On June 30 I not only retired, I sold my 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan. The license plates expired on June 30 and it needed to be e-checked, so we decided that we only needed one vehicle after I retired and we could get rid of the Caravan.
The Caravan had 191,701 miles on it and it has hauled youth groups, mission teams, and scouts all over the US. It was one of the first vehicles to have a tv inside – a tiny screen that came down from the roof and was hooked up to a VHS player. You couldn’t see it from the front seat, but the riders in the back loved it. Tom and I listened to more movies than we watched.
The Caravan didn’t owe us anything. It served as faithfully in ministry as any servant of God. In recent years the rust spots have gotten pretty bad, and there were some dings and dents we decided not to repair. I had it serviced for the winter, and our mechanic told me that if I wanted to keep it much longer, it would require some serious work on the brakes and the gear shift. The gear shift was quirky – I would put it in park, but the P didn’t light up. When I got in the car to start it again, it thought it was in reverse. So I would have to shift to neutral in order to start the car. But the engine was still good so I kept driving it.
We sold the Caravan to a couple who have two children and are expecting a baby. They haven’t been able to afford a car and the husband has been riding a bicycle to his job. They have been taking the bus or getting rides from friends. Fortunately, he is a mechanic so he will be able to make most of the needed repairs himself. He was excited about what good shape the car was in! We sold it to them for what we would get from the scrapyard.
I had the Caravan longer than I’ve every owned a car. I wanted to get to 200,000 miles, but we haven’t driven it on long trips in the last few years. It was a good car for us, and I hope the couple that bought it gets plenty of use out of it.
Goodbye Old Caravan – and thanks for being a good car for so long.