A few weeks ago I went into a local coffee shop, grabbed a cup of Jo and returned to my van. I unlocked the door and climbed into the driver’s seat. I wrinkled my nose at the smell of stale smoke. It was not the smell of a fresh cigarette; it was the leftover lingering stench of a chain smoker’s clothes. A chill ran through me and I placed my bag on the floor and my coffee in the cup holder. I climbed across all the rows of seats to the very back to make sure there wasn’t a person connected to that odor. No one was there. I climbed back to the front and looked all around the parking lot.
Another woman was examining her own car which had a freshly busted out window. I rolled down my own and asked her if it had just happened. She was visibly shaken. We exchanged a few words but neither of us had seen anything. I returned to work and found the damaged lock on the passenger’s door. For the rest of the day I couldn’t shake the feeling of violation. As the weeks have passed I’ve looked at my 12 passenger van in a whole new light. It has left me wondering, who in their right mind would break in to my van? I came up with 10 reasons not to steal my van.
10. Look at this mirror!
We ran into a tree about two years ago. When it happened we were kind of disappointed. When we found out how much a new mirror cost we just taped it up with some lovely waterproof plumbers tape that the heater repairman left in the basement. It really does the trick. The mirror still basically works and we didn’t spend a dime to fix it.
9. There are enough stale French Fries on the floor to feed a small army. I’m honestly always surprised to find any fries on the floor at all. I love their salty, fatty goodness and I absolutely never let even one fall to the ground. My kids don’t share my obsessive desire to eat every last fry and therefore the seatbelt crevices and unused map-holders are full of them.
8. No less than five children and one dog have vomited in on the seats. Our most memorable horrifying trip included a car-sick niece who could not seem to aim for the barf bag, followed by our 7-year-old who swallowed a quarter and then puked it back up again, followed by our dachshund bringing in the grand finale all over my lap.
It was supposed to go to the church garage sale six months ago. I forgot to take it and now the kids refer to this particular row of seats as the “giraffe seats.”
6. The A/C doesn’t work. It’s all good though because one of the windows opens and we keep extra deodorant in the glove box for especially hot day.
5. Does a shattered tail light make you believe there might be something awesome inside of this fancy van?
4. The radio has been stuck on the same station for a month and I swear, every time I turn it on it’s playing ZZ Top. At first it was like a sweet reminder of my childhood. Then it was just plain annoying. But yesterday morning something beautiful happened while I was driving my sons to Sunday School. ZZ Top was wailing and we were singing. Together in perfect mother/son unity. A beautiful melody, “she’s got legs, and she knows how to use them.” We were really hitting our musical sweet spot when my 8 year old asked, “how does she use her legs momma?” I turned it off and we rode in silence. Darn you ZZ Top.
3. I do understand that a person might be lured to the van by the sight of a Dunkin Donuts box perched on the dash board.
But seriously? Take a peek into the un-tinted windows of this sweet ride and realize that there are approximately 47 children in this family. There is no way there is a donut left in that box.
2. The heat only works in the front. In the winter we keep a bunch of blankets in the back and the kids know to bundle up in an extra layer before taking a long trip. When the van is parked in a parking lot, the blankets laying over the seats could make a person wonder if something wonderful is hidden underneath. I’ll save you the hassle of jimmying the lock with a flat head screwdriver. Under those blankets is a fascinating collection of cheerios, garage sale stuffed animals, a size 7 pair of Lightening McQueen galoshes, my son’s life jacket, and that watermelon I bought last week at the grocery and then couldn’t find anywhere once we got home. (at least I assume it’s still in the van.)
1. This Family.
These people. We use this beaten up vehicle every single day. We drive it to drop off forgotten lunches and missing homework assignments. It takes us back and forth to work each day and to the beach every spring. With the extra seats we can always pick up a couple neighborhood friends on our way to the park. We’ve chased hot air balloons in this van. We’ve waited out rain delays in this van. My granddaughter has a car seat in here for those times she just needs a special MiMi and Grandpa day. When it thunders, you can always find our Great Pyrenees squeezed under one of the seats, refusing to move until the storm passes. This van has taken kids to church camp and helped a family move into their very first home. I taught my daughter to drive in this van. I brought 4 of my children home in this van. This van is important to us. Please don’t steal it.
Have you ever had your car stolen? Were you confused as to why someone would want it based on it’s condition? Share your story with us in the comment section below.