Every Sunday we play a game around here. It's called, "Do you think the van will start today?" Most weeks it does, but there's some it doesn't. Then we check the clock, see if we have time to charge the 15-passenger beast, and decide whether to take two cars to Church instead.
Don't blame the van. Sure it's old and a bit battered, but you can't blame it for being temperamental. After all, we use it only once a week to get to Church and neglect it most of the rest of the time. Like a toddler wanting attention, it's entitled to a few tantrums, especially when we don't run it often enough to charge the battery.
And when we really need it, like when we're on vacation together, it runs like a champ. Sure, we had that door-won't-close incident last October and that time when we ran out of gas while going up a hill in California, pulling to the side of the road at the top of the hill as the van sputtered and (almost) died. As we said a prayer and then sat there wondering what to do next, we realized the van was sputtering back to life and figured out that we were only out of gas when we had to go uphill. Luckily -- or providentially -- it was downhill the next two miles to the gas station.
So, I feel a bit sorry for the van's neglect. But not enough to give up driving my comfortable, 25 mpg, 8-passenger Toyota Sienna most of the week.