford Econoline, his work vehicle for the past almost 11 years. My son exclaims how wonderful it is that we are getting rid of the E-250 since the air conditioner no longer works and it dies at intersections if you don’t properly rev the engine. I’m not sure properly is the right word to use as stepping on the brake and pumping the gas isn’t exactly proper and safe.
Of course, the old van doesn’t know or care that it’s just been disparaged. It’s an inanimate object with no concern about being replaced. Nonetheless, I begin defending it. But not really it, but the memories.
I tell my son how he was about 6 months old when Daddy bought that van, and Daddy can’t work if he can’t haul all his big, heavy tools to a job site. A minivan like mommy’s can’t do that kind of work. So, that van, I explain, has put food in your mouth your whole life. That van is the reason we have a roof over our heads. That van, which yes, desperately needs to retire, has clothed you and paid for at least half (mommy does work too) of everything you’ve ever had.
That van help moved us out of Florida when the economy and our relationship crashed in 2008. During those tumultuous years in Arkansas and Dallas, it made a trip to California for a lucrative job. And when the dust had settled and we were a family under one roof again, it brought us back to Florida. Notably, it carried our large canoe that has been a part of so many fun family outings here in Fort Myers.
The poor old thing has been ailing for some time now, and the hubby has gotten many a grey hair worrying that he’d be left at a job site or worse along 41 or 75 one day with all his tools, his livelihood, sitting vulnerably on the side of the road. But it didn’t. It has required numerous repairs over the years, some more costly than others, and it has been limping of late. But it was faithful, and all of hubby’s greasy weekends working on it and tuning it up have been worth it.
So, dear old friend, we thank you! You served us well.
Old on the left, new on the right. Silly husband in between.