Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

For old quotes, look here.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Love Letter

Dear Chevrolet,

Oh, how I love my Astro van. Who wouldn't love a van on a truck chassis that doesn't take "no" for an answer?

Oh, how I mourned when I learned that you, in your infinite foolishness wisdom chose to stop manufacturing my beloved Astro van. I understand - it may be a bit self-defeating to build a vehicle that just doesn't die.

Oh, how I have sung the praises of my beloved Astro van. Her name is Rosie. Rose Marie Chevrolet, to be precise. I call her "my beloved mule" and "sweet Rosie". I cheer her on when we are towing a loaded trailer up a mountain side, and encourage her to keep her footing when we encounter ice or other poor-traction conditions.

I neglect her more often than I should, have her oil changed less often than I should, do not clean her anywhere near enough, and she cheerfully runs along tickety-boo.

True, I have had occasional...oddities...occur, but that's to be expected in any vehicle of mine.

Not that I've had many. All of my cars have been Chevrolets, by the way. All two of them.

My first love was Clementine Anne Chevrolet, and I loved her with a love that can only be had for one's first car - in this instance, a light brown 1979 Chevy Malibu Classic with a 305 V8, no AC (in Redneck Central, in the summer - my AC was frozen bottles of water placed in strategic places around my body), two working windows, and a two-station AM radio (but it only worked in the city). Oh, my darling Clementine, I miss you still. I had to sell her when I could no longer keep up with her wonderful V8 engine's maintenance needs, and a nice young, mechanically inclined fellow was delighted to have her.

Meanwhile, there's Rosie.

Chevrolet, I am a die-hard, Astro loving woman. I have sworn undying devotion to Rosie. She's every kind of awesome, even the kinds no one's discovered yet. I love, love, love the rear doors - I have the gated Dutch doors on the back. People see me open these doors and they envy me and want to know where they can get some. Not kidding...it happens all the time. I must sorrowfully tell them that they can't have these wonderful doors for their very own...because, as with the Astro, the gated Dutch doors are no longer available.

I have had to replace her starter, her fuel pump (twice), her transmission, a side view mirror, some kind of joint in the front (I called it a hip joint, 'cause that's what it would be on a people), a fuel tank cover, a heat exchanger for the radiator, the rear gate pistons, the AC, and re-glue the rear view mirror three times (Redneck Central is hot, parking outside often a necessity, and vehicle interiors are frequently glue-melting), among other things.

I should replace the driver's side-view mirror (I may or may not have been backing out of the garage and gotten just a little too close to the building which may or may not have broken the glass and given me ten smaller mirrors to look at while driving), the airbag sensor, the fuel gauge sensor (although I kind of like watching the needle dance, shimmy, and vibrate along as I drive), the driver's side lock switch that doesn't work at all, forcing me to use the rear gate lock or the passenger switch to secure the vehicle, and the passenger side window motor that works most of the time unless it doesn't feel like it.

I have lived for weeks at a time in that van, and can tell anyone foolish enough to ask exactly how to set up a full-sized bed and a kitchen in there and still have room for their suitcase.

The dealership that sold my Mum her Z-70 and the Astro she bought after she experienced the wonders of Rosie the Mule is the same dealership that does most of my maintenance. They have warned me that one day, even they won't be able to fix whatever's wrong. I dread the day.

She brought my son home from the hospital when he was born. She will bring my daughter home sometime in the next seven days, when she is born. She has made rescue runs to Las Vegas, New York state, and Florida, hauled my family up to Mass and back (the trip that killed the fuel pump, but she got us home anyway), and it was Rosie who carried me to Texas to first meet my Someone. Should the opportunity present itself for a new vehicle, I will decline if it means I cannot also keep Rosie...unless, maybe, if it was another Astro van...and even then...

Please, Chevrolet...won't you reconsider and start building these marvelous vans again? For me?? Preferably a blue one with an iPod friendly stereo, a sliding door on each side, and no trace of that evil tool of the Devil, Onstar? I'd be ever so grateful...


Momlady said...

I wish they would, too.

That Janie Girl said...

Though I have had several vehicles, I get just as attached as you are to Rosie.

I love this post!

HermitJim said...

Hard not to get attached to a vehicle! Like an old friend, and more dependable than some people I know!

Won't be long now, I guess, until the family size grows!

SciFiChick said...

I had an Astro Van too and I know just how you feel. I absolutely LOVED that van. It got me to work and back faithfully for years. We took several vacations and mini-vacations as well. Camped out in it and used it as a "spare" bed when visiting relatives. We went many miles in that old girl. I miss that old van and remember lots and lots of good times because it got us where we needed to go. I've never owned a vehicle I appreciated more.
Oops, sorry I got carried away... your post brought back some good ol' memories. Thanks!