I have come to the end of one story, and am beginning another. When my daughter was one month old, we purchased a 2001 Mercury Villager Estate. I had a 1996 Saturn Wagon for several years, but it was too small for our family, and I wanted a mini-van.
So Pete and I went to North Point Ford in Jacksonville to look at Dodge Caravans. I didn’t like the one we test drove. It just felt too much like a bus. So the salesman showed us the Mercury and we fell in love. Yeah, we paid $5000 more for it than we had budgeted, but it was a sweet ride for 12 years.
The middle bucket seats could be removed, so we took one out and put Melody’s car seat in the other one. This way, when we traveled, we had ample floor space to stop and do the things that need to be done for young children when they travel. He he.
The van became a student ministry tool, it brought countless kids to church and back home on Wednesday nights, it took kids to camp, and the van served as the perfect counseling office on numerous occasions.
The van took church staff and volunteers to Texas several times for conferences, and our family rode in to on vacations to Florida.
The van has earned the nicknames “Mystery Machine” and “TARDIS” (because of it’s blue color.)
When the van became too old to travel, it still functioned greatly in town driving Melody back and forth from school.
Most recently, the van has served as the cargo carrier for equipment for SeeMallardMedia, with it’s greatest talent of being able to carry an 8 foot tall ladder in its interior.
We will miss the van and it’s time with us. I truly believe that God blessed that vehicle to get us through the past 12 years. It has continued to run even in times when it shouldn’t. For example, the timing belt had several of its bumps missing when we pulled it out of the vehicle a couple of years ago. The mechanic was amazed. I was not. My joke is that there are angel feathers all over that vehicle because they lost them keeping the van running.
God is in the story. We ended up buying the new vehicle from a North Point dealer. And our new vehicle costs nearly the same amount that we paid for the van 12 years ago. So I pray the next owner gets as many blessings out of it as we have. Goodbye blue van.