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R.I.P. Swagger Wagon!

It’s a sad day today around the Becker house. We have lost something very dear to most of us. Well mainly to me but it is still hard to say goodbye. My beloved “Swagger Wagon” has run its last errand, taken its last road trip, and will no longer be there for the milestones of our family. It has been a good run though. It is a 2010 Volkswagon Routan and has almost 182,000 miles on it. I think we got every last mile out of it in its current condition. I have to say that I am sad to see it go! It has been through a lot over the years.

We traded up to it when our last mini van died(sorry that one didn’t have a name). At the time it was about 2 years old and had about 40000 miles on it. Since then we have driven it hard and we have driven on many long trips. It has taken 7 trips to and from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, it has taken 2 trips to Waco, TX and it has taken one really long trip to and from Corona, California. In between all those trips were vacations or get aways to almost all the states surrounding Nebraska and most in the Midwest at least once.

This mini van has served us well. We drove it through a blizzard across the state of Iowa. When semi trailers were jack knifed all over the highway, it just made its way through the ice and the snow like a trooper. In the heat of summer, it cooled down faster then some of the cars we have owned. On one of those many long road trips, the DVD players with 2 separate screens kept the kids happy and quiet. The GPS was always there for me making sure I didn’t miss my turn when everyone else was asleep.

I have really been talking about the vehicle itself and the function it provided for our family but it was so much more than that. It was all the memories that were made along the way in that white van. The stories we tell about being together and traveling all over the place in the “SW.” The time we droved to Colorado and Number 4 lost his cookies all over the back seat instead of the plastic bag that I had just handed him. The view from a street in Estes Park during the elk “rut” when we were surrounded by elk as the passed right by the kid’s windows and the looks on their faces. Those family vacations all of us together with our three dogs driving to our family’s cabin in the U.P. The conversations with the kids when you were just driving them to soccer practice, dance practice, singing lessons, golf tournament. Those are moments that you can’t get back.

So yes I will miss the “Swagger Wagon!” The van itself was a reliable enough vehicle over the years but it is the memories that that vehicle holds that makes it so hard to let go of. My plan now is to donate the van to a Chariots 4 Hope. This non-profit fixes up vehicles to provide low-income families with a reliable vehicles. My hope is that S.W. can become a reliable source of transportation and also a “vehicle” in which more memories can be made for a new family. For us, we welcome a new vehicle and hope it provides the great memories that Swagger did.

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