Tuesday, February 14, 2006

it was free...

...really, it was!

A free, 1985 Chevrolet "church" van. A big one. A big one with a big motor and a transmission that works. A big, free Chevrolet van. The one whose long name that I keep forgetting starts with a "B". Yup... free. 100% free of charge!

All we had to do was go get it.

This van... well, it seems to have had a couple of prior lives ...history as they say. And a colorful one at that. It started out as a proud "family" van. The family moved up here from California, the family's father couldn't find a job or home so it became a "camp" van. After the Dad found a job and worked a couple of weeks it became a "church" van because the church had taken the family in and helped get them situated in a small (but bigger than the van)... apartment.

This van was evidently quite content shuttling kids around to church functions throughout the state. It lived this life for about 3 years. I think I even had it parked in our driveway once, picking up my mother in law and daughter for one of those functions.

As time went by the van's family moved into a nice double wide home in the country, renting space from a fellow church member who just happened to own 25 acres out in the middle of nowhere... a nice drive but still, it was out in the middle of "nowhere". Pretty country though.

Anyway, the van was retired from it's church status and returned to the family. The family's Dad made the van a "work" van... used to haul construction tools from one construction job to another. This went on for a couple of months until the family's mother learned that the family's father was also using the van as a "pick up" van... as in a van to "pick up" (rumor has it 17-20 yrs. old) young girls and... well... you get the picture.

That's about the time the family's Mom told the family's Dad to convert the van back to a "camp" van. She suggested that he continue driving it around from work site to work site rather than returning home on the weekends. She was undoubtedly a bit more colorful than I was here... but understand, I'm desperately trying to keep this blog below the censor radar.

The family's Dad evidently followed her advice and drove the van around, camped, picked up, visited job sites, camped, picked up... etc. He did this for quite awhile. It was during this period of time I remember seeing the van again... in my driveway... picking up my bi-polar brother in law, his "helper" about six years ago.

A short while later my bi-polar brother in law found his own home, married and lost his job with the family's Dad because the family's Dad never paid IRS any taxes... ANY TAXES over the past five years. WRONG THING TO DO!!!. Oh well, so family's Dad returned home to family's Mom a crumpled, broken, changed man... in the van.

As time passed mother in law learned from her fellow church members that the family's Dad was diagnosed with a "manic depressive" personality disorder... or whatever it is.

Go figure... now that's rocket science at it's best.

So, I guess what I'm trying to say here is that several people are out there living in homes built or altered by bi-polar brother in law and manic depressed family's Dad. A troubling thought.

Back to the van... sorry, I got sidetracked.

The van? Ah, it found retirement, at last. Nice, peaceful retirement on a wonderful little patch of property out in the middle of nowhere parked next to the house... right next to the house. So close to the house that, well as the bags of garbage started to collect out front by the overflowing can... ah, let's just say the van was so damned close, closer than the garbage can so the rest is history.

Over time, the van was recalled from retirement and had become a "garbage" van... history indeed.

The family's father? Eh, seems he's off and running again. This time in 'Vegas or somewhere down that way. The family's mother? Nice. A very nice, deserving woman trying to raise three kids... two of them teenagers.

Yeah, the van was free of charge. It started, drove, had four tires... one good one, is multi colored (some of the colors are even stock), didn't have a current license and was pretty dad-gummed full of garbage when we finally did locate the place.

After airing up three of the four tires, oiling up the engine, putting water in the radiator and siphoning gas from my truck for the van we limped it to a personal shop in the country.

Bi-polar brother in law driving it while I followed... and, at times led. J tagging along with me for the ride.

In the end it looks like the van will serve it's life out as a "parts" van.

It's served it's purpose. Bi-polar brother in law has his transmission... and van... and garbage.

Next post, the ride home! Another gem... if I can only capture the essence.


DG said...

A very intriquing saga here.

Cathy said...

And I thought I had history! That van has seen a lot. I can't wait to read where it goes from here.