When I bought a beat-up 1970 Volkswagen van in the summer of 2003, my family members thought I was mentally unstable. My mom told me that I couldn’t drive it in her suburban neighborhood. But now that my New York City sister has purchased a lime green 1979 Westfalia, there’s been a sudden change of heart. My dad (pictured at right) thinks driving around in her van is just groovy.
And my mom (pictured below) has been sewing curtains and seat covers for it. Am I jealous? Or jaded? No, not really.
As I see it, the weirdness of my van purchase softened the hearts of my parents to old VWs, so my sister’s recent purchase didn’t seem so odd. Nothing like breaking trail for a sibling, right? And my sister (fourteen months older) did plenty of that while we were growing up. She got in trouble more than I did, so I figure that I owe her plenty as an adult. Therefore…this post is devoted to her, The Sister, and the new addition:
This autumn, while I was cruising around in my van (with no heater), she was out cozily exploring the fall foliage on Long Island:
And now that I’ve parked my Old Lady for the winter (due to the lack of heater issue), she’s out taking weekend beach trips:
Adventure’s relative, I suppose. What one person thinks of as a grand adventure might be a nightmare to another. My van purchase represented the beginning of a wacky-adventurous time in my life, and now I’m psyched to hear about my sister’s new mobility. She didn’t have a car before this in NYC. So now we can swap stories of weekend getaways, breakdowns, repairs, and–ultimately–this big burning VW bus love.
To see a photo of my van, affectionately called the Old Lady, see my website’s splash page: