Thursday, December 2, 2010

Call the Funeral Home – the Van is DEAD! Hospital not needed

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Today’s Blog Post

Call the Funeral Home – the Van is DEAD! Hospital not needed

I remember that moment like it was yesterday.

It was Christmas 12 years ago. It was 1998 and we were in our first few months of our new Pastorate at Northview Pentecostal Church. It was just before Christmas. It was Saturday and we were at the Farmer’s Market. We went out to our little, Blue, Nissan Sentra and started the engine. BANG… THUMP… BUMP and there should have been a KERPOW in there as well.

I looked at my wife and said, “This is not good!”

The motor was still running but there was little power at all… and terrible noises coming from under the hood of the vehicle. I drove slowly to the Nissan dealership with a very loud knocking coming from under the hood.

One of the salesmen that I had met earlier was standing in the showroom waiting for us. I looked frightened and ready to die I think. He stepped up to me and asked what was wrong. I told him the story.

Of course as any good salesman will do he encouraged me that he could help us.

When the disastrous report came back of what had broken in the motor and the fact that it would take at least $2500 to fix the car – I nearly died on the spot.

The Salesman saw my expression… and responded. “I have something that you can try out. Here take this vehicle. It only has 54,000 kms on it and it is a one owner vehicle. In fact you know the owner, his name is John Greening and he is one of your congregants. He just traded it in two days ago.”

Take it for the weekend and try it out. If you don’t like it, bring it back. If you like it, I will sell it to you at a good price.

It was 1998 and the tan coloured, 1996 Nissan Quest Van came into our life. It was BEAUTIFUL! And after the weekend we bought it.

We bought a giant Red Ribbon and tied it to the hood of the vehicle. It was our Christmas Present to ourselves. What a jewel to drive and own. I smile even now as I think of those moments that the van came into our lives.

Last night was sad.

We had limped home with the 14 year old van… and slowly rolled into the driveway. The brakes were gone… almost flat to the floor. It was raining and snowing and nasty outside.

I jacked up the van to remove the wheels to see if the wheel cylinders were leaking oil – as it had happened before. Nope. No leaks. Yet the oil was being leaked out rapidly with each pump on the brakes… or at least it seemed to. There is a problem here – that is bigger than my understanding!

When I removed the one front tire I saw another problem. The axel boot was torn open and the driveshaft was exposed. That was new a few years ago… now it is old and in terrible shape.

Under the van for the last few months there has been a slow oil leak… rear seal problems likely.

The right doors are rusted out badly… and the frame is rusted too.

As I looked at the sad old van this AM, I think it is crying. Maybe it was just snow melting… but it looks real sad.

I loved that van. But with just under 400,000 kms now… it is close to the end. Imagine – NO PROBLEMS up to now.

This 1998 Nissan Quest is like a really old friend laying in a bed in the ICU ward at the local hospital. There is not much hope at this point in time. Not much at all.

Gasoline prices sky rocketed over night in our area. From 98.6 last night to 110.9 this AM and possibly 125.9 by Christmas the news said today.

I am thankful that we live close to two grocery stores. Easily within walking distance in the winter. And in the summer I have my bike.

Retirement is not what I thought it would be… you know “Freedom 65” and all that. My life is like my old Van… I have worked hard, done my very best… but now with so many miles it may be time to slow away down… way… way… down.

How can we ever live without a car? Well the amount that I will save on fuel each week… I may well be able to rent a vehicle each week and still be away ahead with the $$$$!

But church is up hill all the way… and 12 kms one way? I think I will become Catholic – two blocks away… and an easy walk. Hmmm!?

~ Murray Lincoln ~

1 comment:

Brenda said...

That is sad, Murray. We feel for you---