I remember vividly the day Lawson surprised me with our 2004 Sienna Minivan! He bought her off ebay back in the days when that seemed so incredibly progressive! It was the summer of 2005 and we had a little munchkin named Eve who was a terrible (not an understatement) traveler! She tricked us when we brought her home from India by being super chilled. What we had not thought through was that as an almost 13 mo old who was a bit delayed from having to stay in a crib for too long, once Eve actually started moving the game would change not a little, but a whole lot! You see once our girl started moving she was super, duper high energy! Carseats were the scene of meltdowns…massive meltdowns! Lawson being the wonderful problem solver he is determined early on that a minivan might assist with traveling with our tootie muffin and boy was he right! She has been such a gift all these years!
As an only child, I begged my parents for a station wagon! This was the 70’s and early 80’s and I think I secretly thought if they bought a station wagon, siblings would follow! Despite my persistent nagging, a station wagon never appeared in our driveway nor did the siblings. To this day, I would still love a station wagon, preferably one with a cool wood stripe down the middle. I remember trips with our friends the Hudgens in their station wagon. In addition to the station wagon, Miss Tommie Ann wore sunglasses which made her cool! It’s funny the things that stick with us from our childhoods isn’t it? Lawson decided the minivan was this generations equivalent of the station wagon and I think he is probably right. My children do not have the same appreciation for how fabulous this portion of their childhood has been!
I have often threatened to take her (the minivan that is) with me to Australia! This totally mortifies my family and for the past year they have been looking for ways to separate her from my grasp. They thought reaching 275,000 miles might do it, but no. She is worth so little to anyone else, Lawson has had to appeal to my frugal sense of things and explain why she is not financially worth shipping overseas…plus, we are only taking clothes with us so…. Big, heavy sigh! I understand it is kinda ridiculous. It’s back to the memories again. Every so often, a long ago cherrio that is somehow still stuck in a crevice will emerge and I am reminded again of my sweet girls laughing and playing games in her as we rolled down the road. There are memories of sweet Deano boy attached like glue to my lap in the front seat as we traveled everywhere with our poochies. There are the multitude of trips back and forth to my parents home over all these years as we all piled in. She safely transported us so many places….our three week family road trip up the eastern seaboard of the US to visit Washington, DC and other historical places, many trips between Atlanta, GA and Florida and Arkansas and all over the souther part of the US in general, concert trips with our girls, the long trip packed to the gills taking our Sophie to college, and this last long trek to California carrying bags and fur babies that would be heading to Australia soon! Driving her around Hollywood and Beverly Hills brought a certain delight to me and embarrassment to everyone else! Our old minivan smells faintly of dogs, and kids and love! She has never once broken down on us. She has helped renovate three houses and transport goodness knows how much back and forth between storage units! I am so very grateful for how well she has taken care of our family on the road all these years!
My dad was an extraordinarily frugal man who would be so proud of the long life we have gotten out of our sweet minivan. We have lived in places where what you drive kinda defines who you are. I balk at this choosing always to put more of my money into my home than my ride. But then I think ,well this kinda does define me…frugal, practical, does not give two diddly twits if you think less of me because I don’t drive a Beemer. Don’t get me wrong, I am looking so forward to a new vehicle in Australia or the US at some point. This period in our life has just not been that period. This has been a raising kids, caring for aging parents, put this vehicle to work period and we couldn’t be prouder of this old girl and the life she helped us create! So long sweet girl and thank you!