Monday, September 22, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

The end of an era – more precisely, my minivan phase

By
From page A2 | February 26, 2013 |

Years ago – in 1999, to be exact – I wrote that I had given up on being “hip” when it came to cars. Though I had previously declared I would rather have a root canal without the benefit of anesthesia than be caught even test-driving a minivan, the birth of my third child that spring meant destiny had taken a hand. I gave in, and slunk into my first van after all. A Honda Odyssey.

“Growing Family Finally Drives Her to a Minivan” was one headline for that column.

And I loved it. So much so that a few years later, after baby No. 4 had arrived, I did it again. This time it was a Toyota Sienna, with all the bells and whistles. It had a remote operating rear hatch, a novelty at the time, that put me over the edge and into that make and model. All that room, all those cup holders, again being able to punch a button from anywhere and open a side door for myself or one of my then-young kids. And this car had a DVD player to keep my little ones occupied. I was giddy.

My love showed. One paper titled a column I wrote about it, “Life Support: Affair with a Minivan (a remote control opens the door to her heart.)” Cute. And correct.

A few years later, when major American carmakers announced that they were discontinuing their minivan lines because buyers considered them so uncool, I wrote that I knew they were uncool – and didn’t care!

Well, 10 years after that second minivan purchase, it’s finally time to get a new vehicle. I admit that I was leaning toward another minivan. But my children staged an intervention: I just could not do such a thing again, they said. Apparently they care about cool even if I don’t. But the fact is, they are right that we just don’t need a minivan anymore. We’re talking SUV.

My children – now almost 19 down to almost 12, which means a couple of new drivers in the mix – are thrilled. Me? Not so much. Not just because I’ll miss the sliding doors and all that room, which I will, but because I realize I’ll miss this particular minivan. Ten years is quite a life span in a family.

I remember the many road trips in it to camp in Missouri, friends in Wisconsin, family in Indiana. The Christmas trees brought home in that van. The arguments between the children. The endless car pools.

This was the very car that brought us from Virginia to our new home in the Chicago area after we so unexpectedly became a single-parent family in 2004. In fact, we had that car for less than a year before it became just the five of us. But now the stick-figure decals on the back, featuring a mom juggling a soccer ball, briefcase and frying pan, a boy and three girls, one dog and two cats, are beginning to fade and peel.

I guess, in a way, with my new husband and our new life, it really is time for new wheels.

It’s just that, for me, letting go of that van has become a metaphor for letting go of my life with young children, and all the chaos and wonder that came with it. I admit that’s hard, and find myself delaying the transition a bit. Especially after I cleaned the car up for sale. I hadn’t seen it without crumbs for a long time.

So I began rationalizing to myself that maybe no huge maintenance expenses are looming. (Actually, they are.) Who really needs four-wheel drive in the Chicago area, anyway? (Everyone.) Most important, surely a 10-year-old car can be just as safe as a much newer one for my teen drivers. (It can’t.)

Of course, the rationalizations don’t work for long. And now it’s on to a new car, and goodbye to the minivan and my minivan phase, after all.

Yes, there is excitement for the things ahead.

Still, minivan, you are not cool – but you will be missed.

Betsy Hart’s latest book, “From The Hart: A Collection of Favorite Columns on Love, Loss, Marriage (and Other Extreme Sports),” has just been newly revised. Email hartmailbox-mycolumn@yahoo.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Vaca Christian hits FM airwaves

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 6 Comments | Gallery

 
CHP offers teen drivers class

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Golf tourney to help uninsured children

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3, 2 Comments

Dixon Scottish Games return to Solano

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
 
Hazmat crew responds to Fairfield after spill Sunday

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

SBDC schedules free workshop for small businesses

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Cordelia Rotary to host Senior Center fall dinner

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Master Gardeners schedule annual plant exchange

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Il Fiorello Olive Oil Co. hold butchery class

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
American music makes a sweet sound Sunday

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

Local governments schedule meetings

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
North Bay Pediatrics celebrates anniversary

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B8

 
Sutter Solano has new leader

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B8

Popeye’s seeks Fairfield site

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B8, 7 Comments | Gallery

 
.

US / World

32 structures destroyed in California wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Some California wells run dry amid drought

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

More drought forecast next year across West

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Feds censure local police, yet give lethal weapons

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Melted glacier sends miles of mud down Mt. Shasta

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Crews cleaning fuel spill in San Francisco Bay

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Police say rifle carried by ambush suspect found

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Gov. Brown signs clean-air vehicle legislation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 4 Comments

Sierra Leone concludes nationwide Ebola lockdown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
2016 may loom, but Jeb Bush is focused on business

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

China, US, India push world carbon emissions up

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
New Afghan president, but vote totals kept secret

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Del. authorities: Bus overturns, at least 1 dead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
NASA’s Maven explorer arrives at Mars after year

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

North Korea powerful temptation for some Americans

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Craig Ferguson plays it loose with new game show

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

‘Maze Runner’ races past ‘Tombstones’ with $32.5M

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
.

Opinion

Idealists made mess of 20th century

By Jack Batson | From Page: A8, 5 Comments

 
Thanks go out to Telstar Instruments

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Pulse poll: Will the drought end this year?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: Sept. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Sept. 22, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Ned’s drinking is ruining our parents’ business, health

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B5

 
Horoscopes: Sept. 22, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

Horoscopes: Sept. 23, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

 
TVGrid Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

.

Sports

Stanton leads Cardinals past 49ers 23-14

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Donaldson’s walk-off HR powers A’s past Phillies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Penalty nixes Raiders rally, Patriots win 16-9

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Giants swept by Padres; fall 4 ½ behind Dodgers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Armijo boys run to 2nd-place finish in Irvine

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Hamilton wins in Singapore, takes F1 title lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Ex-Titans kicker Bironas killed in car crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Seahawks hold off Broncos 26-20 in overtime

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
NFL roundup: Cowboys erase 21-point deficit, beat Rams 34-31

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Hur pulls away for LPGA Tour win in Alabama

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

 
Logano wins at New Hampshire in 2nd Chase race

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

.

Business

5 ways to protect yourself from data breaches

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

 
Native Americans getting final settlement payments

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

For Better or Worse Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Wizard of Id Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Frank and Ernest Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Rose is Rose Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Pickles Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Zits Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

B.C. Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baldo Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Garfield Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Beetle Bailey Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Peanuts Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Sally Forth Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Word Sleuth Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Cryptoquote Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Crossword Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Bridge Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
For Better or Worse Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sally Forth Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Garfield Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Get Fuzzy Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baldo Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
B.C. Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Dilbert Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Wizard of Id Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baby Blues Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Blondie Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Beetle Bailey Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Peanuts Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Zits Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Pickles Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Bridge Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Cryptoquote Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Sudoku Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Word Sleuth Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Crossword Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7