After 10 years and 95000 miles, it was time to replace our van - a white Ford Windstar I had purchased new in 1998. Actually, the decision to buy this minivan was left to our then 2 year old, - I simply had to sign the paperwork. As chickie1 climbed into what would be our first family van, I told the salesman - "If she likes it, we'll take it." With that, she turned to me and said "Good!".
Why do I bring this up? Simple, that van has been as useful as any tool I've ever owned or used. Over the years, it has hauled more building material that can be listed here. If you are planning to remodel, renovate or even just repair, how do you plan to bring stuff home? If folding down the two rear bench seats didn't give me the height inside the vehicle, I could just remove the seats completely - which explains my many trips to the chiropractor. There's nothing like lifting an 80 pound seat while bent over inside a minivan.
Yep, 4' x 8' panels of sheetrock slid flat, right into the back of the van - can't do that in anything else but a pickup truck, but you can't fit four kids in the back of a pickup truck - legally. I was almost sorry to see it go - it's been a part of the family for as long as my oldest son. But, I knew its days were numbered and we were living on borrowed time.
The day before I was to trade in the old Windstar, I began cleaning it out. In the back, behind the rear seat, was one of chickie2's baseballs- it's been two years since he's played. Under the first bench was chickie3's new soccer ball from last spring, don't want to leave that. In the compartment between the front seats were a stack of old cassette tapes Dawn and I used to listen to prechildren. When I found the roll of paper towels and the disinfectant wipes in a rear hidden compartment, I recalled the one item no family with small children ever left home without - the porta-potty. It fit perfectly under the bench seats, never in the way and always ready for an emergency. I won't go into why the wipes were necessary but let me just say that on one occasion, I found out that I have a very strong stomach.
Yes, I came across so many items that brought back just as many memories that I started to get choked up – then, I realized it was just caused by 10 years of dirt and dust – I never cleaned that vehicle.
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