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.”
“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 requires time: time for research and time for shopping. Time, of course, is something we don’t have in abundance. Decisions take time, too. Did we need another vehicle with cargo space? Or could we buy a sedan instead? Did that cargo space need to be a minivan, or would a small to medium SUV fit our needs? We did a little research, figured out what we could afford, and then started looking.
And then we got lucky. Chuck was filling his car (his Subaru) with gas at the Fleet Farm gas station to make use of the gas coupon we get every time we shop there. He glanced across the street to a used car lot and noticed a late model minivan with a sign in it proclaiming it Manager’s Special. He crossed the street and looked it over. 2012 Dodge Caravan, reasonable mileage, in our price range – what could be wrong?
We asked that exact question the next day when we took a short test drive. Everything looked good, and we were ready to take the next step: the Complete Test Drive. All three of us (Chuck, me, Amigo) came out to the lot for a test drive. While Amigo and I played with controls and explored the many features, Chuck drove to a nearby mechanic. The mechanic checked it over, pointed out a few things, and pronounced the vehicle healthy and sound and a good deal.
The next day, I emptied the personal items (Kleenex boxes, snow brush, tire gauges) from the Transport and drove it to the dealer for paperwork and trade-in. To make a long story short, we did it. The 2012 Caravan is now in the garage, my cell phone charger and garage door opener installed in their proper places.
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.