An Ode to an Oldie

Meet Olaf.  No not that Olaf.

Madeline names our cars.  This something she picked up when we lived in Belize and had several staff automobiles.  We inherited some names and then got a couple of new ones.  Madeline took to naming them.  It’s something that just stuck when we moved back to the USA about 2 ½ years ago.

Therefore, meet Olaf. 

Olaf is a 1993 Ford Aerostar.  When we were moving back from the USA, we didn’t have a car, didn’t know what we would need for the house and prayed that we would have a car that could meet our needs.

Enter Olaf

At the time, Olaf was residing as a gently (rarely) used van at my grandparent’s house.  He enjoyed quick jaunts to church, the grocery store and well that’s about it.  In recent memory (before Olaf became part of our family and received his name), Olaf traveled less and less.

Enter our family.

Our family was growing, although not as big as it is now, and we needed transportation during furlough.  We didn’t have the capital to rent a car so Olaf was made available.  Good ol’ Olaf.  1993 Ford Aerostar.

A quick history on 1993 Ford Aerostars and me.

When I was 16, I was gifted a Ford Tempo…if you were ride or die with me in high school, you may remember that Tempo.  It was RED, really Red.  Red outside.  Red inside.  Red steering wheel, Red dash. In fact I am sure the instead of the tape deck was red.  Anyway, one day the Tempo and a Tahoe did a Tango when I was driving to school. Alas the Tempo was no more.

Enter my first experience with a 1993 Ford Aerostar.

My parents had a Buick Century and a Volkswagen Rabbit.  Then we had a Saturn.  And it was time for my dad’s new ride.  He wanted a truck.  He got a green 1993 Ford Aerostar, not quite sure that’s what he had in mind.  But dads are dads and sometimes you do that.  Don’t worry though, he is the proud owner of a Toyota Tundra King Cab, extended bed, super truck.  In fact I am quite sure it could qualify as a monster truck.

Let’s Continue.  Due to the Tango with the Tahoe for the Tempo, the van became my new ride of necessity.  It went to my senior prom.  It took me on dates.  One time I was sure that I was being chased around on neighborhood because I flashed my lights at a car that didn’t have their lights on…I am sure they were in the Bloods and I was going to die.  I didn’t die and our van got me thru it.  I hated that van.  It wasn’t what I wanted.  It wasn’t cool.  It wasn’t sleek or sporty.  I was a spoiled, rotten, terrible attitude about cars teenager that should have been thankful I had anything at all to drive and I wasn’t riding a bicycle everywhere.  Actually at that point, I was too out of shape to ride anywhere so I would have been really out of luck!  I did what every dumb teenager would do, I said “I will NEVER own a car like this.”

Olaf is born.

Around the same time that our family got our van, my dad’s brother (my uncle) and his family were in the market for a new (to them car).  Enter Olaf.  After searching for some time, my uncle and his family made the purchase and Olaf entered the Edmonds clan.

In a parallel universe, my grandparents finally got rid of their Ford Bronco (no it wasn’t white but maybe the OJ thing caused them to re-evaluate) and were down to one car. That’s ok because they were retired but eventually they needed a 2nd car.  So Olaf, after faithfully serving my uncle and his family for some time, was transitioned to my grandparents.

Fast-forward several years and our family is home on furlough.  We need an automobile.  We can’t afford to rent one on our missionary salary. Graciously, my parents and grandparents reckoned that Olaf could be for us.  And thus began our beautiful friendship!

He got us from point A to point B faithfully. 

There was of course the unfortunate incident where during a hard freeze outside I pulled off the handle of the sliding door.  Equally as unfortunate there’s not a real market for those side handles thus manufacturing for them had ceased.  The junk yards were out of them, so Olaf went without.

All this really meant for us is that we passed kids in through the windows on the driver side and kids climbed out the passenger side front door when being dropped off for school.  Man you should have seen those looks at carpool.

His horn stopped working once and we had to go hunt for a new part in the steering column, couldn’t find it, so we had an auxiliary one wired up.  I preferred to drive around with an air horn but Amy and apparently “the law” wouldn’t let me.

Olaf carried around children’s ministry supplies to two campuses and became a children’s ministry on wheels of sort, candy and crafts falling out of every door from time to time.

Olaf, is gone and that is sad.  But we are happy and blessed he chose to give up the ghost here at home.

Yesterday as Olaf was burning in the driveway (that’s literally what happened), we mused (after putting out the fire) about Olaf and how he was able to make one last return to my uncle’s house to say his goodbyes!

To Olaf a great car, a good joke, and as of 2018 officially a classic automobile (25 years old).  Twas a good run my friend.

Now we’re off.  It’s time to find the next Olaf.


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