Dec 18, 2009

A Tribute.

Dear 15 Passenger Van,

I will never forget that fated day in 2002 in Lawrence, Kansas when I realized that seven kids were not going to fit in my beloved Suburban anymore. I once again had to compromise because of my choices and I became the owner of a 15 passenger van. Definitely not something you tell your friends in high school that you are going to be driving when you grow up. I always talked bad about you in front of you. But when we loaded you up a few weeks ago to head to Michigan and Indiana I realized you have been through a lot with the Baird family.

You have seen the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic ocean

You have been to Texas to see the Merrill's

You have driven our family and countless youth to the Chicago, Winter Quarters, Nauvoo, St.Louis, and Boston Mormon temples.

You have run out of gas 30 miles outside of Denver.

You have broken down in the middle of the night in Pennsylvania with just me and 6 of the kids. Remember the crazy scary guy that helped us?

You went through that "I am going to randomly not start stage" before we moved to Massachusetts....yeah, you stumped every mechanically minded guy in the ward in Indiana with that one...good times.

You drove to Wichita to pick up two couches for me. Who else has a car that can fit a full size couch and a love seat in it?

You have been to Ikea in Chicago and Ikea in Connecticut and been loaded to the brim with put it together yourself furniture.

You have been to many Mormon church history sites....Adam ondi Ahman, Independence, Liberty Jail, Kirkland, Palmyra, Hill Cumorah, Nauvoo, Far West, Winter Quarters and Salt Lake City.

Miriam threw up all over you once in West Virginia.

You have witnessed way too many Baird family fights.

You have listened to countless books on tape...... Harry Potter, Cheaper by The Dozen, The Giver, Little House on The Prairie, and so much more.

You carried 6 marathon runners in you for 24 hours

Teenagers have left way too much of their trash in you

Don't forget all the jokes we hear about little tiny me driving around big enormous you

You have carried all our Christmas Trees home for us.

You have had many inches of sand in you.

The kids have locked the keys in you and pried open your side window so much that we finally had to duct tape the window shut.

Amanda had a small tantrum and broke one of your side doors and we had to apply a sign with duct tape to the door to remind everyone not to use it and now you have duct tape residue stuck on the side of you.

Your long seat belts have tripped many a person.

You always get to go on the dry pack cannery trips.

You have driven car loads of kids to EFY in Bloomington, Indiana.

You have driven through or been to Utah, Idaho, Oregon, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Missouri, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Washington DC, Nebraska, Iowa, Connecticut,Tennessee, Georgia, West Virginia, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Massachusetts.

You have been parked in New York City.

And we even found you a parking place for you in Washington DC right downtown by the Washington Monument.

You have been driven by teenagers to the high school everyday.

Miriam accidentally caused a good three gallons of gas to spill inside of you. Thank goodness we all love the smell of gas and needed to kill a few brain cells :)

You have been to prom.

Remember when the policeman pulled me over when I was driving you because you fit the description of a van that was driving around some people who were pulling off a magazine scam...thank goodness I did not look like the "running an elaborate magazine scam" type :)

You have over 200,000 well earned miles on you.

Miriam started a facebook group for you.

And now I have even blogged about you.

I can not imagine that your first 45,000 miles of life as a rental car were near as exciting as the last 150,000 miles with us. I love that I can invite just about anyone to go somewhere with us and I never have to worry about not having enough room to fit everyone.

You really have never complained once about all we have put you through and you absolutely have to last us for at least one more year :)

The Baird's


Jocelyn said...

I grew up driving around in one of those things! my brother always fell asleep in the very back seat and my dad would forget all about him, until hours later my mom asked where's matt! guess that's what we deal with when we have a big family huh!

Brianne said...

What a great tribute! It almost makes me want to have 7 kids so I can get one too...but not quite. I hope she lasts one more year for you!

Anonymous said...

A few more,
You lent yourself to the Jenkins family at their time of need.
You ran out of gas again when Russ said, just one more mile.. And laughed at him as he limped away, gas can in hand.
You took us to the butterfly sanctuary and that great pizza in Greenfield.
Hats off to that valiant van and the great Baird family!

Kay said...

Didn't you lock all the children and the keys inside yourself outside of the Med Center in KC on a cold day with several frantic mothers outside of you?

Ackerman/Mejias Family said...

Hey! I'm glad that I could include myself and family as passengers in the big, white, beast! Thanks:)

Anne Marie said...

What a great tribute to your van. Definitely lots of adventures for that van and your family. Merry Christmas to you! (little slow this year getting out our cards:)

My Many Coloured Days said...

Greg still remembers Brian's comment: "even though it looks like a 15 passenger van, it handles like a 12 passenger van" - good luck.