Saturday, August 21, 2010

Not Your Average Midlife Crisis

When you think of someone having a midlife crisis, what vehicle do you associate with that? Something small? Sporty? Red? Two-door? Fast? Extravagant?

Not in our family.

We still tease my dad that, when he had his midlife crisis, he got all crazy and went out and bought a...get this...headlight for his riding lawn mower. Mowing your yard after dark: now that's life on the wild side.

Jeff is approaching 40 so I've been looking out for signs of his midlife crisis. Actually, since he's going to live to be at least 110, he's not even close to midlife. But in case it hit early, I was keeping my eyes open for it so I would be ready.

His midlife crisis is here.

A few days ago, he went out and bought THIS:
Is it a beauty or what?
Let me tell you about this amazing vehicle.
It's originally a 15-passenger van, but now it only holds 11 because the back bench seat is gone (which is actually nice because there's more room for luggage).
It has 197,000 miles on it and has absolutely no frills. Plain Jane, all the way. It does, however, have a cassette deck. That could come in handy whenever we want to listen to our wedding ceremony or my senior recital. On long trips, that will make the miles speed by, for sure. ;-)
It's a '99, one year older than our minivan. Instead of moving into the 21st century, we're going back in time, folks.
I thought we should call it Max. Our minivan could be Minnie (of course), and this van could be Max. Ingenious, right? Josiah and David didn't think so. In fact, Josiah informed me that it had to be a girl's name because ships and cities are always referred to as females. He's right about ships and cities, but I'm not sure I've ever heard any rules about naming vans. Nevertheless, the boys and I settled on Daisy (because she's white) as a good name for her. However, I didn't realize that Jeff had already started calling it The Yacht, so perhaps the whole discussion about whether vans are girls was pointless. Perhaps.
When I mentioned in this post that we were envious of the homeschoolers' van, I wasn't joking.
Jeff found it on Craigslist, and we paid $2500 for it--hard-earned cash that Jeff had responsibly saved up for it so that we wouldn't have a car payment. (We haven't had a car payment in years, and don't want to start now.) The original asking price was $3150, but the seller quickly came down when it became obvious that we would have to do a little repair on it (i.e. get the driver's window motor replaced so that the window could roll down...although why do we say "roll" when, these days, we push a button and it magically glides down?).
On a serious note... The van was owned by a company and used for work; but when they wanted to get rid of it, the man who sold it to us (who works for that company) bought it and fixed it up to resell. It's been taken care of very well, even if it is lacking any luxurious touches. This was the first time we had bought a vehicle (or anything of much value) through Craigslist, and you know how it is: there's a little insecurity about who the seller is, whether they'll be honest or not, how good the item really is, etc. Jeff knew that the seller was Russian (just to be clear, this is not a slam on Russians...we LOVE Russians...our best friends in Israel were Russian...I could write a whole post on this, but I won't tonight...maybe someday), so Jeff decided to call up one of his Russian friends who lives here, gets his hair cut by Jeff, provides us with delicious local honey, welcomed us to his home for a house church service earlier this year, AND happens to be a mechanic. This friend, Michael, out of the goodness of his heart and his love for the Lord and for his brother-in-the-Lord Jeff, met us at the home where the van was, helped with any communication hurdles that arose, AND checked over the van to make sure we weren't being sold a lemon. While we were there, I watched Jeff really seesaw about whether we should get the van or not (mostly because of a rattling noise that sounded odd); but I also saw how God used Michael to give clarity to Jeff's thinking and peace to his heart. It was really beautiful to watch. And--more good news--two days after we bought it, Jeff took it to the auto shop right next to his barber shop (where he always goes for auto help); and besides fixing the driver's window, they also checked it over thoroughly...and proclaimed it in excellent condition!!! We are so grateful for God's provision, and we hope and pray that we will be able to squeeze quite a few more miles out of this ol' beast!
If it's not already clear from the pictures, the boys LOVE it and are thrilled that we got it! All of us are.

Now. On to the important question...

Some of you might be assuming that, by acquiring this van, we're thinking of...ahem...adding another family member.



I wasn't going to say anything so soon, but...

I might as well tell you...


You're right.

There is another family member on the way.

And it's a she.

Her due date?

October 17.

Oh, and did I mention she's 70 years old?!?! ;-)

Jeff's mother is coming in October and will stay four weeks with us. We really wanted to have a vehicle that all of us could comfortably ride together in; and with this new van, we can do that--plus some. Besides, ever since our little family grew to include four boys, we've missed being able to ride places with my parents in one car. Now that's no longer a problem.

