This is a sad weekend. The Ribmobile (so named because my license plate says bensrib) is gone.
It was the best vehicle we've ever owned.
It was more than just a family van.
Let me tell you the story of the Ribmobile.
In 2000, when we were still an active duty Navy family, Ben was deployed to Bahrain for six months. We did a lot of planning for that long separation, including a general power of attorney for me, just in case. At the time, we were driving a little Ford Aerostar van that had 195,000 miles on it.
One day right before he left, Ben asked me, "What are your biggest worries for this deployment?"
I replied right away, "The van," at which time he assured me the van was running great (it was) and we had nothing to fear.
Fast forward 3 weeks into the six-month deployment.
The kids and I got in to go to church one Sunday morning and the van bucked and shook the entire 45-minute ride. When I got there I asked one of the men to look at it. He pulled the transmission dipstick and said, "Ewwwww."
(Long story mercifully shortened here) I went looking for a van and found this one. At the time it was four years old and had 50,000 miles on it. We've driven it 11 years and put on an additional 208,000 miles. It still runs like a champ, tows a trailer (as seen in the above photo), has been used for more long trips than I can count, holds an entire family's camping gear plus the giant dog crate, and sleeps seven children plus three dogs. We've never had to do any major repairs to it, and the biggest bother is that the volume down button for the radio doesn't work (there's one in the back seat that the driver can reach).
So last week when it was announced in church that a family was in desperate need of a vehicle, Ben decided it was time to give it away. This was Pete's reaction:
He loved the van, even though the only time he ever went anywhere in it he got shots. Why are dogs so dumb?
The children were equally shocked.
So it's bye-bye Ribmobile and now I'm looking for something else to drive. I was convinced I wanted a Honda CRV until I found out they don't come with a 6-cylinder engine. I can't imagine merging on I-95 in a 4-cylinder. But I'm going to go drive one and see what it feels like.
Pete wants his van back.
Be thankful ~