“I’m here to pick up the big, ugly van.” The man behind the counter didn’t hesitate or ask my name. He went right to the key for our old conversion van and started printing up my papers. The van doesn’t see much use anymore, but is available for times we help with the high school band bottle and can drive, or haul sails and winterized equipment back to the boat, or pick up lumber at the home store. With this little spring tune up, it’s ready for service yet again.
For many years that maroon behemoth was my drive-around car. I used to drop off and pick up kids from school, go grocery shopping, drive to the mall, run errands, and be able to transport almost a whole troop of Brownies on a field trip. I didn’t think twice about hopping into it and zipping wherever I needed to go; rain, snow, sleet, whatever. When I got my little car, it seemed so small and unprotected. I felt almost too close to the road, like my behind was right on the pavement.
Today, I opened the door and peered up into the interior. Grabbing the handle, I hoisted myself up to the seat and buckled up, overlooking the local realm from a high perch. Taking my time and carefully backing out of the spot, I eased into the lot and then out onto the busy road. I felt like an elephant in a world of ballerinas, needing to take my time and be careful and gentle as I moved through their world. As I maneuvered it back into its regular spot in the driveway, I felt a little relief that I had made it the few blocks home without a problem.
It’s all a matter of what you’re used to, I guess.