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Saturday, July 07, 2007

Saying Goodbye

I went to the library this morning. That in itself is not a big event, though to me it is bigger than for most. What made it significant was that it could have been my last ride in "white van". Jeff has been shopping for a new vehicle, so I never know when he drives off what he will come home in. I am happy to get something new, but it is hard to say goodbye to this small part of our family. White van has been in our family for a long time. Before we bought it, it belonged to Jeff's Dad, who lives next door. It was always a treat for the kids to go anywhere in it because it meant that they were with Mimi and PawPaw Larry. It was always so clean with a fresh scent of cologne and new car smell. Although we were not planning on buying a new vehicle, Jeff surprised me by purchasing white van when his Dad decided to trade it in.
That was nearly 5 years ago. Not only have we spent many hours in it together, but it has taken us through so many milestones in our lives.

It witnessed the transition to seat belts as the kids grew big enough to say goodbye to the booster seats. It took both boys to their first days of school and picked all three of them up from school every day until the last day, when we were able to celebrate the beginning of our new journey...homeschooling. It carried us along the miles of highway and interstate to Colorado and took us up Independence the "top of the world".

I remember watching the temperature drop on the built in thermostat as we climbed each mile up the mountain pass. It has become second nature, when leaving a building, to scan the parking lot for the familiar white "home away from home". Even when we go somewhere in our truck, I will, upon instinct, search for white van for that fraction of a second before remembering that it won't be there. So, how long will I do this when it is gone for good. How long will I continue to scan the unending hoods and hot metal of a multitude of colors filling numerous parking lots before it becomes engraved in my mind that white van will NOT be there. How many white vans will catch my eye, only to reveal to me they aren't mine when the sticker bearing Madison's name and gym from her competitive gymnastic days isn't there?

Madison's competitive gymnastic days, filled with road trips to meets....stomachs in knots and nerves on end the closer we got to the meets...the rear view mirror bearing medals and ribbons on the way home. I's only a van. I shouldn't put so much emphasis on its place in our family and dwell so much on letting it go. However, to me, it is another piece to the puzzle that helped to complete this era of our lives. Once it is gone, not only will the times spent in it be only memories, but the place that the memories were made will be as well. It is as looking back over a year of time and recalling what has come to pass, all of the memories of five years signifying the year.... full of milestones and happy times. It will soon start a new era for another family..a family who knows nothing about where it has been. When we look back over our past vacations and time spent together traveling, we may not even remember what vehicle we had, but for now, it's hard to let it go!


Blogger Lauren@Baseballs&Bows said...

What special memories you have with your van! I understand why it is so important to you. I hope you will make many more memories in your new vehicle!

1:17 PM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

I think a new vehicle will be in my future too! The radiator fan stopped spinning the other day in Old Town Key West and green liquid spilled out onto the cobblestones and my dh's and my jaws dropped as the temp skyrocketed. I'm so glad he was with me!

1:23 PM  
Blogger Mamacita Tina said...

It's funny how we love our vehicles. But they do so much for us. Your absolutely right, it's a home away from home, we all spend a lot of time in them. Thinking about it, when people tell stories, a lot of them include the vehicle they were driving at the time. Ah yes, memories of our cars, we hope they are good/safe ones.

5:39 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...


Thank you for your sweet comment on our blog.

I'll be curious to see what new car you end up with!


10:11 AM  
Blogger playingschool said...

I'm probably in for a new vehicle, too. I couldn't understand why I was so reluctant to give up my precious SUV until seeing your post. You see, it has been in the shop 10 times for the same problem in the past 13 months. Over the past 7 months, they have had my vehicle almost 1/2 of the time. I no longer pay for the repairs and they always give me a free rental. People keep being shocked that I haven't traded it in, but I really want to keep my car! Partly, I just don't want a new car that I have to be afraid to eat in, etc.

Well, probably more people think I'm crazy now, but I do thank you for sharing your feelings about your van! :-)

8:40 PM  

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