The Family Road Warrior

I am the primary pilot of a family road warrior.
Specifically, a Chevy Venture.
Pretty sure that they don't even make those anymore.. but back in 2003, I was happy to have it.
We had just had our 4th child and needed more space.

Sure, I had a few hesitations about finally signing up for a minivan.
But at that point, I was so swallowed up by toddlers and babies and pregnancy hormones that I had little to no self respect left.

We were 25 years old and most (all) of our friends still drove cool two-door cars.
With sunroofs.
And loud stereos.

So naturally, my husband only drove it when ABSOLUTELY necessary.
(He still had some granules of ego rolling around in his gut...but not for long.)

Originally, our payment on that little show dog was a $450 payment per month.
Which, on one income, was no small fee.
I usually waited until the credit union rep gave me a "convenience call" to remind me we had been late to pay..at which time I would, once again, pretend I wasn't aware of that.
(I think that I have -Aww Shucks'd- through most of my adult life. And it usually works. Just remember to smile and talk in a sweet voice.)

A couple of years ago, we finally paid that sucker off.
And now every month is a free month of driving...but you have to ignore some glaring imperfections:

Those tough early years through to today--have brought many battle wounds upon her.
What once was silver and shiny, is now dirty and scratched.
She has had door dings, handle bars from bikes take a swing at her, a couple run ins with random mail boxes, one bad day at the drive thru.. when we got a LITTLE too close to the brick wall.

She is pretty tow-up.

And her insides...oh those insides.

An absolutely unimaginable amount of coffee, pop, juice boxes, formula, cheerios, gummy bears, Egg McMuffins, Nacho Bell Grandes, french fries, apple slices, fishy crackers, pee, watery poop, snot, vomit, lysol, Doritos, M&M's, hot chocolate, cider, pop tarts, banana bread...and all other variations of animal (by-product), vegetable (dipped in Ranch) and mineral (rocks and shells from the beach).

She smells alot like you might imagine..with an added POP of freshness.
Thanks to my Purex Crystals hidden under my seats.
You may or may not smell them, depending on the amount of time since my last football practice pick up.

Oh, and the doors!
They sometimes work.
You gotta really put your heart into it to make them shut all the way.
Makes for a good arm workout for the kids.

I have tried to be regular about oil changes, as much as possible.
Let's face it though, we hate the oil change. 
Those guys are always trying to score a sale or a date. #nothanks

My left turn signal hasn't worked CONSISTENTLY for years.
Some days though, it just starts working out of the blue...just to mess with me.

My radio is old school.
No satellite here.
And for the record, preset button numbers 4 and 5 are worn down to clear plastic.I can see the inner workings of the radio through those little windows.

My breaks squeak.
My tires are forever balding.
Windshield wipers really only push the dirt around.

But, I remain happy.

Why?

Cuz I am the cheapest brand of woman.

Frugality is a bigger part of my identity than my need to drive a hip car.

Besides, I TEND to become attached to people and things after long periods of time.
I KNOW for a fact I will cry when she finally gets hitched up to the tow truck and goes to the scrapyard.

I will be thinking of all of our family vacations, screaming matches, fast getaways, school drop offs, car seats of years past (fighting a toddler that hated buckling) and all those mornings of just me and her and my coffee...that kinda-sorta fits into the broken cup holder.

Ah....Home crap home.

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