Normally I would be saying, "the van is packed and ready." But these are not normal times.
I love my van. I adore my van. I bought my van back in the day when I was a full time R.N. and getting paid! I actually put a monthly "car payment" in a savings account, (earning interest instead of paying it) and when it was time to buy the van, I bought it. The van before this one had been bought used, but this was shiny new and spacious.
It is a fifteen passenger van. A church bus. A big airport shuttle. We took the bench seats out and filled in the cavern with dog crates and bins of my collars to sell and even a full sized x-pen up on a platform. All nine of the dogs ride comfortably, with room for a friend of the canine or human persuasion.
But I have not loaded the van for this trip.
I have taken crates out of the van and put them in... I still hate to say it out loud... the Buick. Rendezvous.
Our other car was always a Subaru wagon, since 1983. Except for a three year hiatus when we thought Japan wasn't trading fairly so we bought a Saturn. Other than that since 1983, we had a Subaru. Lulu the Subaru was the dog car before there was a van, back when there was a truck and horse trailer. She was a good luck, happy times dog car. She continued to be a happy car for our daughter an her husband after she left us. That was a great car.
But the whippets outgrew Subarus, and graduated to vans, and the Subaru became our get around car. And that's how we got the Rendezvous. I was getting around to picking up my new glasses and two desperately needed new bras. (I do not enjoy shopping, and I never budget time on purpose for it. I detest malls. I think that's what's wrong with this country: Walmart and malls. Have you ever seen a happy person at a Walmart or a mall?) But since I had to pick up my glasses, I figured I could drive on out and get something significantly less tired than my current undergarments were.
I found two bargain bras out at the "mall area" (not at the mall and not at Walmart) and I was sitting in the latest Lulu the Subaru at the stop light in front of Chuckie Cheese's thinking about my soon to be perkier figure and my authorly new glasses, when the loudest noise exploded me and next thing I knew a nice man was asking me if I was all right. I thought it odd that I should be lying flat on my back when I should have been sitting at a stop light. And my neck hurt and both of my hands were pins and needles.
Turns out the lady going forty mph in her nice big Mercedes didn't notice the red light, neither did she spot the Subaru stopped at it, nor the car stopped in front of the Subaru, or the two cars stopped in the other lane, and she didn't bother even stepping on her brake the tiniest bit, but instead let the back of my Subaru and the car in front of the Subaru do the stopping of her nice big Mercedes for her.
We think she had a habit of doing stuff like that, because she wasn't insured.
Those two bargain bras cost our insurance company somewhere in the neighborhood of $8,000.00 each.
Bill met me at the hospital. He had found my new glasses which had been on my face, back by the tail light in the way back of poor Lulu. She was totaled.
She had done her job of protecting me, and by some real honest miracle, I had not taken Mama Pajama with me. It was when she was too sick to go on even a short walk, and to make up for it, I'd take her in the car for little errands. Now, I'd written articles on the importance of having dogs secured in vehicles, since in even a minor fender bender a dog becomes a flying object and when it's dog versus windshield, the dog doesn't usually fare so very well. But to give Mama Pajama something to be happy about I had been ignoring my own advice and had been letting her ride shotgun.
I had, thank goodness, left her home that day, and I cannot think about what would have happened had I not. Sweet Mama Pajama is well enough to go on her walks now, and when she rides in a car or the van she is in a secured crate.
So my neck hurt a bit, but we had some big thing going on at the Kennel Club and I was to be there. It was about a week after the accident. Bill asked about another car. What kind should we get, since there were no Subaru dealers here. I hurt. I didn't care. It was up to him.
At the Kennel Club, Bill called my cell phone and said he'd found a car. A Buick. A Rhonda something or other. I didn't pay a whole lot of attention, but when I told my friends, they said, "A Rendezvous?" And their faces looked a little funny when they asked if I had ever seen a Rendezvous. (Dog people know every vehicle made which has room for crates in the back.)
I got home, and at that point my neck was screaming bad things at me, but I stopped dead in my tracks. My husband had bought a big Gremlin!
He came bounding out of the house, surrounded by clouds of excitement. "How do you like it?" he gushed.
"It's a Gremlin on steroids."
1970 AMC Gremlin photo from www.carpictures.com
"Oh that hurts my heart a little," he said.
But that Rendezvous has been a good car. Bill gloats when I put my crates in the Vous to save money on gas. There is a lot of room back there. And we drove it to a vineyard in Missouri on a fun trip with our dear neighbors and we laughed the whole two hours there and back. Bill giving the V sign to any other Rendezvous driver that passed, and calling it his Babe Machine.
And the dealer did take a big painting as partial payment, so that car is extra special to him.
Tomorrow the Vous will take me and Lindy Loo and Swede William to the Midwest Specialty. I didn't think I'd be going, but my friend Carolyn who's fighting the damn brain cancer is going to go. Crystal said the dogs and I can stay in her camper. And the Vous will drink a lot less gas than the van.
Bill's Babe Machine. I can't help but chuckle.
We'll be back Monday, but won't have Internet til then.
Hug your hounds