For show and tell today, I’m so excited to show off my NEW VAN! Well, new used van. It’s a few-year-old Toyota Sienna and I love it so much. Our trusted mechanic spent the day with it and said it’s in the best shape of any car he’s inspected in the last 3 months — nothing to fix.
My very favorite thing:
-Tinted windows in the back so I won’t have to hang 50 sunshades and pieces of brown plastic wrap on the windows of the car, only to discover that the one spot I missed is a hole the size of a pinhead, pointed directly at Laylee’s eye, burning it to a bubbling, boiling mass in its socket while she screams, “Mommy! Mommy! S’that BETTER?!!!!”
(she started saying, “S’that BETTER?!!!!” to mean, “There’s some light shining in my eyes. Please fix it now or so help me I will leap from this car seat and smash every last window in this piece-of-hud HOOPTY!” one day after I spent a lot of time swerving in and out of cars trying to get her into some shade and asking, “Is that better baby? Is that better?”)
Unfortunately, in with the new also means out with the old. And so on this December day, we say a fond farewell to a faithful friend, the Flying Smurf:
You joined our family during Dan’s formative college years. As Dan lovingly reminded me on Wednesday, you joined our family before I did. He loved you with a great love. You were his first car. In you, I sat close to him for the first time, riding love gun, when a group of us went out for milkshakes. I licked the ice cream running down the side of Dan’s cup to avoid spilling on your grey plush seats.
Dan kissed me for the first time in your front seat. We have laughed, cried and prayed in you. You took us on our first date. You carried us as we had our first talk about marriage — about how we didn’t want to rush into it. You carried us to the place in the mountains where Dan proposed — 3 months later.
You were the roomy vehicle who carpooled to book club and girl’s night out. You were a special part of this family and you will be sorely missed. You are the car we spent thousands “pampering” the past few years and then traded in at the dealership for a pittance. Sorry to sell you out. We don’t be hatin’, we just needed a new ride.
An addendum from DY Dad: “Dear smurf, I loved you. I bought the Chilton’s manual for you. I took care of you. I jiggled the wiring on the starter to get your solenoid to fire. I noticed right away when you blew your head gasket and got you taken care of, and I took you to get your transmission rebuilt. I personally replaced your sway bar links, brakes, and a tie rod end. I changed your oil, brake fluid, and rotated your tires. I loved the power you gave with your extra-big 3.8 liter V6. You only played the radio and tapes, but I loved your sound system, especially the conveniently placed volume lever. I loved sticking my gas receipts under your lovely carpet dash covering. You were worth so much more than that dealer gave us, baby, I know. But it was for a good cause, because I also got him to lower the price on the van, so in my heart I feel I got more for you. Good luck to you. I will never forget you. Farewell.”
~Flying Smurf 1998-2005~