Friday, July 3, 2009

Good-bye Chevy Astro

A financial transaction was conducted a few days ago that finds me no longer the owner of one 1995 Chevy Astro van. It was a weird mix of emotions and surprising even for a seasoned veteran of emotional nuances (cough cough). On the one hand I was nervous and apprehensive about the sale since there are a number of things wrong with the vehicle and getting any kind of money for it at seemed somehow dishonest. I did my best to reveal as much about the quirks and foibles of this machine as I could. It was sorta weird trying to sell it that way. The buyer is a capable electrician and handyman so I feel a little better about it. Also I have received numerous calls inquiring about the van and I so I am sure that the price is not unreasonable. At the same time I was thrilled to be selling it. I have had no end of repair headaches with that vehicle. Due mostly to its age I have replaced a lot of parts on that beast and well, I am hardly recouping my loss out of the vehicle. Something strange happens to me when a vehicle has a mechanical problem. I freak out. Not sure why exactly but it is probably some combination of anxiety over the anticipated cost of repair or the lack of knowledge to know whether the repairs are really warranted. On top of all that there is a little bit of nostalgia that creeps in when I think of that van. Every one of our vehicles this far have been used for youth trips and all sorts of other excursions. The Astro was no different. As the last vehicle before my exit from youth ministry it was a small vestige of the former life. As I drove the van up to meet the buyer in Calgary, I thought of all the times when the din youthful exuberance had almost satisfied the requirements for distraction from safe driving. I thought of the smells of stale sleeping bags and greasy farts percolating on the way home from a camping trip.
And I have to wonder about the currency of experience. I think we often see experiences as investments. We go here, do that, purchase that because we anticipate what good things will come to us as a result. A good example of that is how we often talk about creating memories with our kids. But perhaps experiences are not so much investments in some future payoff as they are reflections of the nature of who we are now – or were then. We experience things because they are the essence of who we are not as some anticipated quality that we will develop in the future. As such we spend ourselves – our own character in the moments that we live and what is left in the memory is the evidence of who we were at the time. I suppose that the good memories are the ones were we are perhaps the fondest of ourselves.
I like the Astro me. Not always was the experience of the Astro a revelation of my proudest moments but it certainly was a ‘vehicle’ to express some of my truest joy, and frustration. Thanks for the memories…

1 comment:

Natasha said...

Thoughtful sigh reading your post... when Jesse and I got rid of my 89 Dodge Aries, I was surprised to find myself a little sad over it. All the took me to camp every summer and the trunk served as my little space of "home" since I could pack whatever I wanted into it. Then it saw me get married, and even took us to our honeymoon...and then it took us through 3 moves to 3 different states...all with no air conditioning - oh the sweat in that car... Like you, I liked the "Aries me"...I was so young (not that I am old now), adventerous, and I really believed in the innocence of life. Silly, but every time I see a light blue Dodge Aries (rare!) on the road, I secretly wonder if it's my long lost little car. =)