Saturday, March 19, 2005


The van rolled over to 200,00 miles this week. Ah, what a great car. Can you believe it is still alive? The '89 Dodge Caravan is so cool. We have had it 8 years and it has taken us all over the USA - from Oregon to Florida, from Florida to Illinois and back, from Florida to Texas to Utah to South Dakota. Well, just check out the map below, the van was there.

The van is getting ugly, but it is free transportation. The humidity in Florida dissolved the glue in the over head liner, so it droops. The tan upholstery is a little darker than is used to be, and recently I noticed a little tear in the driver's seat. The best thing about the van is that the interior is the exact same color as Sam's coat, so all of his dog hair just blends right in.

The tape player stopped working a couple years ago, and this winter the radio started flickering on and off. The back door no longer holds itself open, so I have to prop it open with a stick. That is a little embarrassing, so now I just put all the groceries on the side.

The van has been pretty lucky. It has never been in a serious accident, and we really haven't had to replace any major parts (yet). Sadly, though, just last Sunday an older gentleman pulled out of his parking space and hit the van as Nathan was driving past him. It was very sad, but there really was not much damage. The left rear light cover was hit and broken. Nathan collected all the pieces and glued it back together (looks mighty pretty) Other than that, when we lived in FL, I had a flat tire, Nathan broke (and replaced) a side rear window, and he also replaced the gears in the driver's side window. I know that we had to have some work done, but I can't remember the problem - the ignition? Nathan is great about checking the oil and doing all that stuff.

We are considering replacing the van with something a little newer, but a car payment seems like such a waste of Nathan's raise. I go back and forth between wanting a new car, and thinking that the van can make it one more year. The van has been a good friend to me. It has given me a lot of freedom. While we could probably get by with just the truck, it was no fun for me when we just had one car. Long trips are a thing of the past for the van, and I dread driving to Oregon with us all smooshed into the truck. But if we hold off on a new car, maybe we could afford to rent a camper to take on the trip.

Nathan heard a poem about an old trusty car on NPR the other day. Reminded me of the van(and the 77 Toyota Corolla that the van replaced) but he is gone right now, and I cannot find it on the NPR site. I will link to the poem when he gets back.


Mary said...

Wendy, you should post a picture of the lovely gold van! 200,000 miles is impressive! What did you decide to drive to Wyoming/Nebraska? I hope the trip worked out well for you! Drive on!

Anonymous said...

I can remember cruising in that very van with the Brintons to their Grandparents house in Elgin,OR and getting bit by a dog. I dislike all car problems. As Dad always says "a car is the worst investment you can ever get into" but maybe it would also be a nice treat. You should keep the car around and let Hannah drive it in a few years! Love Anna