She was with us for 22 years. She was dependable. She shared in many family outings and a lot of the family work. We spent (dare I say) thousands of hours together in those 22 years—laughing, talking, dreaming, sleeping. We covered a lot of ground together, from Colorado to Washington, D.C., to Arizona and California, and we even went to Mexico together once. We did a lot of homeschooling together as we were able to pick up and go when there was a family emergency or an opportunity for hands-on learning in a national park or other place of interest. In her company, we learned a lot about the bible as we listened to endless bible stories on cassette to pass the time between home and our destination.

My husband and I were pretty fond of her. We gave her a face-lift so that she would fit in with our family. The kids used to like her, but as they got older they realized she wasn’t very pretty and she knew nothing about style. She was pretty stodgy, if the truth be told, and I think they were embarrassed by the condition of her skin. However, whenever they needed her, they knew she would help them out and she was almost always available. She wasn’t picky about the company she kept. In fact, she was as comfortable being with our llama as she was with any of us. And she never complained. She just served us all as needed.

But today, she left us, with only my husband and myself here to say goodbye. We sold her remaining working organs. Her epitath reads:

You used me up

You wore me out

Your recycled me


Now You will do without*


Yes, last week we used her up. She had 300,008 miles on her. She was pretty worn out and didn’t have the energy to change gears anymore. And today we sent her to be recycled. Now, we have to learn, after 22 years, to do without our E-100 Ford Van.

*with apologies to Pam