Thursday, September 15, 2011

Goodbye, Old Friend...

Years ago, we had a real problem. We had six children, four of them boys...with huge feet. We had a station wagon, but that really became obsolete as their feet grew. We searched for a mini van. I remember going to Bell Ford to seek an 8 passenger vehicle. They only had 7 passenger vehicles. The salesperson asked, " you ALL go to church or something that you ALL have to go together?" She. Was. Serious. What the heck? And, pray-tell, which child do you suggest I leave at home while the rest of the family heads out??? We ended up not being able to go anywhere that was not a short trip. Then, a dear friend, Brett Larson, told us about the touring company he worked for..."Open Road Tours". They operated 15 passenger vans, running long distance tours to the Grand Canyon. Their vehicles were meticulously maintained, and they got rid of them after they reached 100,000 miles. He told us they sold them, to regular people, with children whose feet did not fit in a regular vehicle.

We bought one. It was lovely. It was blue inside. It had bench seats in the rear for Allison and Kayty to set up camp. It had shorter bench seats that gave boys room...for feet, and stuff. It had a single seat, right by the door, that EVERYONE fought to sit in. It was beautiful. We treasured it...and Brett...It opened up a whole world to us. We drove to the Grand Canyon. We drove to Yosemite. We visited Aunt Bonnie. Ethan golfed a golf ball across the borders of Arizona, Utah, Montana, Idaho. We camped at Big Sur. We visited Monterey Aquarium. We saw Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park. We saw the Grand Tetons. We visited temples in Utah. We visited Sharynn, Rollin, and the rest of the Moore Cousins. In that beautiful, wonderful, treasured van, we didn't have to leave anyone at home. We even got another one, tan interior, but it didn't have that valuable single seat. I drove the tan one, but I really wanted to drive the blue one. Dee got that one.

Then one day, a young teen didn't see where she was, and hit it. It was totalled. We were crushed. It sat in the yard. For years. Dee bought an old panel truck body, and removed the engine and transmission from that van, to use in his. It sat there. For years. Last week, Morgan listed it on Craigslist for us. Someone wanted it, and came right over.

Sad Dad

Sadly, we lost our dear Brett a few years ago, to cancer. We will never, ever forget him. His gift of merely telling us this van was available made it possible for our family to share smores and smiles. We saw many things, and discovered that Highway 1 in California was impassable in a van this size north of San Francisco, and thus discovered China Camp...a campground in San Francisco...who would have thought. It even makes me chuckle now. When I see and experience my kids, now as adults, all getting along with each other, I remember those drives home from a trip, where I instructed them to go to the far sides of their respective benches, and to not touch each all...ever.

Goodbye, dear friend!

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