I didn’t want to keep Sheri-Lee waiting, so allow me to introduce our van.
Don’t mind the ugly wheels. They are winter tires. Contrary to what every single person in the entire world says, I can’t tell the difference when driving. But if you squint, the front wheel looks like an oreo cookie so that’s pretty awesome. I’m not crossing my fingers that it will look that much better when the regular tires are on; a van is a van. You can’t put lipstick on a pig. Not sure if I’ve got that saying right. But I don’t mean to insult my new van because I like it.
We only buy a vehicle approximately once a decade. We like to buy gently used vehicles, drive them as long as we can, throw money at a sinking ship (I’m not sure about that saying either) until even our mechanic questions our wisdom, and then drive it for a couple more years. But ha! We get our money’s worth and haven’t had van payments since Neve learned to walk. That’s just a guess; I don’t really know when the van was paid off or when Neve learned to walk, but that just proves it’s been a while. Anyway, we’re back in the payment club now. But if being in that club means having a heated steering wheel, I’m in! Our van has all kinds of bells and whistles that are very exciting when we’re used to a passenger side window that can’t roll down, power locks that only work for locking (not unlocking), and a broken gas gauge. We had to rely on resetting the trip counter every time we filled the tank. We could never just put in $20 of gas because then we wouldn’t know when the tank was getting close to empty. The list of working things is much shorter than the list of non-working things, but the motor, sliding door, and remote starter all work perfectly. I actually don’t need much more than that, but we needed something more reliable for our upcoming trip. The children are delighted about the new van. Dale let Neve sit in the front passenger seat for a ride around the block, and she told me afterward, “I love the front! I could control everything! I have so little power in the backseat.”
Chloe is excited because she now has complete access to the old van, at least until we rid ourselves of it. A van obviously isn’t the coolest vehicle for a teenager to drive, but she doesn’t seem to mind that much. We told her she could keep it if she pays the insurance, but she decided not to. It’s just as well because parking three vehicles on our lot during the winter parking ban is a tricky business, but it would be easy to get used to.
Let’s take a moment to reflect on how well our old van has served us. We bought it almost exactly ten years ago. Neve was only a week or two old when we took her to the dealership and she slept in her little bucket seat while we made the deal. That van took us to the Black Hills, Toronto, Kansas City, Fernie, and both coasts of Canada. Your travelling days may be behind you, dear Silhouette, but your spirit lives on in the memories we hold dear. Okay fine, it’s a little melodramatic, but we tend to get attached to our vehicles.
Here’s hoping for a long, healthy relationship with our shiny new (to us) Town & Country. (And if you're in the market for a 2001 Silhouette that won't pass a safety inspection, have I got a deal for you.)