Nellie

Although 0ur 2000 Chrysler Grand Voyager has over 195K miles on it, she still looks sleek. We bought it in 2001 in order to travel from Santa Cruz, CA to Johnson City, TN for a family reunion, and we haven’t stopped driving her since. We call her Nellie because she’s been so reliable.

Nellie’s previous owner was a rental agency, so it was no wonder she came with 26K miles, one cigarette burn, and no windshield gasket, which we didn’t notice because we test drove her with the windows down. (We won’t do that again!) The lack of this gasket contributes to road noise and drips on the driver side when it rains hard. A few days after it poured last spring, I got in the car and noticed sprigs of grass growing from the carpet by the door. (Cracked me up! I didn’t realize the floor was packed with so much dirt.)

Nellie’s down to one hubcap. Don’t know where they’ve gone. I used to replace them now and again, but have given up. It really doesn’t matter to me; I’m inside the car. She also has electrical  problems. If you roll down the passenger window, it takes three days to roll back up, so we have blue tape over the buttons to remind us. (When I told Mother that, she immediately pushed the blue tape to test the theory and rolled it down.) The two back windows that are supposed to crack open, do so only when they feel like it. One of them went on vacation for a year and then decided to open again one day. The other is still iffy. 

  

Her headliner has fallen, but we put it back up with staples and glow-in-the-dark stars. The driver’s seat has a thread-bare patch and the brake shoes need replacing every year because her weight is too heavy. That’s the only thing Chrysler fudged on with this model.

Last year the horn stopped working, so in order to receive an inspection sticker, we had a separate horn placed to the left of the steering column. It looks like a bicycle bell, but it works and causes instant grins. I have been diligent about changing the oil and filter every 4000 miles. The fuel filter is IN the fuel tank, which necessitates the occasional adding of that engine cleaner at the pumps.

Nellie’s MPG has dwindled in direct correlation with her increasing mileage; however, it was never terrific. She has been used for everything, except sleeping. The seats fold down or can be taken out and a mattress used while traveling (she’s been in 21 states), but those days are gone. Nellie can no longer go further than an hour and a half away from home. We pamper her but not with frequent washing.

This window sticker was applied months after we bought her, after 9-11. It won’t come off, which is a good thing. In a large parking lot it helps us find her. It’s cracked, faded, and split, like our country – but it endures.

Seating seven, Nellie has been invaluable as a family vehicle. The middle bench seat has two built-in child seats, which have been conveniently used from the get-go by six of our eight grandchildren so far. We have picked up, driven, rescued, and chauffeured most of the family over the years so that no one wants to see the end of her. But she will have to be replaced one of these days.

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About Cyranette

I have been writing since I was 11 and am now a grandmother of 9. Aside from my family, I love writing, reading, movies, gardening, genealology, and travel. I met my soulmate online and we've been married 18 years. I am a survivor of rape, abuse, and cancer. I believe in love, kindness, and common sense. I was born/raised in Indiana and have lived in Massachusetts, Texas, and California. I have visited: most of the United States, British Columbia, Germany, Austria, and Costa Rica. My husband and I would like to visit England, Europe, and New Zealand and to take a train ride along the Canadian/American border. I have written essays, articles, short stories, a romance novel, a self-help book, and several children's books.
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One Response to Nellie

  1. JenniBug says:

    I enjoyed this!! Love that sticker, and your analogy. Glad your car has been so reliable – what a blessing!! 🙂

    Like

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