Another One Bites the Dust


The Naming of Vehicles

We name all our vehicles, including motorcycles and the tractor.  It’s easier to keep track of who is driving what if we refer to them by their names. Waldo is our white van that died last week.

Milo, our 15-passenger green van, is still cranking it out at 361,000. Milo has traveled to New York, Florida, Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, Boston, and Prince Edward Island. Milo has provided transportation for our family as well as other groups for out of state weddings, funerals, reunions, school field trips, and Christmas caroling. Milo has also been used for the annual Memorial Bike Ride.For the last several years, Milo has functioned well as Dave’s work van. This was our plan all along: drive it as a family vehicle while all our kids are at home, then continue to use it for church until Dave needs it for a work vehicle.vehicle

The motorcycles are The Wing, Delores, Tawanda, and Sandra. The tractor is named Marvin. Tawanda and Sandra are  now for sale.

The red pickup is Toby; the white pickup is Leroy; and the CRV is Daisy. We’re also driving Clara more now that Waldo is gone. Some of our vehicles are named after the folks from whom we purchased them, and some are just names that look like the vehicle. You can probably guess which ones are named after actual people.

Waldo was a good van and one of my favorites. We drove him until he could go no more. We limped along the other week climbing Afton mountain singing I think I can, I think I can and made it to our destination just off I-64.  I can’t tell how many times Waldo carried me safely to Maryland and back (600 miles round trip) in the last three years. I surely will miss Waldo. He bit the dust at 254,000 miles. I sure will miss good ole’ Waldo.

Good ole’ Waldo

In the past, we owned Dave’s Pride and Joy whom he nicknamed PJ . A cousin said, “Yeah, it’s PJ all right: Piece of Junk.” Elmer was the green work van we owned before PJ came along. Oscar and Alphonso were sold to other folks after our kids were done with them. Our grad school son is driving Thelma Lou, and we sold Fronie to one of our guys a few years’ back. Back in the days when our sons were at Virginia Tech, they drove Cletus and later Otis. Fronie is another vehicle that took  me safely to Maryland back during the last months of my mother’s life when I was helping with her care. Leo started having trouble over-heating and one day got entirely too hot as he was  being driven near Norfolk. He found his resting place in a junk yard.

Toby, Alfonzo, Waldo

Once a gentleman offered to purchase our 1989 Plymouth Horizon, Fronie, in the Wal-Mart parking lot. I was unloading my groceries when he walked by.

“I had one of those Horizons when I worked for Dominion back in the 1970s,” he told me. “It sure is a good little car and I’d love to have one of those again,” he reminisced. Fronie was such a small thing that she reminded me of an old lady with a chunky body and skinny legs.

Waldo has been a good mini-van for transportation during foster kid days or when we’re picking up extra kids or adults for church. I miss Waldo.

The Blessing of Our Vehicles

I got to thinking about our vehicles the other day and realized how many blessings we would have missed if we drove only brand new vehicles. For starters, we would have missed the gifting we have had from folks who have given us great deals on used vehicles or practically given them to us. We’d have missed watching the miles add up on the engines as we’ve decided we’ll keep driving them until they drop. Good to the last drop, that’s what we say. There have been quite a few almost last drops, that’s for sure.

We’d have missed the times we’ve prayed over the vehicles as they sputtered and puffed along. I think I’d miss the “check engine light” being on all the time, for often by the time we claim a vehicle as ours, that light usually isn’t working anymore. We would have missed the time Dave was able to trade part of a roof job for a Jeep. The owner was tickled to pay less for the roof, and Dave was happy not to need to shell out any money for the vehicle.

One thing about driving used vehicles: it takes care of selfishness and pride. If you’ve never had the experience, I recommend that you do.

In the meantime, we’re looking for another van. I wonder what we should name our next vehicle?



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