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The Old Gray Goose is Gone

May 11, 2007

Back in 1989, we (myself and the family) moved to Tennessee for a job I had taken and, shortly after, I began driving a company car. We had a 1984 (I think) Grand Marquee that SWMBO loved, got around 10 gallons per mile (it seemed), and needed a parking lot to turn around easily. Gas guzzling, but big & roomy, quiet & comfortable, it was a great ride. We also had a nineteen-eighty-something Mazda 3000 series pickup that I loved. Straight shift, great mileage, fun to drive, but with a company car it rarely even left the driveway. So we traded them both in on a brand new two-tone gray 1990 Ford Aerostar minivan. Digital display, trip computer, four captain chairs and a back bench seat with grocery room behind the bench seat; it served us well for many years.

In 1999 I left the Fortune Five company to go to work for myself, lost the company car, and bought a used Trooper to serve as my business car. SWMBO continued to drive the Aerostar; great for hauling multiple kidlets (ours and their friends, and we had it full on a number of occasions), it continued to serve us well. But by 2005, when I went back to the Fortune Five company and got a company car again, the Aerostar—by this point the Old Gray Goose—was showing her age, so SWMBO started driving the Trooper.

I hate to complain about the Old Gray Goose; I mean, after all, I don’t move as smoothly as I once did, either. She was leaking in multiple places, a problem I haven’t yet faced, thankfully. But the Old Gray Goose lost power steering fluid enough so it required topping off every week or so, and she was leaking radiator fluid at a rate that required topping off every couple of days even after short trips. And, least I forget, a touch of oil now and again. So I was driving the company car, SWMBO was driving the Trooper, and the Aerostar sat. And sat. And sat. And sat. And sat for two years while we kept thinking about selling it.

Over the next two years, the Old Gray Goose sat in the back yard (yeah, we’re redneck) and gathered dust, spider webs, and dirt-dauber nests. At a guess, over those two years she probably was cranked five or six times at most and she hadn’t left the yard but twice over that period, and neither time went more than a couple of miles away. But I guess we all become a home body as se age —  and get cranked less often as well.

In the end, the Old Gray Goose was unceremoniously hauled off with her front end jacked up on a dolly, shedding pine tree droppings as she left the driveway. So while the Old Gray Goose wasn’t dead, she is gone and her seventeen year history as part of this family comes to a close. You know, I’m glad the kids weren’t around when I got rid of her; wouldn’t want them to get any ideas about what you do with things that — though they served you well in their day — have become old and useless. It might come back to haunt me.

From → Ramblings

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