Threes a Charm

CIMG0166

During the course of our marriage, my wife an I have owned a few cars.  We have had two trucks, a few cars for her to drive to work, and 4 total mini-vans.  Based on the present mileage and the daily driving I am likely to do, tomorrow is a virtual lock to be the day we “flip it”.

Based on the history with our mini-vans, this achievement is the source of some concern.

  1. Our first minivan died on the way to school. (We bought it used from a guy I worked with.) The boys were in preschool.  The van died before we got to school.  We called the tow truck.  I believe friends picked the boys up and finished taking them to school while I went with the driver to the dealership.  I don’t remember what we paid, but they did use the “old school” method of buying a car.  He took every one of my offers and had to “show” his boss.  The van we bought that day served us well…that is until it hit 100,000.
  2. I was driving my oldest daughter home from soccer practice.  The van was fighting me the whole way home.  Once I hit the driveway I coasted to the end of it.  The van had less than 101,000 miles.  Due to our fostering and the fear of being without a minivan, we were already a two minivan family at this point.  We absorbed the loss of our “beater” minivan, and we shifted all minivan driving to our solo van.  As time allowed, we did get a second van so we could have the comfort of a backup.
  3. Both of these van moved to Texas with us a few years ago.  As the older van was stretching to the 100,000 mile marker, our oldest son was preparing to drive.  Although it was not a cool car, it was his “get me to school” car.  Unfortunately, it  did not serve in this role long.  Just after the 100,000 mark, our son had a collision that totaled it.  Everyone was fine.  We were left with our one van.  It is this van that will be graduating tomorrow to what has been very dangerous territory for our vehicles.

It did have a collision in the spring, but it recovered and has been treated well since.  It had two flat tires in one day last December, and it still got us back to Ohio only a few hours late.  It has allowed us to fill everyone of its 8 seats a number of times with friends and travel supplies as the 6 of us traverse states to the north and east of us.  We are hopeful it will do many more great things before it expires.  If already has a couple of trips on its schedule for Christmas and Spring Break.

This is our third try at getting a car to zoom past 100,000 without a hiccup.  We think we have done all of the right things.  It has a new battery; it has all of the appropriate maintenance. (The cabin filters may be a little dirty, and their may be a couple shopping cart or door dings on its aging exterior.  We don’t wax it regularly, but it has been through the car wash twice in the past month.)  We “hope” it goes for another 100,000 miles.  (Frankly, I would settle for another 50,000 miles.)  We don’t visualize some witch doctor creating a voodoo “doll” of our van using carpet fibers from the floor mats or paint chipped off from a deliberate keying.  We just know when his time is up, it is up.  After he has gone his last mile, we want a place where he can go to watch the young cars drive around.  (Not sure if this is the ideal retirement for a worn out car.  I was trying to think what might approximate grandchildren.)

Completing this POST-100,000….

As I ran a set of errands yesterday morning, I forget entirely about the changes transpiring on my dashboard.  As I hopped in the van to pick up my daughters, I looked down and was completely shocked to realize the van and I were 9 miles past the “flip”.  As my morning miles were quickly relived, I thought, “Oh, that happened!”  It is my hope the unobserved passing of the 100,000 mile mark will be followed by MANY more unobserved miles as we work toward the last mile of our van’s service to our family.

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