Long May You Run Old Friend


And then there were two.

Sometimes referred to as the ‘Empty Nest,’ our home now has two birds living in it. Although our youngest, Bailey, is still in college it does seem our three fabulous young women have left us to return to Canada. Oddly, the last to leave, however, was not one of our girls at all but rather the family car that was the icon of their childhood.

‘Woody’ was there for the family trips. He transported our three girls and dog Diefenbaker to woody christmasBC or Saskatchewan for family visits and to the Gulf / San Yuan Islands for camping tips. He carried the Christmas tree home each December and helped teach the girls to drive. He was high school transportation. He was the 20-year identifying feature – at first in our driveway and then later on the street in front of the house. And he was loved… almost as if this marvelous hunk of machinery were a real person. If you ask any of our girls… he is!

young Bailey with woody

To put it in perspective, Bailey was less that one year old when ‘Woody’ joined the family. Later this month she will go travel Europe with friends… without us. I love these two pics of Bailey with this car (family member) that she loved so much.



Madison was first to pass her driver training course in ‘Woody.’

Kennedy was the first to drive him away alone.

Madison behind the wheelIMG_0641

This past fall when Kennedy moved back to Vancouver after a lovely year (lovely for us, probably frustrating for her) at home it was only a week or two later when ‘Woody’ went to live “at the farm.” A nice man in a neighboring town came and picked him up. He had the tools, know-how, and patience for a little restoration project.

Long may you Run old Friend!

woody in watercolour
Woody in Water Colour

It was a sad day. Darlene and I actually cried together when he drove away. Of course, it was not just the loss of ‘Woody’ but rather the symbolic end to a wonderful period in the life of our family. This ending, however, is also the start of this new and wonderful ’empty nest’ life that Darlene and I now share together.

three crazy girls

girls at wedding 2

So, although it may have been sad to see Woody move on, it is also really great to see these three fabulous young ladies launch into adulthood. And beyond that, it is my great privilege to start and finish each day in the arms a most fabulous love and friend, Darlene (Martens) Snider.IMG_1793

It was this thought, in October of 2016, that was the origin of this song. The Neil Young reference is intended.


‘Arms of Love’ by Dean Snider
Woody needle Point
This embroidered image was Madison’s creation, a handmade gift to me for Christmas 2016


  1. Oh Dean! Having just sold my first “grown-up car,” I resonate deeply with the tears of grief in saying goodbye to a beloved season of life. I have fond memories of riding in your family truckster to volleyball team-building time on the river! Celebrating your family and all the ways you have invited others to be a part of it through rides in trustee old Woody. Hugs!


    1. Jillian, I was just today thinking of one of those team trips to the river with a paddle board strapped to the rack. Good times for sure!
      By the way, I aspire to the kind of honest vulnerability you showed in your last blog post… beautiful and honoring of Cory in the process. Thank you for showing the way!

      Liked by 1 person

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