Goodbye, Fiff (a letter to the Ford Motor Company)

A friend recently suggested that we write to the good people at Ford Motor Company about our wonderful family vehicle.  Since our van succumbed recently to a very serious ailment that will be costly to fix, and since we’ll be offering a special mini session to cover those costs (or, even better, cover the cost of a new [to us] van), I decided to take her up on her suggestion.  Here is my letter to the Ford Motor Company, thanking them for these many years of reliable service:

Dear Ford Motor Company,

Yesterday, we took what I’m sad to say was probably our last ride as a family in our well-loved and oft-driven fifteen passenger van (fondly nick-named “The Fiff.”) This dear van, among the earliest of your 15 passenger descendants, has been in our family for ten years and, at the time of this writing, is 22 years old with almost 200,000 miles on her (we have, quite literally, driven her wheels off.)

For the past ten years, this aged offspring of yours has faithfully carried eight children in her belly with nary a complaint.  She has bounced them jauntily over every twig and microscopic pebble in the road and has helped me acquaint five infants to the ferber method of sleep training. She has lovingly taken our not-so-little family to and from music lessons, family visits, and an untold number of spontaneous field trips to the auto shop, for which our sons (who want to be mechanics when they grow up) are very grateful. She has never complained about our DIY fixes and amicably accepted the coat hanger in lieu of whatever it is that’s supposed to hold the important looking pipe-thing in the back and didn’t mind the garden hose as a substitute for the whats-it-majigger under the hood. She has dutifully transported straw, hay, chickens, goats, sheep, and one dead deer in her spacious (once the back seat is removed) trunk without complaint. That removable back seat served as our only front porch furniture for over 9 years, for which our 18 cats were very grateful.

I want to take a moment to commend your excellent craftsmanship. Our van’s almost-blue upholstery beautifully hid the stains of eight thousand peanut butter sandwiches and I always appreciated the number of treasures she was able to store under her seats. Her interior has had just the right amount of roominess to carry hay bales, straw, and numerous sacks of grain, and though she lacked the height to transport our dairy cow, she made up for it by helping us transfer over 60,000 honey bees to their new home. She heroically carried numerous 8×10 dog kennel panels on the roof of her person, along with endless rolls of fencing, wood beams, bags of groceries, and innumerable items of clothing within her spacious body. The first time I ever milked a goat was in the back of this van, which offered the perfect height from which to fail spectacularly at receiving much of anything other than bruises. In addition to being functional, she was also stylish in a dowdy sort of way and I am truly saddened to think we will never again galumph around town proudly showing off her paint job (white[ish] with shades of rust) or her sexy hubcaps (worn on just two tires for a fun, quirky style) or take her through the car wash one last time (or one first time, as the case may be.)

I truly want to thank you, Ford Motor Company, for this dependable vehicle which has so obviously been a huge part of our lives. In all this time, until recently due to the aforementioned affliction, she has never caused us any problems we couldn’t easily afford to have fixed, fix ourselves, or simply ignore (with varying levels of comfort.) We have never had to replace or repair her engine, transmission, or any other major parts of her anatomy and despite her quirks, she has been incredibly reliable for her age and for that we are very grateful.

In thankfulness for years of service to our family,

Mother of eight well-traveled children and numerous adventure-loving barnyard animals.


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first time milking



transporting our first set of goats


*** In an effort to raise money toward the purchase of a new van, we are offering another photography mini session package through the month of November!  This package includes a high resolution CD with ten images of your choice and full printing rights as well as 50% off any images you purchase from us.  The cost is $100 and the session can be purchased this month, but booked for any time during the next year!  Mini sessions can also be purchased as gifts for friends and family!  Please spread the word!!!


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