Family life

A new car for Christmas

No, it wasn’t on Tracy’s wish list, but that’s just how her year’s been going

By Tracy Chappell
A new car for Christmas

Tracy's "new" car

No, we didn’t win one, and it’s not some surprise from my adoring husband. We got a new vehicle this weekend the old fashioned way. Strike that — the old fashioned way is to save up for a new vehicle, carefully search out the right one, shop around for the best deal, then plunk your money on the table. We didn’t do that either.
This time last year, I had a feeling that 2011 was going to be something spectacular. Some of you may remember the post — it sounded like I was drunk. And I was — with optimism. I had this overwhelming feeling that this was going to be a year of good fortune. And I do count my blessings, believe me; it’s not been a year completely filled with woe, but it has been… well, not quite what I had in mind.
On Friday, our truck died. And while it could have been fixed, there were so many things suddenly breaking down on it (big, daunting things), it made no sense to invest any more money into it. We did have a master plan to trade it in for a smaller car to save money, since we now have a van for the times we need the space, but it wasn’t going to happen now. But today, we became the proud owners (in just three years of payments) of a 2008 Honda Civic. I think it will be a good, reliable, economical vehicle for the long run. At least it better be.
You may remember that back in February, our van also died a quick death on the highway while I was driving with the girls, leading us to unexpectedly buy a van. So, that’s two new vehicles this year. And a furnace in March. And several other things that sucked. But who’s counting?
Oh, the irony of it all. This year that was going to be so grand, this year that we got on top of our finances, this year that we dared to dream of new kitchen cupboards. At least we are just finished our van payments before the new ones begin. Small mercies?
So now I’ll just choose to be happy that we have two reliable vehicles in our driveway (we can’t do without two — believe me, I considered it), and that car troubles are not going to top the list of headaches for 2012.
Did I just totally jinx myself? OK, I’m going to look forward to 2012 as a step in a better direction, with cautious optimism in my heart. 2011 was clearly a test. Clearly.

This article was originally published on Nov 22, 2011

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