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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Have I forgotten anything?

Yesterday before the cold spell moved in I vacuumed and washed my van. It needed it! I had dead tree cells from my trip to Indiana last Christmas, not to mention acorns, seeds and rock samples from the various state parks I've been to. There's nothing like a clean vehicle but boy do I hate cleaning vehicles.

This morning it was half as warm as it was yesterday, in the mid 30s. So naturally my van's Tire Monitoring System (TMS) lights came on as I turned on the ignition. The van's sensitive tires seem to lose pressure every time there's a cold snap; this is the third time in as many months that I've had to check and air up my tires. Ironically the woman next to me at the air pump, who drove up with a 2008 Chrysler Town and Country van, told me her month-old van's TMS lights have been on all month! I'm not crazy about these TMS tires. I dread having to replace them when the time comes next year (with all the mileage I put on them they will need replacing in 18 months). I have 13574 miles on the van and he's three months old this week.

The young woman and I briefly exchanged small talk about our similar vehicles. "We wanted to by the Grand Caravan but we decided on the Town and Country because it was cheaper!" she told me. I/we opted for the Grand Caravan because of the sliding door's windows that can roll down, a perfect alternative for anyone in the back rows, like the dogs who would otherwise get too hot being in the back, or who would insist on pushing themselves to the front seats to get some outside air, like Sammy would. We also liked the Sto-N-Go back seats, which have been in the Stowed position since the moment we picked the van up from the lot.

Yesterday I also washed the carpets that are inside the van to remove some dog fur from last November. I will have the van pre-packed this weekend. The most annoying thing about traveling in the van is the open space in the back. Since we use the van more like a modified cargo van, small things easily roll/move/slide/drop around in the back during the drive. I need to pack everything tightly and safely into crates and well-fitting boxes and hopefully put everything I need into containers where I can FIND the stuff in a jiffy. Another thing about having a cargo-van-like back is that there is no place to stuff back-seat drivers...

I have two boxes of winter/summer clothes, some cooking ware, some camping gear, a shower bag filled with water, car surgery tools, my camera and some lenses, two laptops, a crate of snacks/sodas and then my bed gear and my bicycle. If all that is too crowded then I will try to locate a reasonably-priced cargo carrier to place all the excessive stuff...but then I'd be worried about thieves lurking in some of the darker spots I'll be traveling through.

This morning I turned in a change-of-address card at the post office, turned in a porch door needing a screen replaced, and now will take some lunch nearby. I'm sitting here wondering, I've moved so many times in my life I should be a pro at this, but there always lingers a fear that I will forget something major.

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