The MomVan Adventures

It seems like yesterday that Chuck was complaining of a stomach ache, refusing to take fiber, and then talking trash about my minivan. Remember this exchange?

“Here, dear, I found a jar of Metamucil for you.”
“I’m not ready.”
“Not ready?”
“I like my Saturn. I don’t want to drive a Buick yet.”
“I took it years ago when I was pregnant with Amigo.”
“And look what you drive now!”

My minivan — he’d dissed my minivan! The minivan that took us on more than a few vacations, moved La Petite to and from college, brings big batches of yard waste to the brush dump every summer, took my carpool to graduate classes for two years, and more!

My poor Pontiac Transport finally entered its last days when we discovered the power steering was showing signs of failing. It was a ’98 vehicle, old enough, and we’d put plenty of bucks into repair and routine maintenance. It was time. Vehicle Replacement Procedure led us to a 2012 Dodge Caravan with reasonable mileage.

Owning a new-to-us used vehicle has not been without its own adventures. Amidst a weekend with a few other disasters (a lost wallet at a school reunion, a set of keys lost at a Culver’s restaurant), the minivan suddenly lost power on the highway. It felt and sounded like a transmission problem (enter the famous punctuation series #?*!). We were lucky, though, on a number of counts.

  • Chuck knew a mechanic at a Green Bay garage that also had a Stevens Point location, about an hour north of where we’d stopped.
  • Chuck’s mechanic friend generously called the other garage and arranged for a tow and a loaner vehicle.
  • We were parked in a Kwik Trip parking lot, so we had everything we could possibly need (except a working vehicle) including snacks, sandwiches, and drinks.
  • Our calendar for the next several days was such that we could cope with only one vehicle, if needed.

How did it all end? The short version can be summarized in this text message from Chuck to me:

Just got a call re: van. Tranny is ok, but wire from fuse block are damaged, chewed by mice. Need some wires and fuse block replaced. Lots of $$$, but could have been a lot worse. Good thing we’re getting a new garage.

And perhaps the best part of the story: everyone is healthy. No tummy aches in the family, fiber or no fiber, at the moment. I think I’ll bake some nuts and twigs banana bread just to keep things in order. The newly repaired minivan can take me to the store for bananas.

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