I was in the local grocery yesterday, chatting with the employees, and one asked me if that was my snappy little red Mustang convertible parked out front.

“I wish!” was my response – !

My vehicle was the ‘soccer mom’ van parked right next to it!! But, alas, one look at me and you KNOW my soccer mom days are WAY over!!!

My poor old van has gone thru more than one metamorphosis over the years.

Outwardly, the 2000 Toyota Sienna still gives the appearance of the traditional ‘mom’ van carting a load of kids all over town!!!

But, the kids are now 25 and 21- for the daughter to drive the van anywhere, as she bluntly put it – is ‘social suicide’! The son is beyond the social suicide age – and he’s not above using the van if he needs to move his furniture!

I have gone from really being a soccer mom – the son was on travel teams and quite a talented player – altho I think this van came into the family after he quit soccer for basketball!!

The van’s next incarnation was as a rolling tack box. I pulled out the back seat, and installed a saddle rack, and the van parked in places that vehicles without 4 wheel drive don’t usually go – taking my daughter to her horse shows, foxhunts, and pair races! I would have preferred a different vehicle – but the Toyota was dependable , and we couldn’t afford a new car then. Its bumpers made  GREAT mounting blocks at a hunt or show – and I  still use it for that on occasion!

When the daughter earned her license and got a pickup truck – the van wasn’t needed to haul horse “stuff” anymore. I never put the back seat back in, because I used the van for hauling stuff back and forth to my antique shop. Eventually, the middle seat came out – more room to haul crap, and keep the seats from getting ruined. Gotta keep them in good condition, for when we sell the van!

Next, we moved to the country- and the van was used to carry the overflow from the U-Haul, when we moved ourselves!! Seatless, it held alot of stuff – and still had room for the dog!

Since we now live down a 900 plus foot gravel and dust driveway (most days it is mostly dust!), the need to keep the van washed and shiny goes by the wayside!

During the first winter out here in the boonies, the snow (or ice, or pothole) stole  my left front hubcap (or wheelcover as I guess they are called now!). A few storms later – the right front one disappeared.

When I’d drive back to visit a friend in the old neighborhood, who always has a nice new-ish car, I would be greeted by the comment “Don’t you EVER wash your car – and when are you going to replace those hubcaps!?!?”

Well, there is no sense in washing the car, even if we HAD the hose at the house hooked up- because when you go down the driveway to leave – you just wasted all that washing time – because the van will immediately be covered with a protective coating of driveway dust!

The van’s new incarnation is dual – a dog mobile and cargo van. I can fill the van with horse feed and pine shavings from the co-op, the groceries, and fit all 4 dogs in at the same time!!! The front seats are always covered with towels – to keep the dog hair off me and any passengers who dare to brave a ride with me!  I do vacuum the van – I am not a total slob, but all hopes of selling this Toyota for a new, smaller vehicle are pretty much dashed at this point! The van is totally dependable, gets great gas mileage (for a van) can still get out of its own way on the highway, and leave some other vehicles in the dust – if it has to!!! Plus, with over 237,000 miles under its belt – I doubt the resale value would be worth the effort at this point! I feel less of a need to keep up with the Joneses, when I don’t live next door to the Joneses anymore!!!!

So, the grocery store guy told me he’d keep an eye out for some replacement hubcaps/wheelcovers for me, and altho I envy the woman in the red Mustang just a tad, my multipurpose van is gonna stay with me a few more years!

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All is well at Mountain Meadows today……………………………………………………………………

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