So the van is ours now.
I mailed off the last payment this morning. Technically the last payment wasn’t due until next month, but that final payment was such a small percentage of the usual monthly bill that it didn’t seem worthwhile to split it into its own payment. Also, as academics we don’t really get paid in the summer unless we find other things to do – summer classes, special appointments, things like that – so it seemed like a good idea to take care of this while we were still getting our usual direct deposits. So the check is, quite literally, in the mail, and at some point in the near future we will get some kind of official notification that no further checks are required.
And the title, which is a nice thing to have if we ever want to sell it. I don’t think we will – I fully expect to have it towed to the scrapyard when we are done with it in a decade or two – but you never know.
We bought it five years ago, on a sunny day in June that was full to the brim with other activities. We still think of it as “the new car,” half a decade and 80,000+ miles later. It doesn’t smell like new anymore, but so it goes.
We’ve taken it all over the midwest, the northeast, the upper south, and as far west as the Rockies. It’s been pretty much everywhere in Wisconsin. We’ve hauled children, family, friends, turkeys, chickens, rabbits, and on one memorable occasion a pig. We went to a drive-in movie and watched from the tailgate. Tabitha graduated middle school the day we got it, and now she’s in college. Lauren has her own driver’s license now. We’ve replaced the side mirrors at least twice on each side. Our driveway runs the length of the house and is exactly as wide as the van, which makes backing down to the street something of an adventure. The HFT is, as always, okay.
It’s been a while.
I don’t suppose it will hit me until next month, when I go to write the same check I’ve been writing since 2014 and discover that I don’t actually have to do that anymore. It will be a welcome discovery (vide supra, re: child in college) but an odd one.
We’re hoping to keep both cars for as long as we can, since car payments are just the most useless bills in the world. My goal is not to buy another car until both of my children have college degrees. We’ll see how that goes. It’s nice to have a goal.
We never did really give it a name. Too many choices, not enough interest. It’s still “the van.”
It is a good and faithful chariot, and it serves us well.
And now it’s entirely ours.