Dear Lord, Not the Space Wagon!

March 6, 2017

Last weekend as we drove, almost literally, through the ocean on our way to the secluded Bahia de las Águilas, it reminded me of why The Space Wagon is the best family car… ever. Of all the Evers. With us since our first month in DR, the Space Wagon has been what anyone would want out of a good friend: dependable and comfortable with the right amount of quirks and whistles. Used already when we found her, she had that feeling of a pair of familiar, worn in jeans.

The Space Wagon has been with us through all our days and asked for very little in return; she is our Giving Tree.  And in a year full of selling and letting go, putting our beloved Mitsubishi Space Wagon up for sale, is high on my list of things I’m sad to leave behind.

You’re probably wondering why in the world I’m so Jack and Rose at the end of Titanic about this car. I get it. It’s a valid question. My response would be to think back to that nostalgic feeling of your first apartment or a special time in your life? You think about the stories and the laughs, the adventures you went on and the experiences you had. For our family, a lot of that has happened with the Space Wagon.

the best family car ever

I arrived in Santo Domingo 7 months pregnant and, after giving ourselves a few days to settle in, we began searching for a car immediately. It took a few weeks and an interesting series of events before we found her, but as I reminded Husband daily, “I will not have this baby in a taxi.” When we went into labor with our daughter, the Space Wagon took me, Husband, my mom, and grandmother to the hospital. It was in that car that we drove home, for the first time, as a family and the same car that cradled our son safely home after he was born a year later.

Family Car

We’ve arrived to every vacation safely, comfortably, and in style in the Space Wagon (Well, maybe not “style” in the popular sense), carrying more things than you could imagine. And when we needed a getaway car to complete the backdrop of our Bonnie & Clyde costume, guess who made the cameo.

When our kids were terrible nappers, Husband and I drove them around in the Space Wagon until they fell asleep. When I drove my first carpool to my daughter’s first ballet school, we arrived in the Space Wagon. For a mom who was herself in dance school for 13 years, a moment that size isn’t easily forgotten.

The Space Wagon has been our dry roof on rainy days at the bluffs. Maybe my favorite thing about her is the removable back row, a tailgater’s dream. With the hatch trunk open, she sits 3 people and offers dim lighting the evening hours, and as our kids grew, she also served as a space for them to play. It was like a pack ‘n play on wheels but bigger and more awesome.

(Look closely. See the Space Wagon’s bucket seat on the grass?)

And the Space Wagon hasn’t just been our car; she’s been the car of many. She’s been the wheels for sunset happy hours in Boca Chica and the team whip for End of the Year parties in the Colonial Zone. Family vacays with my parents to every corner of the island made possible with a car that fits everything including that pesky kitchen sink. And she’s famous to boot. Possibly the most notable car of our expat community, we had friends take selfies with the Space Wagon when they spotted her in the parking lot.

She’s a beauty I tell you. 

the best family car Spacewagon

So on that family trip through an ocean and across bumpy terrain, I had that realization you get when you fully understand the value something has added to your life. To many, a car is a bunch of metal doors. It gets you from Point A to B, but for us, the Space Wagon isn’t just a car. She has been with us from the beginning, more constant than a home; a literal and figurative vehicle of our life here.

I will miss you, Space Wagon.

I’ll never let go.
(cue penny whistle intro to “My Heart Will Go On.”) 

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