Random Ramblings


This week we said goodbye to a very loyal friend – our van.

The kids’ dad and I bought the 2001 Dodge Caravan 9 years ago. In those 9 years the van has traveled to North Bay umpteen times (over 1000 km or 600 miles return), to Nova Scotia and home again (almost 4000 km or 2400 miles return) and various trips to Collingwood, Toronto and day-to-day driving around the area.

Now, I have never been gentle with my van. Mike describes me as an “aggressive” driver, but what can you expect when I was taught to drive by farmers and truckers? Also, I didn’t really have the money to invest in the van so fixing it was always more of a lick and promise. But it’s held it’s own, despite being poorly maintained and there is no shame for my little van.

So here’s a little good-bye to our van.

You carted around my babies when they were both still in booster seats. You brought all our fluffy friends to their forever home (Mittie, Louis, Cliff, Jake and DJ). You took us to countless doctor and therapist appointments. We filled you to the brim with junk to take to the dump more times than I can count. You tolerated my lack of proper care and still got me from point A to point B never once leaving me stranded on the side of the road (except the tires this year, but that wasn’t really your fault). You took me and my friends, loaded to the gills with kids and coolers, on several adventures to the beach, the bush and wherever I pointed you. So we say goodbye.


Goodbye to the soft glow of your check engine light that’s been my constant driving companion these last 8 years.

IMG_7566IMG_7565Goodbye to the decorative bubbling around the gas tank. Also, I’ll have to adapt to having a safety valve in my gas tank again.

IMG_7567So long to the seized rear wiper that’s been obscuring my view for the better part of 8 years.


IMG_7569 IMG_7572We’re saying adios to the bits of rust and decoratively placed “open spaces” that have made you unique and guaranteed that no one would steal you out of the Wal-Mart parking lot.

IMG_7571 IMG_7574Goodbye my good friend. I’ve been joking for years that you were held together with prayer and divine duct tape. I guess it finally stopped working.

This is the last thing (besides the house) that I co-owned with the kids’ dad (last year I swept through the house replacing or moving everything that we had co-owned, see Let the Changes Begin). The van was always in my name but he was the primary driver. I kept driving it all these years because it’s what I had and it worked.

But the time has come for a change, or so I thought. Mike and I went around to a few car dealerships and really liked the 2005 Chrysler Pacifica. 2005 Chrysler Pacifica Limited

We talked to the salesman and he pulled up the online forms for financing. Turns out I’m ineligible for financing because I’m currently on disability. This came as a surprise to me, but apparently legislature was passed a couple of years ago preventing people on ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program) from accessing loans.

I was terribly disappointed and more than a little frustrated. My credit is good. My bills are paid. I have an income, just not an acceptable one I guess. I didn’t know what I was going to do about a new vehicle. The van was no longer safe to drive (truthfully, it hasn’t been for a while, but shhhhh, we don’t talk about those things).

As luck would have it my mechanic (a really great guy) had a van that he was willing to let go of for a price I could manage, without financing. So yesterday we welcomed our new-to-us 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan (it seems I’m a van gal). Although it’s the same year as our old van the body is in much better shape. It had a brand new transmission put in last year and some body work done this year. My mechanic also put new front brakes on for me. I feel very spoiled.

IMG_7577-2The mechanic said I could probably get 5 years out of it. I’d be happy with 2 or 3. And do you know that means? If I have this van for at least 2 years both kids will learn to drive with this van.

IMG_7575-2Alexi’s already raring to go, but he’s got another a year and a half to wait (or how I see it – only a year and half – ugh).



About Holly

I hope you're able to glean something from this blog, a nugget of wisdom, a new perspective, a smile or even a laugh. I enjoy getting feedback so please comment, share your story with me too. After all, we're here to help each other.
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6 Responses to Random Ramblings

  1. I love the van! I love mini-vans and always wished I could have one!

    I’ve been driving a 1999 Nissan Altima for the last 7 years or so, knowing I was saving it for Mr. T, and you know I just upgraded to the Lexus SUV, but I gotta admit… I miss my little Nissan.

    But, love the van! It’s gorgeous! I’m also so very happy for you!

    • Holly says:

      Thanks. We decided on a van just before Alexi was born. We figured carting 2 car seats and my mom (so 5 people) in a car for the 6 hour drive to North Bay for family functions was too much. This will be my third van. Next time I’d like a cross-over SUV. I like the height when driving and the roominess but by then the kids will be less dependent on my vehicle.
      I love your new car btw.

  2. Valerie says:

    Very nice van! Sorry about the lack of financing. :/

    • Holly says:

      Oh well. At least this way it’ll be paid for and I won’t have to worry about payments. Also, my insurance didn’t change so I’m not putting out any extra money there πŸ™‚

  3. May your old van that brought you so many good times rest in peace. And may your new to you van be a good substitute!

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