Friday, January 21, 2011

Vivian the Volvo

In the spring of 1979, we drove up to the Volvo showroom in our little Nissan fastback which was comfortable for the two of us but after we loaded our two basset hounds and any belongings into the back seat……well comfort would only be found outside the vehicle.  I had told MeMa who was now carrying our first born son that if she got her driver’s license I would buy her any car she wanted.  With age I have learned not to make such statements.  But a promise is a promise and a Volvo wagon was what she wanted.  Sitting in the showroom was a beautiful baby blue wagon that won MeMa's heart before she stepped out of the Nissan. “This is the one I want”(.) Yes that’s right….period as in end of discussion.  The salesman heard her and told me that he would get the contract and left the room in a hurry.  So much for my intended haggling I was mentally preparing myself for and just said “thanks”. A few nights later we drove back to pick our new Volvo up and since MeMa was not yet a licensed driver I drove our new purchase out of the lot. Ten minutes of driving her I could not get the smile off my face, the quiet drive and the new car smell was so amazing after driving the old car.  I had to admit to MeMa that I was in love with the car.  We drove straight home and picked up Rosy and Sherman our bassets and loaded them into the cargo area.  Driving over to my folk’s house to show off the car I looked into the rear-view mirror and the dogs looked so far away but both were sprawled out on the floor fast asleep in obvious approval of “their new car”. 

Vivian - 1979

   MeMa wasted no time getting her license and in a couple of years we had two child seats in the back and three dogs in the cargo area.  It was amazing what you could haul in that car.  With the addition of a collapsible third seat added to the cargo area we usually had two more children when we entered the "soccer mom" phase of our lives…dogs optional.  Like every resident of Menagerie Manor she needed a name so she became "Vivian the Volvo" but mostly the "soccer mom" car.
   At age sixteen our youngest son Ian passed his driver exam while driving Vivian and at age nineteen our oldest Nathan did the same.  Vivian ferried us on many trips to the family cabin loaded with all the supplies that a family would need and she made several trips to Disneyland always bringing us home safe and sound.  She has hauled some enormous loads of furniture and belongings when the kids went off to college.  She has carried strays safely to their new forever homes.  In short she has had quite a career.
   Three years ago we decided that we needed a “fun new” car for our “close to retirement years”. MeMa always wanted a Volkswagen Beetle and so that is when Gertie took up residence in the garage next to Vivian who was now my mode of transportation.

Vivian and Gertie snowed in two years ago
 Vivian is now thirty two years old and still runs great, although not quite the purr as in her younger years.  But after over three hundred thousand miles with the original engine one should expect some change.  But as of late she has been parked in the garage, noticed but not used much.  About two weeks after we purchased Gertie we found out we were now Grandparents, that’s right, honestly the girl did not look pregnant and we were with her and our son the whole day before Taeya was born.  And a year later we were blessed again when our oldest son’s wife gave birth to our grandson, Brooklyn.  Gertie worked fine for one little terrorist in a car seat but they are at that fun age when we would like to take both for the day and really wear ourselves out. So this weekend I will once again as in days of old, install two child seats into Vivian, the only thing missing are those old basset hounds.  But I think Vivian won’t mind a corgi and a mini dachshund in her cargo area.  And "soccer MeMa" days are coming close and then little league and there are trips to the family cabin and…..and….and well..... roll on Vivian roll on.


  1. Well if that doesn't say buy a Volvo, I don't know what does...I've never owned a Volvo but I have known people who did...never heard any complaints from them either. Plus it says a lot about you and wife as owners too...obviously you took super care of Vivian! Bravo Vivian! Now the g'kid mobile!

  2. Love car stories. I had an oil change on my 97 Miata. The guy said,"you don;t drive much, do you." I said no," but it doesn't mean I don't love it".

  3. HELLO!! I've missed your last couple of posts and have loved catching up on your blog! I have also loved this post!! It reminded me a little of the movie "Toy Story" where life and memories are found in family treasures and Vivian certainly is a family treasure!! Enjoy your weekend!!

  4. They built cars to last then.
    Great story, Doc. Glad to hear Vivian is still going strong. :-)