Yesterday we said goodbye to our 1996 Ford Ranger, affectionately known as "Red Ranger". Even though it was time for the Ranger to move on, this is a sad farewell for me because the Ranger served us well and was part of a lot of great times.
The Ranger sort of brought us together. After Tyson broke his foot the first weekend we met, he couldn't drive the truck. Meanwhile, my car had broken down that same weekend. So, a relationship was born when Tyson let me borrow the Ranger for several days. I would pick him up in his truck and drive him to the places he needed to go, and he would come along as I drove the Ranger to the places I needed to go (work, etc.). We ended up spending most of every day together, when we'd only known each other half a week. The rest is history.
When we were first married, the Ranger was our only vehicle for several months. Later we added Pepe the Sentra (aka "The Silver Bullet"), but a couple years later we sold Pepe, and the Red Ranger was our only vehicle again for the better part of a year. During this time the Ranger took us on our biggest adventure, all over the western states in Sept. - Oct. 2008. During that time the Ranger wasn't just our only car -- it was our only house!
Yes, a family of three can live in a Ford Ranger. Tyson built a hinged platform on which we placed a memory foam. All our things were stored underneath the platform. Sawyer slept on a mini-crib mattress in the extra-cab. By day we all rode in the front seat and saw the world!
The Ranger was my faithful companion on many a D.I. run and garage sale escapade. The Ranger hauled my card catalog. The Ranger helped us move 11 times! The Ranger hauled (or attempted to haul) our silly pop-up camper shell on our ill-fated trip to California [or to Elko, as it turned out], and acquired some burn marks in the upholstery as a reminder. Good try, little Ranger! The Ranger has been really good to us as far as repairs are concerned -- no mechanical issues that Tyson hasn't been able to fix himself, and even very few of those (a clutch replacement a few years ago, mainly). Tyson bought the Ranger, with its shell, for just over $4000 a few months before we met. So we've owned it for six years, and can't have put more than $1000 into it (not counting gas, of course, but even the gas mileage is pretty good). Good return on investment, little Ranger!
But now the Ranger needs to be registered in Pennsylvania. Needs a new windshield, new tires, some brake work...and that's just for now. Anyone who drives it would be able to tell that some major transmission work is on the horizon. Tyson has been talking about getting a new truck. A big truck, a fancy truck. But then we decided to be more practical. We traded in the Ranger and bought a minivan. They gave us $1000 for the trade. Thanks, Ranger. I guess that's who we are now -- not adventurers who can hop in a red pick-up and live like vagabonds for a month, but a family with a minivan. Just kidding. Last night after I brought the van home, Tyson was already inspecting it to figure out how sleeping arrangements for four could be accommodated (without disruption in driving accommodations for four). He's almost got it figured out. Yes, there will be a platform involved.
I don't have a picture of the van yet, but it's a 2008 Toyota Sienna, in a brown color they call "Sand Mica" or something like that. So, it's sort of a Sienna Sienna. If I was choosing based on color alone, this wouldn't have been my choice, but since I was choosing on features and price, this is what I got. It's got all the convenient bells and whistles, like all the automatic doors, the seats that fold into the floor, the DVD player, about 18 cup holders, etc. In other words, it's totally awesome! Thanks Tyson!
Here are a couple of sweet nothings we would often whisper/yell to the Ranger:
"Red Ranger Away!"
"Go Go Red Ranger!"
I'll miss you, Ranger. You weren't even really "mine", but I loved you anyway!
Okay, anyone else as silly as me, and felt sad saying goodbye to a car? Tell me...