The Aerostar van and a shopping cart

America, especially in suburban areas, is automobile country. We have a pretty big auto show here in Cleveland. The show has been in Cleveland for a couple weeks and runs through this weekend. Whether a person needs, wants or has no plans to purchase a car, everyone goes if only just to look.  

Not at the auto show

My husband and I look for different things in a car. He actually reads about the cars and considers how they drive. I see one on the road and say, “that’s a cute one, I want that.” I grudgingly admit that this has backfired a couple times. A few years ago, I thought that I wanted a Jeep Wrangler. They are cute and I could visualize myself tooling around in my khaki shorts, hat and sunglasses like Crocodile Dundee. I had been thinking about one for awhile when, lo and behold, the car lot down the street brought out a new addition.

A Jeep Wrangler, and it was LAVENDER! It was as if the heavens opened up and rained down glitter just for me. In other words,  I really wanted that car. Then I test drove it. This car rode so rough that potholes felt like the Grand Canyon. I could hardly hold onto the wheel I was bouncing around so much. My teeth and bones were never the same. Talk about a buzzkill!

It looked something like this except not as shiny and a lighter purple.

Not to disparage Wranglers, but this car was too much for me. I was still hooked on the dream of a baha through the forests and prairies (so abundant in Cleveland) so we went to the auto show. I found the Jeep section and pushed my way through the crowd to the holy grail dragging my husband behind me. There it was! A brand new Wrangler! It was beautiful! Forget the test drive, who cares? I would look so good in this shiny cutie! As it happened, I couldn’t even get up in it.  I was too short. Instead I bought a Subaru.

Anyway, my favorite car ever was a Chevrolet LeBaron convertible. I was a graduate student in the fall and would drive to Kent State University, through color changing trees and beautiful lakes.  At night I would look up at the sky. Don‘t worry, I looked at the road too, every so often. I had a vision of myself as Isadora Duncan, except without a scarf.  Here is one of the only pictures I have of this lost love. Ignore the sales person, she had to take the picture.

Love at first drive!

That car just molded itself around me. I loved it, but when we had a third child, the car seat wouldn’t fit. So practicality forced me onward. We bought an Aerostar van.

To say that the Aerostar was practical is an understatement. I could transport multiple baseball players, remove the middle seat for large items, and it took us to Utah and back with no issues. The Aerostar wasn’t exactly quiet, especially after the out west trip.

The happy kids on the beginning of the out west trip, inside the Aerostar. The seating arrangement was changed several times by the end.

I was tutoring at a high school and one of my students said they could hear the Aerostar coming. I noticed that when I pulled into the teacher’s parking lot the students would part like the Red Sea. I thought it was out of respect but my student told me it was pure fear. It was the only time the students were afraid of me, so I accepted it as a compliment.

I was driving the Aerostar one evening with kids in the car. For some reason the middle seat was out—we must have bought something large recently and hadn’t put it back. A large grocery store down the street had closed a year prior. Nothing had moved in yet.  We were driving around the back of the store when one of the kids spotted a shopping cart pushed up behind some junk. You know the phrase, “it seemed like a good idea at the time?”  I stopped the van and the boys ran out and grabbed the cart. They put it in the Aerostar and we bugged out. The cart was a little rusty but became very useful sitting in our garage (I’m being sarcastic folks, it took up space and we threw things in it) The boys had fun with the cart. One day I looked outside and one child was pulling the cart down the street with a rope tied to his bicycle. The other child was standing inside the cart holding the other end of the rope and sailing down the street. Keep in mind there are no brakes on a shopping cart. To a mother’s eyes, this cart had become the definition of a rolling contraption of death. I ran outside and yelled at them to stop. That was when I began considering that absconding with the cart may not have been a great idea. The cart sat in the garage full of baseball bats, mitts, basketballs, and other assorted Nerf toys for several more years. I wish I had a picture of it, but I don’t.  I’m not sure where it ended up. I like to think of it serving a good purpose somewhere.

The Aerostar, as fine of a van as ever except for a few mechanical quirks, was sold/given to the second son and his band. They spray painted the “Another Day Gone” logo on the side. It was perfect to load the amps, drums, and band members as long as you didn’t go too fast up hills.