Jeff told me that any time he tells someone about our new van, the very first question out of that person's mouth is, "Is Davene pregnant?" So I thought I'd better go ahead and lay that rumor to rest. Be assured that, in buying this van, we're planning on transporting Grandma Fisher, not Baby Fisher.

But I had to have a little fun with this anyway.



Morning said...

You naughty woman!
my heart actually skipped a beat when I read your 'news'.
still, the van's a beauty. And you will have all those seats to fill, won't you?

bekahcubed said...

Yep--I almost had a heart attack. Especially on the "girl" part. I started thinking of all the great girlie prints I have that I can make baby quilts with--and then, my hopes were dashed. :-)

The van looks like a wonderful fit for your family. I grew up with a similar vehicle and can definitely say that there are advantages to being able to fit your large family plus a few for a trip. (My dad's mid-life crisis car was to downgrade from our Econoline van to a Suburban, interestingly!)

I love Josiah's insistence on cars being female. Most guys I know (if they name their cars) have named their cars with female names. My first two cars were guys and now I own a "Luci". My brother laughs at me over it, though, because my first car had very little get up and go--and he's very impressed with my current car's get up and go. He tells me "You finally get a car with [slang term for male parts]--and you give it a girl name." (Sorry if that wasn't quite family friendly. Feel free to edit as needed--I won't be offended.)

Anonymous said...

You guys are going to need all those seats! I like the van.

p.s. I like the name Daisy

-Abby BYler

Anonymous said...

LOL! You really had us going there for a minute! When I saw the due date I knew you couldn't have kept it a secret for so long!

Enjoy driving Miss Daisy!

Anonymous said...

And when I say "Miss Daisy" I really mean your van, NOT your mother-in-law! :-)

Beth said...

Seriously I think I just had a contraction when I saw your "announcement!!!" You are rotten! :)

Congrats on Daisy! She is a beauty!


Lana said...

Daisy is a nice name for the van. I was thinking of the comment that you made about boats and cities being named after women. I head about most boats being named after women, but I have never heard about cities. That is an interesting piece of trivia, but I am wondering how that fits with cities named after founders, generals, and others who are men.

Davene said...


I didn't communicate my thoughts very well on that point. You are absolutely right that cities are not necessarily named after women; but when they are referred to, I believe the feminine pronoun is used. Countries, states, cities: I think all of them are "she." I could be wrong about this though!

But yes, of course, many, many cities (and states) are named after men: Harrisonburg, Leesburg, Houston, Pennsylvania, Washington, etc. Interestingly, Virginia is unique: it was named after Elizabeth, the Virgin Queen of England.

Thanks for making me think, keeping me on my toes, and helping me refine my communication!! :)

Davene said...

And for the rest of you, I apologize for causing contractions, missed heartbeats, and near heart attacks. I'm so sorry.

Not. :)

It was just too much fun to lead you on a little; I couldn't resist. I'll try to behave better in the future. :)

Sally said...

My eyes were about to pop out as I was reading the end of this post. I thought "Oct. 17? That's not possible!" Well, now that I know the whole story, it's possible for your MIL to come then, but not a new baby.

The van looks really nice. I hope it gives you lots of good trips for a long time.

Nell-Marie said...

Yes, definitely a skipped heartbeat here =)

Leah said...

You'll try to behave in the future, huh? Well how about a NON false alarm announcement in the future?? ;-) Sounds like a fair deal to me! A legit announcement to balance the fake out...

Davene said...


If that was the case, you'd have to come and be a full-time nanny...because I have NO idea how I would handle another one right now!!! :)

Sarah-Anne said...

I was so excited, Davene, then...yeah, now not so much. :)
well, at least we know you can't announce some news in the same way, so we readers need to be on the lookout.

Valerie said...

Oh, Davene (said in a strict "schoolmarm voice"), you are SO bad!!
I had just finished loudly rejoicing for you and telling my guys when I read the rest of the story! Glad Jeff's mom will be coming (Yay for grandmas!!), and glad for your new van purchase (Yay, for how abundantly God provides!), but I will also be praying that you DO have more little ones to fill up the seats in this provision from the LORD. When you make such adorable babies, and are training them so wonderfully, you just can't stop now!
Maybe now I'll be prepared for your next "pulling-our-leg" gag---didn't know you were such a prankster!

First Things First said...

You are SUCH a TEASE! Enjoy having another LADY should be a blessed comfort!

Jolanthe said...

You are hilarious!!

When I read the first bit I thought "I just saw her last Sunday and there is NO WAY she is having a baby that soon!"


Have fun with your new van and visit from Grandma!