Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Patron Saint of Vans

Over the past two weeks, I've heard it twice. A thumping that rattles the floor boards and makes the not-so-mini-van shake and sputter.

At 264,000 miles, it's probably nearing the end of the Big Green Machine's life, but I refuse to believe it. If my van's going on life support, it's going to be awhile until I'm ready to pull the plug.

I got the van four years ago when I was pregnant with Mini Me. Disgruntled Husband's car had been, um, physically altered by a snow embankment and a creek, leaving us with only one vehicle. My aunt had the van and gave it to us. My mom flew down to Nashville and drove it home for me.

Honestly, we haven't had to put too much work into the van. There was a time, three years ago, when we were stranded in front of the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport on our way to Mall of America. That weekend turned into 3 days of vehicular hell, but we got it fixed and were able to buy groceries that week. (And that's when our yearly gift of a AAA membership from DH's folks started.)

Honestly, it's been slipping for the past year. It falls out of gear while parked, making getting it started again a cardiovascular exercise. My one shoulder is much stronger than the other, all due to forcing the gear shift up and over as far as it will go.

This is the make and model of my van. Mine is much dirtier. It won't fit in the local car wash. Or drive-thru.

And I have to put about 1.5 quarts of oil in it every 2 weeks. That's probably not good. But both times the thumping has happened, it's been the time to put in the oil. Some people call that dying; I call it maintaining. It's like vehicular diabetes. There's no cure, but I know how to deal with it.

But I know her time is coming. I'd like her to hang on until at least the fall when I (hopefully) go back to work because MM (hopefully....state budget cuts and all) will be in 4K.

However, it may be cheaper to just let her go and find a used car in the junkyard. My van has a 33 gallon gas tank. If I ever want to fill it up again, I may need to put down collateral.

On a related note, my step-sister's ex-husband is a mechanic. He used to take care of my car for parts and White Castle. I miss him right about now.

In my prayers at night, I include the not-so-mini-van. If I were Catholic, I'd figure out the Patron Saint of Transportation. This week is a holy week, you know.

Come on Big Green Machine. Let's make it to September.


  1. It's Saint Francis;) and I'm totally jealous (even though she's dying) I want a big van!

  2. Animals and Transportation? Who knew?!?... DH