The Aerostar lasted years until he finally sold it with no guarantee it would drive the new owners home. Spoiler alert: it didn’t.

We are not looking for a car currently, thank goodness. I do like the Subaru (all wheel drive!!). We tend to drive the cars until they are just done. We put a lot of mileage on our cars (everyone in Cleveland does) and with Chester, it’s hard to keep them nice. I swear dog hair is the stickiest stuff in the world. It just embeds itself into the fabric! But if I was going to buy another car….a Jeep might be nice. I can see me and Chester going on a trek to a metropark, sunglasses on, khaki shorts and all. He’s a Jeep kind of hound.

Let’s go explore, mom!

Speaking of Chester, his hot spot is pretty much healed. He had a zoomie fit last night, moving his bed then jumping on it. It caused the bed to go skidding across the floor. I think he wanted to snowboard! He is sleeping it off today. We have been walking a lot lately since the snow melted. Yesterday the Great Danes were out and barked at him. He likes that when other dogs bark at him. He struts by proudly and makes it a point to stop and pee in their yard. Why? Because he can.

Too cool for school.

Have a good week!

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A classic overthinker trying to age gracefully while living with a big, too smart for his own good shelter pup who must have his daily walk.

16 thoughts on “The Aerostar van and a shopping cart”

  1. Oh Chester…you steal my heart with your exploits. Tell your mum I share her practicality when it comes to cars. I recently parted ways with an 18 year old Mazda 3 not because of any mechanical issues but because I couldn’t see around or over the behemoth SUVs in front of me. I upgraded to a Mazda CX5 and wouldn’t be happier and suspect (hope) it’ll be my last car. My “LeBaron” was a 1976 MG Midget. Talk about a sweet ride, it was the only car I’ve ever seen that could hide behind a Beetle when it’s top was down. 🚗

    Liked by 1 person

      1. They looked almost like a Tonka toy! I absolutely loved mine but it was grossly impractical for two teenagers who despite promising not to grow, did exactly that. That well behind the front seats just couldn’t contain my daughter’s growing colt-like legs. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m in love with Chester. His attitude is inspiring. Pee where you want! I’ve thought about buying a Subaru. Don’t know which one, but I know many people love them. Once upon a time I test drove a Jeep something or other– and thought it was amazingly uncomfortable for the price. Cars must be pretty, comfortable, then I’ll worry about performance.


    1. I love the subaru, i needed all wheel drive and wanted something small so it’s great! The seat heat is awesome! I’d like to keep it for awhile! Chester cracks us up with his happy craziness!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. MY fave car was a 1949 Chevy gifted to me by the father of a girl I was dating. This was back in maybe 1969 or so. Thing was, the car was the ultimate Yin/Yang vehicle. The body was in horrible condition with an actual bullet hole, crushed panels and there was a sizeable hole in the floor under the brake and clutch pedals through which water splashed he it rained and since this was in Hawaii, it rained a lot. That was the Yin. The Yang is that the girl’s Dad was a head machinist at Peral Harbor’s nuclear sub section and in off hours he and the other machinists (extremely skilled) would make replacement parts for their cars out of whatever exotic metals were left over from legitimate tasks. So the engine and tranny (3 on the tree doncha know) of the old Chevy were unbelievably quiet, smooth and in perfect shape with parts milled from very expensive alloys. It ran great but was pitiful to see so, being it was the 60s, I hand painted it chartreuse green with a black top. Drove that car for years. Sometimes lived out of it when I was between apartments and broke.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pee on that lawn, Chester, and then pee on it again! 🙂 My current vehicle has close to 200,000 miles on it and I am not giving that baby up till it won’t go at all. I love that car, even though it’s left me sitting along the road a few times, I choose to forgive!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I had to smile! I love driving my white Jeep Wrangler. A ‘94 named Daisy. Definitely a bumpy ride and noisy too. No phone calls in the jeep, and that’s a good thing! 😄 On pretty days and without doors, I feel like a kid. On rainy cold days there’s a very sensible Honda in the driveway waiting patiently for me. 😄 Chester sure is a handsome fellow 🐾🐶🐾

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My first new car was a 1979 Dodge Omni, with a sporty fin in back. I felt like a race car driver behind the wheel of that dream machine.
    Chester, I’m new to your adventures, but I sure like your style!


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