Goodbye Ed, Hello Walter

We recently said goodbye to our long time trusty steed Ed. Mary and I bought Ed new way back in 1994. Ed is a 1994 Honda Passport that has hauled our family up and down both coast and across the country. More that 250,000 miles in all. 

In case you are wondering, anything that we buy that cost more than $1000 gets a name. The name for my spotting scope is Zeke, my road bike is Zippy, my binoculars Bob, my microscope CarL., and so on. We gave the Honda the name "Ed" as "Ed" sounds like the name of a good friend who wouldn't leave you in a ditch. 

We bought Ed when I was doing a lot of field work on birds in rough and remote areas of Washington State. On Fort Lewis I had to travel down dirt roads that Abrams M1 tanks and Bradley Personnel Carriers used. These vehicles did not produce roads that an average personal vehicle can traverse. I am happy to say that Ed never once left me in a ditch. 

Between Ed and Tiny, our Toyota Echo, these are the only cars that Emily, Will, and Paddy have ever known. Ed brought each one of them home from the hospital and at various times since then hauled them all back to the hospital for miscellaneous cuts, bruises and broken bones. I also see a picture of Ed each time I open iPhoto on my computer because of the 37,219 digital photos we have the first ever was of Ed sitting in the driveway of our house in Olympia WA way back on April 18, 1998 (see below). 

As you might guess, Ed has been paid for for quite some time. In the 21 years that we have had Ed (yes, Ed is now old enough to drink!) he never had a major repair issued. In fact, it still has the original transmission and most of the clutch. This is remarkable considering that it is a manual transmission. If I remember correctly we only had the flywheel worked on, or something of that nature. It was my intention to drive Ed till it quit going forward as the total cost of maintaining it was far lower than the monthly payments for something newer. 

I am happy to say that Ed could still move forward. This year however, there were just to many little things that needed fixing in order to pass the annual inspection such as replacing the muffler. Plus, three of the four power windows lack power and the air conditioner no longer functions. Not a good combination for summer time in Philadelphia. So, back in February we started the process of getting a home equity loan to get a replacement.

Ed's days were numbered once the loan was approved at the end of March. On April 2 we all went down to the local Honda dealership to take a look around and came home with Walter, a slightly used (only 9000 miles) 2014 Honda Odyssey. Where did we come up with the name Walter you ask? Well, after we bought the car we went to a local cheesesteak vendor for a family meeting. We talked at length as to what would be a good name. I won't tell you out right, but here is a hint; the color of the new car is white and Mary and the kids recently watched all the Breaking Bad episodes on Netflix.