Oh, how I remember my brand new Ford Contour in dark iridescent teal. (I tried in vain to find a picture I have of it which started me sorting old pictures). I leased it right before I got married. I loved that car - the smell, the color, the thick steering wheel. It was a step up from the old Cutlass I had been driving with the seat that was at a permanent tilt. But alas, times changed, babies started coming and vehicles needed to change too. We have had various cars and trucks since that car. Some new, some older models and even a fun, sporty and fast Dodge Charger that was my favorite of all.
When we had twins we knew we needed a minivan to fit more car seats and were very happy with our Honda Odyssey. Being that we leased at that time we were able to get a new van every few years and that worked well for us for a time but then John decided that was enough and purchased our current minivan. (I really do miss that new car smell!) When we found we were expecting baby #7 we knew the inevitable was here. People had been questioning when we were going to get a big van for quite awhile by now. After all, our church parking lot is full of them -- white and burgundy and loaded with children. I don't know that either of us relished the idea. But it was already a tight fit and 7 children do not fit in the back of a minivan.
We began to look at options (which are not many) and a friend would jokingly send us pictures of things like a small school bus or a souped up Dodge Sprinter. I found a van I really liked but it is only sold in Korea. I told John surely if he went over to Korea on business he could pick one up and have it shipped over. He explained however that vehicles there do not have to meet all of the emissions that ours do which is why it is not sold here. Well, I could dream.
You may recall that we sold our motor home this past fall so we could buy a large van. John wanted to keep the minivan for me to drive during the week to save on gas mileage. I know some people have commented that we have so many vehicles; including John's work car, truck with a plow (really only used for snow), an old mustang John rebuilt the engine on, and my minivan. While that may be true George told me the other night that "they all serve a purpose".
So, back to the story. We had been waiting and praying for the right van for us. This was a big decision and we were going to take our time making it. I hoped for a colorful van and maybe captains chairs but alas the "fun" colors are usually the large vans that only fit 7 and the same with the seating. I agreed that any color but white would be nice. John wanted a 15 passenger right away to take out the back seat and use for storage space and taking Lincoln in his crate when need be. There was a new white van at the dealer in town but we felt we still needed to wait.
Last weekend John went into town to pick up a few things and drove past the Ford dealer (he wanted a Chevy because of the better suspension) and low and behold there sat a silver 15 passenger Chevy Express. As it turns out it had only been there an hour as the previous owner traded it in for a smaller van. He brought it home to show us right away and we agreed that it was what we had been waiting for and more within our price range being that it is four years old.
We picked up our van on Monday and the kids were thrilled! They have been waiting to not be "squished" any longer. I think I may have to invest in a megaphone to talk to those in the back row. There is so much room we can have two children per seat. For now, I am not going to drive it and we'll only use it on weekends together or for trips. I have enough problems parking a minivan so don't think I can handle a "bus" quite yet.
"The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps."