Thoughts I had while saying Goodbye to the family Mini-Van:
Today's the day. The day when my family becomes van-less. We've been mini van people for 20 years. And now, just like that, we will be the proud new owners of a mid-sized SUV.
- •Our beloved 2008 Chevrolet Uplander:
- •1. I'll miss these sliding doors.The wind never catches them and flings the door into the parked car next to us. They were so easy for quick getaways. The strange button that opened and closed the doors was a sure way to confuse, but also impress our friends. And nothing screams "van" quite like sweet sliding doors.
- •2. The DVD player was a road trip lifesaver.I remember when we first bought the van. We thought we had hit the jackpot with the built-in DVD player. So now, so wow! The countless strange movies we have watched on road trips have filled our van with so much cheer. We used to pack so many movies, each one cleverly picked with the whole family in mind. Later in life, we would just find a Redbox along the way and rent a movie instead of carrying around 20 dvd's.
- •3. Remember that one time when the electronic door got stuck and beeped for the entire 4 hour road trip.My brother and I borrowed the van to tote all of our friends. Unfortunately, the door malfunctioned and thought it wasn't "closed." It beeped. And beeped. And beeped. For hours. Luckily, I think all of our friends are still our friends. (Or at least I think they are...)
- •4. There was poor AC circulation in the back.When it was hot outside, there was no way to have air directly on you. You could kinda feel it on the back of your head, which really did you no good. So my family got used to hearing me complain. "UGH it's so hot." "Can I get more air?" "I'm literally going to pass out if I don't get air."
- •5. Car naps will never be the same.Vans have SO MUCH room for quality nap time. I could stretch out in the back seat and sleep for hours on the plush seats. Bring a couple of pillows and it's basically like a twin sized bed.
- •6. We no longer run a limo service.The van was our limo. For some reason, I always felt like a celebrity. I can't begin to say how many times mom rolled up somewhere, I slid the sliding door open, and I walked out like a bad bitch. My brother and I would "rent" the van for a weekend with friends because it was the only vehicle that could accommodate us all. And our luggage. And then some.
- •7. The actual great traction the van had on icy roads.Even though it was only 2-wheel drive, the van was practically a bulldozer on the ice. It has suffered through many an Oklahoman ice storm. (You know, the horrid kind that knocks the power out. And instead of a snow day, you have an ice day. Which sucks. Because you can't even play outside.) I don't even recall a time it got stuck. Because it was that awesome.
- •8. The cup holders were made by God Himself.Whoever designs vans is incredible. They know your basic needs and they go above and beyond to meet them. (Except on the AC, but I digress..) The thing that beats all other vehicles on the market is the cupholders. Basically, our van has enough cupholders for each member of my family to have 3 drinks securely held at any given moment. Also, they are various sizes to accommodate different cups. 32 oz Sonic drinks, small coffee thermos, water bottles, etc. So convenient.
- •9. Karaoke.I’m not even sure how many mix-tapes have I made for this van. It has helped me through some extremely bizarre music phases, and has jammed along through the good ones. Whether I was with friends or just with my mom, music was always on and we were always singing. So, I want to thank the people who made our karaoke possible. And most importantly, the van, for enduring and operatic rendition of the state song of Oklahoma every time we crossed back into the greatest state on earth.
- •10. I love you.You’ve always been here. Through high school, through college, through grad school. I can’t even begin to fathom the amount of laughs you’ve held, the tears you’ve felt, or the drinks I’ve spilled inside the van. You’ve been to the Grand Canyon. You’ve driven us to the family farm countless times. You’ve carried us to numerous sporting events. You’ve been jam packed with my friends—old friends, new friends, cousin friends.
- •10. I love you. (Continued.)You’ve driven over mountains, through deserts, through horrendous snow storms, through torrential downpours, through stand still traffic, and all around the beloved state of Oklahoma. My favorite memories are contained inside this 4 door van. Even though I was embarrassed to be a van-family for a brief stint my freshman year of high school, I’m beyond grateful now for those sweet moments we have all shared together… in the van.