What lies within ... a vehicle inspection story

I took inventory the other day — inventory of what is stashed in my car, that is. I drive a van — I know, not a very exciting vehicle, but there were requirements for a vehicle when we were looking to purchase. First, there had to be space enough for our grandchildren, and also, there had to be space for our golf clubs.

Well, the van fit the bill, and as I looked around the van recently, I realized the vehicle has not only become a means to get me from place to place, it has become a storage facility for a wide variety of stuff. I took stock of that stuff the other day, and it was amazing, surprising and well, embarrassing.

I started my inventory with the driver’s side front door—as this is the door I look at on pretty much a daily basis. In the door itself there was the following: A pair of gloves to use when I pump gas so I don’t smell like a gas tank for the rest of the day; a partially drank bottle of water; and 20-30 miscellaneous scraps of paper ... you know what I mean — the receipt you get when you pump that gas, the receipt from the drive-up window your favorite fast-food restaurant provides you when you pay for your $1 menu items with a debit card, and the little plastic container that sinus/allergy pills come in if you are like me, a sufferer of sinus/allergy headaches and stuffiness.  

Having finished that door, I moved on to the passenger side door — might as well finish those before moving on to other spots. The passenger side door was similar to the other — a partially drank bottle of water and miscellaneous bits of paper, many of which were of the same variety. If my husband is driving and he gets a receipt, gas or food, he passes it along to me, and I stash them in the door. I also found a scorecard from the golf course (not sure why I was saving that), and I also found a small umbrella. That umbrella must be my last source of protection because I know for a fact that there are two large umbrellas in the back section of my van.

OK, the doors are done. The glove compartment looms. I found the usual standard items in there — vehicle manuals and insurance cards (both current and expired) and vehicle registration cards (both current and expired). I also uncovered at least six emery boards, all of which had some political candidate’s name on one side. I only need a few more to have one for every finger. I asked myself, “Why?” but no answer was readily available.

I approached the center console with trepidation. I haven’t looked inside there for several months. Before opening the console, in the top were two pairs of sunglasses in cases, an empty soda can and a travel coffee mug. Obviously, having something to drink is a priority when we are in the car. So, I open up the compartment. Waiting inside was a Tom-Tom GPS, binoculars, a tube of hand lotion, clean paper napkins, two car phone chargers, and a bag of star mints. Oh, I forgot, another pair of gloves in case the first pair in the door gets misplaced. Smelling like gasoline is evidentially a phobia of mine.

On to the backseat — between the front and back seat there are two folded “bag” chairs — you know the kind. We actually need those for our grandsons’ soccer and flag football games. There is also a blanket for use at those same activities. If you have never been to soccer at Zearing Park, you might not think a blanket is a necessity, but if you think you will be warm enough to sit at Zearing, forget it — add another sweatshirt and bring a blanket. It is always colder at Zearing than you think it will be. Along the same lines, there was a pullover windshirt belonging to my husband; he has learned about the cold wind at Zearing. Also in this area an infant car seat was installed and in the pocket on the back of the front seat was a phone book and a ring box. Ring box? Where did that come from?

Is there more? Yes, there is a whole back section of the van. By this time, I have decided that I either need a smaller vehicle or better organizational skills or both. The backend of my van holds the important things for spring, summer and fall — two sets of golf clubs! Now and then, when I am feeling energetic, I walk and use a pullcart to play golf, so the pullcart (folded) is also back there. There is also plenty of other stuff related to golfing — three pairs of shoes and sandals, socks, golf balls, tees, sun visors, you get the idea. Doing my part for the environment, I also carry six or seven reusable shopping bags. Thank you, Nita, for being environmentally aware. I also find the other two umbrellas (the large golfing kind) that I was sure were in the van.

I made it to the back door! I survived the inventory of the stuff in my van. I think, with colder weather approaching, I need to not just take inventory, but I need to take a garbage can and a vacuum and go to work cleaning out the van. All the water bottles, soda cans and papers will go. Underneath all of my belongings, I hope to find the carpeting and the actual seats of my van! Good luck and happy cleaning to me!

Nita Wyatt of Wyanet can be reached at golfingfor2@ymail.com.

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