Au Revoir, Dear Minivan

Grand Voyager SEYesterday was one of the few days in the past month that it didn’t rain.  We were all home to enjoy the hot weather and the pool.  But we never made it there.  While Big Daddy and the boys hoisted 150 pound cement blocks to build a new patio and pave the walkway through our woods behind the backyard, I did something I had never done before.  I scrubbed and vacuumed the inside of my minivan until it sparkled.

It’s not like I keep an unusually messy car.  I periodically purge it of any old food or excess papers laying around.  I put towels or plastic bags down if the kids were muddy or wet.  But if the cars ever need a good wiping down, Big Daddy usually gets it done before it even starts to bother me.  Let’s face it.  I don’t spend that much time in my vehicle.  It’s only about a five minute drive to work or any store where I shop.  And if I had to drive the kids anywhere, they would just mess it up anyways.

Maybe I’m a suburban dork, but I love my minivan.  I obviously quit trying to be “cool” long ago.  Most of my neighbors have or had a minivan at one time.  When you have a bunch of busy kids, it’s just so practical.  The more kids you could fit in your vehicle, the more moms you could carpool with, meaning so many less trips back and forth to countless practices.  When Big Daddy coached soccer, he could drive a bunch of the little buggers to practice himself, ensuring that they had no excuse to skip.  We bought that van brand new, about nine years ago, and hand picked all the little extra features that would make us comfy.  I felt like the queen of the road sitting up high off the road in the driver’s seat.

I would still be driving my van if Oldest Son hadn’t wrecked his car.  We usually drive our cars until they drop dead.  But when we drove Oldest Son to the used car dealer to pick up his new vehicle, we saw a buy we couldn’t pass up.  This is so unlike me.  I usually agonize over every purchase I make, and rarely decide to buy things on the spur of the moment.  It must be fate.  That Honda CRV was shouting out my name, and I would still be able to sit up high off the road.

While I scrubbed and cleaned, I couldn’t help but think of all the places that van took us.  It was especially great to take on vacations, where you could spread the kids out and put the crabby one all the way in the back by himself.  I remembered taking out the seats so that we could cram it full of all the things the kids needed for their new dorm rooms.  Big Daddy couldn’t help himself and asked me why I had never been inspired to clean the van like this before.

I guess it all comes down to money.  Like the people on HGTV that clean and spruce up their home just before they go to sell it, I figure I’ll be able to get a few bucks more selling a polished up vehicle.  But I kind of feel bad that I didn’t pamper it a little more before.  It served us well, and I just might miss it.

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7 Responses to “Au Revoir, Dear Minivan”


  1. 1 Cyndi August 2, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    Congrats on ditching the dorky minivan! 🙂

    I know they’re practical but I just can’t bring myself to do it. The CRV is closer to my style. I really just want a Jag. Short of that, i don’t really care about cars.

    The CRV is probably what I will get next, if I can ever afford another new car again. 🙂

  2. 3 Cyndi August 2, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    Ha! I think my mid-life crisis is pretty well documented! 🙂 In all honesty though, I’ve ALWAYS wanted a Jag, ever since I was a teenager. Good point, if we had 3 kids they wouldn’t fit in our little SUV.

  3. 4 obbop August 3, 2009 at 1:03 am

    It is possible your selling the van may offer solace to one or more of the growing number of working-poor homeless folks who can not afford to rent a shelter.

    A van can allow one to avoid the worst aspects of homelessness by providing a relatively safe place to sleep and keep a few basic possessions.

    For those that have lost a job and are unemployed or under-employed, earning just enough to scrape by, a van can offer shelter while allowing the van owner to chip in on somebody elses’ rent, providing a place to cook, take a shower, etc but, often due to a lack of space or other restrictions, no place to sleep within the abode. That is where the van functions as a portable bed room.

    The mass media fails to inform the citizenry of how many Americans, typically the working-poor, are living in “alternate” venues.

    The “tent cities” do receive a minute amount of attention because they are so visible but the multitude living in vehicles mostly go unnoticed.

    Perhaps your selling the van will be of great benefit to somebody down on their luck.

    When I lived in my minute 1975 Honda Civic hatchback I would have shouted with joy to have a vehicle as large as a mini-van to dwell within!!!!

    • 5 les@mamaneeds2rant August 3, 2009 at 8:46 am

      Hmmm, obbop. I guess you’re doing better these days since it looks as though you have a computer and all. My hope is that whoever buys my van will enjoy it as much as we did–whatever they use it for.

      It DOES suck that there are people that can’t afford housing. With your mastery of the English language (grammar, spelling, etc.), I’m surprised you were in such dire circumstances. I’ve seen employed journalists and proofreaders that can’t write nearly as well.

  4. 6 Dawn August 4, 2009 at 7:25 am

    I’ve grown attached to every car I’ve ever driven, they hold stories of moments spent. Don’t you just love recalling them?!

    I had a van while married and I loved it. It carried my children and their friends with room to spare. It held everything we needed for far away destinations.

    I used to call it my womb on wheels.


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