Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Beyond Repair

The (mostly) dark green Dodge minivan is no longer part of our (mostly) aged fleet of cars. It is in the process of being donated to Cars4kids, which we hope is not a scam.

This is the car that spent the last 4 years in Arizona and California and just recently brought my son and all his worldly belongings (of which there were plenty) across the country in just 3 days. It sort of reminds me of Charlotte’s web, where the spider gives up her life so her young can prosper. That trip across the country simply did the old car in.

After our son pulled into the driveway, he mentioned that the brakes needed some attention. Well, it turns out that the brakes on the right side of the car were metal on metal, rather nonexistent. I can’t even imagine how he made it home. Someone commented that the way he must have done the 3,000-mile report in 3 days was by never stopping.

In addition, the gas tank cover was broken off, the doors didn't close well any longer. It was just a worn-out car.

I had planned to do any necessary minor repairs and then just give the car to a needy family. But $800 worth of brake work on an 11-year-old car was not in the budget.

We bought that car at a time when we were still driving swimming and school and religious school carpools. It was a great car for vacations with our children because there was a space between the two seats in the middle. There was no reason for “he’s on my side” complaints.

Both children had minor mishaps in parking garages and elsewhere that left the green van with many a dent and scrape. At one point I bought a can of dark green Rust-o-leum and instructed them to spray the dents before they rusted.

At one point in Arizona the driver side window shattered leaving hundreds of small pieces of glass, which can still be found in interior cracks and crevices.

The amazing thing is that this car was parked on the streets of San Francisco for 8 months loaded with everything my son owned, including a television and a million other things. It was never once vandalized. Maybe that is due to the tinted rear windows.

So with a little sadness, I say goodbye to the old green van – ZMM9441 – now stripped of its license plates as it sits outside Skyline Auto Repair waiting to be towed. I hope someone can make the necessary repairs to keep it on the road for just a little while longer.


Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

Everything comes to an end sometime. This mighty vehicle served your family for a long time. A salute to the van!! Hail and farewell.

9:02 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Reya -- I always have a hard time giving up on a car, with my penchant for repairing things and friendships and everything in my life. But even I was persuaded that it was time to cut the old van loose.

9:17 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I have bidding a fond farewell to my cars. Of course, of the last three, I've given two to family, which were subsequently totaled, and still drive the third. It's been rough going.

12:28 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

Funny how we get attached to things that serve us well. I've said goodbye to cars too and with tears.

3:28 PM  
Blogger GEWELS said...

My silver/gray mini-van is also a dinosaur. I've been driving mini-vans since my 27 and 26 yr. old were 5 and 6 respectively. I can't wait to get rid of it.
I'm onto a "zippier" stage of my life (at least I like to think so).
This is also the one that I got pulled over in and had impounded- a sure sign that it had to go.
Now, maybe a little cool red pick-up!

6:55 PM  
Blogger Ruth D~ said...

That's the thing about cars. They become family and we actually mourn when they have to be "put out to pasture."

8:35 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

It's always sad to say good-bye to cars, they're so much a part of our daily life.
Our '98 Pathfinder SUV is liking heading into its last winter. It's been a great car but it has been put through a lot of driving and up here, because they salt the roads like crazy, as opposed to using sand, cars get rusted.

10:27 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

It's funny how we're all talking about our cars as if they were a favorite dog or another family member. I guess I'm not alone in this way of thinking!

So within the past few months, I've put a dog to sleep and a car out to pasture.

12:19 AM  

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