|I loved that car. I now drive a newer Subaru Legacy wagon, that I don't like nearly as much.|
My older two kids were 3 and almost 2, and in huge Britax carseats (that I bought because they went up to 65 lbs - huge mistake. My 10 year old just now weighs 65 lbs and would kill me if I made him ride in a 5 point harness. Totally should have gone with the smaller, cheaper Roundabout instead of the Marathon).
We needed a bigger vehicle.
We'd had a suburban in the past, but didn't like the gas mileage. We had also recently moved from California to the Portland, OR (more environmentally friendly) area, and didn't want to be known forever as the irresponsible Californians (who I was told by more than one person, "move to Oregon and want to take over").
So we bought the most uncool thing to drive - the minivan.
We could have got a cool minivan (the Odyssey, Sienna, etc.) with lots of bells and whistles and automatic things, but I thought it was kind of like that (obnoxious) "lipstick on a pig" saying.
All the fancy couldn't hide that it was, in fact, a (freaking) minivan.
So, we bought the absolute cheapest van possible - current model year, but used with low miles.
|2005 Dodge Grand Caravan (this is not ours, but looks just like it)|
Our goal for this thing was to use it to haul our kids (and their huge carseats) for 10 years.
It fit the bill (and also came in handy to car pool, chauffeur around out of town guests, load up a ton of crap at Costco, etc.).
The kids can eat and drink in it, climb in with their muddy boots, and not have to sit right against each other (that is huge).
|My kids love this nasty, cheap van.|
My husband broke the side mirror off backing out of the garage (awhile ago and we never fixed it). My sister dented the side while using it to pick up our kids (as a favor to us). We never fixed that either.
It's just a minivan - it doesn't need to look pretty. It needs to do its job.
It needs to do its job for 3 more years. Right now, it is exactly 7 (bought in July 2005). It's been paid off for a long time, and I want to squeeze all we can out of it.
In order to do its job safely, we need to take it in to the shop from time to time. Now is one of those (so not fun) times.
It's been there for three days.
While I'm at work, my husband and kids have spent the week at home, or walking to do things (2 miles to reach the closest park or shop). That is a seriously long time, but minivan rentals are $$, and all 3 of our kids crammed into the backseat of a regular car is a nightmare (we tried it this weekend - I think my head still hurts from that).
It will be all ready for us to pick up tomorrow afternoon, and our bank account will take a serious hit.
But - it is so, so worth it.
We'll have it back in good (enough) shape (with the mirror finally fixed, too), ready to do its job for another three years (I hope).
Then goodbye forever to this, and any other minivan.