Saturday, February 25, 2012


is it possible?
It isn't living, breathing...there's no soul.
My sister and her family have several cars and one of them was an OLD Toyota van.
The van was almost to 300 thousand miles.
They have driven that thing EVERYWHERE!
They would pack it up and go to Wisconsin, to the lake.
They drove it to Chicago for weekend visits when the older girls were in college.
They drove it in the dead of winter through the snow when other cars would have gotten stuck.
They would drive over to get me and we would all sit bundled up in the back as we rumbled out into the country for Christmas Eve at our Step-Mother's.
They would load their dogs up in it for a trip to the vet or a hike in the park.
We used it to load it up with great steals at Estate Sales and Fabulous Finds along the road.
We carted bags of mulch and trays of flowers.
They could pack it up with metal stuff to the scrap yard and with papers,cardboard and plastics to the Recycling Center.
And worn out and damaged junk to the Dump.
It would be vacuumed and cleaned out for the annual Spring trip to Washington D.C. to see cherry blossoms.
It became the school car for the girls to drive and then their work car.

So my youngest niece, Lily had been driving it. She just got her license this year.
They had that van since she was a little toddler and she had been there when the radiator had it's problems and when it had a flat but she always felt safe inside and now while driving it.
So this winter we all gave her many driving tips. She was driving it to her very first "real" job and had to travel the Interstate.
My sister told her if she ever hit a slick spot not to jerk the wheel or it might cause a rollover.
This winter hasn't had a lot of snow but one day there was freezing rain and then it stopped.
In town the roads didn't appear bad and she decided to travel out to get her paycheck.
She hit an icy patch.
She didn't jerk the wheel but the van spun out, hit the guard rail, whipped around and landed backwards in a ditch.
Other motorists called the State Police.
She was OK. Frightened and crying but fine.
My sister told me about it on the phone. Her voice cracked as she told me how the old van's airbag had inflated and protected her.
In my mind I could visualize the old van reaching out and wrapping it's arms around Lily keeping her safe from harm.
The van was badly damaged so it was towed to the car-scrap yard.
My sister went down to settle things, and to make sure it really was beyond repair and sell it for scrap.
She called to tell me that she didn't know why but she just had to turn the key one more time...
and it started right up.
She went home and told her husband about it that night.
He said they couldn't just LEAVE it there.
She told him that it was just a van and that it had to be.
But I think the thought of her old friend and protector of her children sitting abandoned in that yard...broke her heart a little bit.


sassypackrat said...

Awwww, that's so wonderful! I have an SUV I feel the same way about. My daughter and I traveled state to state to soccer tournaments, I hauled my son's band's equipment around to venue after venue, packed it full of kids for a days at the beach, took it on vacations, both my kids learned to drive in it, my son was in an accident in it and no one was hurt. I still drive it and I hope I always will!

Christer said...

It does break ones heart when having to say good bye to a car like that. It's an old friend that has been there for us all the time.

We get worried when they don't feel well and take them to the garage :-)

I do so understand Your sister.

Have a great day!
Byb the way, I'm glad Your nice is ok! :-)

Georgina said...

Love this story, Cindi. And yes, you can love an inanimate object...we all have one. I love my car because, first of all, it works and second, it belonged to my dad. He gave it to me right after I graduated from college in '05. He went completely blind and he knew my daughter needed a car to haul her 3 little guys, so he gave me his car, I in turn, gave my Taurus to Andria. Well, the Taurus is long gone..she drove it into the ground, not literally, but she's hard on everything.

When my dad was still driving, his eyesight wasn't the greatest, but enough to allow him to have a drivers license. Thankfully, when he backed up or did anything in a parking lot, he hit light posts or barriers, so no one was involved. I haven't fixed those little dents or dings...reminder of my Pops.

Great story, thanks.


Robin Kent said...

Absolutely. I've always named my vehicles. And drive them into the ground. Took care of them so they all lasted a long time. Thought of them like a horse.
But for little nostaglic things, I have to be careful of them owning me. Inheriting stuff not of my taste or holding onto stuff due to memories would make me unable to move. I have a brief mental wake for some as I let them go. Possbile karmic vibes attached?

An Urban Cottage said...

Well told story and I'm glad she's okay.

yoborobo said...

Breaks my heart a little, too. I'm so glad she's okay! xox

Gillian said...

Yes you can love a "thing". Absolutely.

Common sense has won out though. Something with even better safety is waiting for them to choose it.

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

I wish you both continued Happy Trails! Peace, Mary helen Fernandez stewart

denise said...

Great story.

I was rooting for the van to be brought back home. How can you not have hope knowing the engine started? 300,000 miles? that's a lotta love and care they gave it.

Glad your niece is OK. That's what's really important.

Nita {ModVintageLife} said...

Love this story. When I was a kid, my Dad always named all the cars...actually he still did it when he was older. We had one called "Old Betsy" and when he sold her I cried an cried and the day we heard she gave it up and was taken to the junk yard we cried some more. Dad was sad too. So I understand having fond feelings for a car. I love your new header! So...YOU! Sorry I haven't been here much....I've was sick which made me super tired and just didn't have the energy to read my usuals. I hope all is well with you.