Monday, December 9, 2013

we got a new (used) car

last week was stressful, spent looking for a used car to replace my beloved altima that i'd had for almost 14 years. she was reaching the end, then someone hit her and the cost of fixing her up was more than she was worth. anyone who's looked for a cheaper used car knows it can get ugly. one car that seemed clean in photos smelled like dogs had lived and bathed in it. one salesman told us all the black tape under the hood was done by the factory and the rattling was just a fan. right!

but in the end it worked out, mostly. we got a really great deal on a (nice-smelling) older car with insanely low miles (not even 57,000 on a 2000), but we just learned that the trunk leaks and the engine needs a valve replaced. not a big deal, but still something that needs to be done and will cost a little bit. our friend still called our new accord a craigslist gem. i guess when you spend hours upon hours searching, you're bound to find something decent.

i can be a very sentimental person and have only owned two cars. the first one was given to me by my grandmother when i was in high school, a 1984 plymouth horizon she lovingly called hazel. she'd tap on the dash when hazel would sputter and sweetly say come on hazel, you can do it! i can remember my grandmom getting me to and from kindergarten in hazel. she had a butterfly air freshener that i still have to this day. i wonder if i was pretending to be granny in that picture.

so as i stood at the window and watched them take the altima away (i'm sorry i never got a good picture of her, the one above is hazel dressed up for my high school graduation), i couldn't help but tear up. i'm generally not a car person, but that altima was so good to me. she got me to toronto and back with no problems at all. she was paid off years ago, so i had no car payment to worry about. my mom put the money down and helped me get her financed, and i welled up with emotion over that too. my mom and grandmom always took such good care of me. i am one lucky girl.

so back to the car search. it was most stressful because we were under a deadline. since the accident was the other driver's fault, her insurance gave us a rental for a little over a week. they wanted us to pay for extra insurance which we declined, so i was a nervous wreck everyday just driving the thing. john's birthday came and went. we actually spent his birthday driving around looking at clunkers in the cold. aunt flo of course decided to show up early and i found myself blubbering like a baby over everything. some people may have dubbed it the week from hell.

however, one night things were put into perspective for me. it was right after we dealt with the sleazeball salesman who tried to tell us the factory put the black tape all over the engine and we were calling to confirm an appointment to look at a private seller's car. the owner told us her teenage son just went out with the car and she didn't know when he'd be back. ok. we had one full day left to get a car before the rental had to go back and we'd both be left car-less (did i mention john's van needed a new transmission, so we sold it with the altima?)

we went to a local diner for dinner and to get "back to the drawing board" as john kept saying. we really were trying to stay positive. then i complained to our server that we weren't having any luck finding a car. she sympathized with us and said she can't even afford a car and has to take a bus. that was the moment i realized what a spoiled ass i was being. here is a single mother, most likely struggling to pay the bills and afford christmas, who takes a bus just to get to her low-paying job, and i'm complaining that we haven't found the right car yet. boo hoo kelli. get a grip.

be grateful you have the money to get a car. be grateful you have john looking with you. be grateful you have the rental to get you around now. when i approached it all with a different attitude, i saw that it wasn't such a bad experience after all. we met some really nice people during the week. the guy who bought our cars was a former addict who cleaned himself up after literally crying out for and receiving spiritual help. his story had me crying (again). the boys who sold us the car were so sweet, they followed john home to make sure he didn't get any flack for not having tags. when john was stuck without a ride, our friend kathy came to the rescue on more than one occasion.

but let's hope we don't have to go through that again for a long long time.


  1. What an awesome story Kelli!! I know that hormones can really mess with you and that is probably what was clouding your thoughts. But I am so glad you did see all of the beauty that came out of your ordeal.
    Peace & Raw Health,

    1. thanks elizabeth! john thinks i overused the hormones as an excuse for my irrational behavior during the week, and i think he's partially right. but sometimes it's better to let it all out then hold it all in, and crying is cleansing!=)

  2. forgot to say I like your new car, Honda's are great!! We had one when we had just 2 of the 5 children.

  3. awwww...she got you to me!!!!!

    we all go through these's ok to get emotional about whatever you want! don't feel so're a lovely person anyway! it's hard to let matter what the item!


    congrats on the new car...

    1. yes she did!!! i was just reminiscing about the trip. one of the best i've had.

      thank you nelly. sometimes i feel ridiculous getting upset over "first world problems". but life isn't always peaches and sunsets, and getting emotional is a nice release.=)

  4. I just love the pic of you in the toy car! I remember that day well.. Oh my, where has the time gone... Now i'm a little weepy... XOXO

  5. Choosing a good time to visit a car dealer may help. Try to buy or lease a car at the midweek or at the end of the month when business is typically slow. Such as holidays and bad-weather days.


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