It's the end of an era.
The Raggedys are in the midst of preparing to say a fond farewell to our only family car to date, and the car I myself have been driving a few years longer than that.
Our loyal '95 Corolla, affectionately called "Ninety-five" or "Jimmy" for what you have to do to get the driver's side door to open, is ready to be retired to my father. Together, they'll enjoy great gas mileage, a smooth(ish) ride, and if there's ever a famine, there's a Snicker's bar somewhere in the glove, and some splattered stains on the ceiling (!) upholstery from a Coke can that exploded years ago. Those can probably be licked off in desperation.
Today, RaggedyDad shlepped with Ann and her heavy shleppy carseat by subway to Brooklyn in order to bring home The Van. This is the van we've deliberated over for so long as to almost take all the fun out of it. We test drove several vans. We consulted with some experts in the field - a guy from my parent's shul who finds "deals," the very van-astute Mrs. Balabusta, and of course, the Psychic Friends Network.
Actually, Ann and her Papa had quite a big adventure today, van notwithstanding. They took the bus and the subway, which was very new and exciting, to his office near Rockefeller Center. After hanging out "at work" for a little while, it was back on the train to the car dealer in Brooklyn. Afterward, they drove the van home, where thankfully, only one of them (the right one) fell asleep in the shlepped carseat.
As for me, I'm getting adjusted to the new wheels. Sentimental spirit that I am, I'm already a little nostalgic for our former little road-hugging black car. And now I have to learn to drive (and park!!) all over again! So far I've just been assuming that the car is about 5 times bigger than what I'm used to. But, as my eloquent brother said, "If every Shaindy out there can handle driving a van, so can you!"