In hindsight, perhaps the Cash for Clunkers program wasn't such a good thing for our government to undertake. I'm not sure. Like most things, it's most likely that it had some good results and some not so good. That said:
We traded in our old 1993 VW Eurovan with the program. Our rapidly emptying nest did not need two vans. And though it still ran, it needed a lot of work. "Kronk" (thus named by the kids many years ago) had been parked in the garage for months, slowly filling up with storage items that wouldn't fit elsewhere. So, after much agonizing, we decided to let it go.
Kronk had been a part of our family identity for many years. We drove that thing to 47 of the 50 states as well as into Canada. Over 190,000 miles in sixteen years. Bumper stickers from our many stops adorned the rear windows. If you know us, chances are that we parked Kronk in your driveway at one time or another. Or you sat in the back wondering why you thought you wanted to ride backwards. Over the years all that traveling bestowed upon our family lots of wonderful memories, but took it's toll on the car. The wear and tear was pretty obvious. A trip to Florida gave us memories of camping on the beach in Pensacola, and a fantastic used book store in Jacksonville, but had it sporting a dent in the back and reconstructed fiberglass bumper. Time in Michigan endowed us with a taste of living up north but blessed Kronk with rust spots along the side that were sanded down and covered with whatever paint semi-matched. The Texas heat melted the grease right out of the door hinges as we were driving to visit friends and family. Years of sandwich crumbs and spilled drinks contributed to the gook in the cracks and crevices while we saved money on eating out. Time went by and as we drove around enjoying visits, monuments and national parks, some foam part inside the a/c vents disintegrated and would blow bits out all over whoever was sitting up front. The interior molded parts began to break down and became sticky to the touch. It was time to retire.
It's interesting though, how difficult it can be at times to get rid of things that are falling apart. While looking at news stories about the Cash for Clunkers program, the proliferation of submissions to the "tell us about your clunker" articles made it obvious to me that many others were having the same struggle. So, this is my clunker story, and an admission that though I am the de-cluttering type, letting go of this vehicle was not the easiest thing for me either. As a result, we all spent a happy time remembering our trips as we cleared the van out, then completed our farewell to Kronk with one last picture of all of us. Goodbye to a most excellent van that journeyed far and wide over the years with us.