I composed a couple of brilliant blog entries in my head, in bed last night. Let's see what my sleep addled brain can spit out now that I've had another 2 hours of sleep and sorta remember what I was going to talk about.
First, I thought about adding a new blog feature - Becky's Thought of the Day. I would try and post every day with things that were foremost on my mind, crazy or not. That is dangerous, I know. I'm still thinking about it. My 4am thought of the day was seriously funny. I wish I could remember what it was now.
The next thing foremost on my mind is the events of the past week. Mainly the vehicle factory recall that took my 10 year old Ford Windstar away from me. For those who aren't up to date on current events here (you need to Friend me on FaceBook!), we took my minivan in to have its rear axle, the reason for the recall, checked for cracks. If found, the dealership would replace it and provide us with a $30 a day allowance to rent a car. The repairs were estimated to take a month. My poor minivan had 4 cracks in the rear axle.
So! I needed a rental car and poor mom-mobile was left at the local Ford dealership. John figured he could get a better rate on a rental than Ford was willing to offer - they have a direct bill deal with Enterprise - and got me a great rate (less than the $30 a day) for a "full sized" car from Enterprise. What did I get? A Ford Focus.
Since when is a Focus considered a "full sized" car!? As I practically sat on the ground in the tiny cockpit and tried to drive Max to preschool, I thought, "Maybe I can cope with this for a month..."
Just for some more background; I've been struggling with some health issues and limited mobility (intense back pain, leg muscle weakness, knee and hip pain) and have needed to use an assisted mobility device. It's sorta like a walker with wheels, but it's very heavy. My doctor took pity on me and while I am going through all kinds of tests, he helped me acquire a handicapped parking placard/permit.
If you saw the designated parking spot at the preschool, you would probably be as outraged as I am. It is nowhere near the front door of the school, it's on a slope and a badly degraded area of pavement. There is a side entrance to the school, behind a hard to open chain link fence/gate, but the door is always kept locked. They left a wireless doorbell button sitting unattached and balanced on the doorknob for my use. Sadly, the two times I've tried to use it, no one answers.
John warned me that the trunk on the rental Focus was hard to open and wouldn't stay open unless you pushed it ALL the way up. What he didn't realize is the trunk is broken on the rental car. The lid won't stay up because the hydraulics are shot. The lid just falls down at random. I was struggling to lift my rolley (our nickname for it) out of the jacked up trunk when the lid shifted with the breeze, startled me and made me almost lose my balance and I dropped rolley on my foot. I was wearing Teva walking sandals and heard a sickening crunch as my walker landed on my little toe.
So one broken and nearly unusable trunk and one broken toe later, Hubby agreed with me that the tiny Focus was NOT going to work. Yes, there are loads more problems beyond the rental car, but we aren't prepared to take on the State to get the parking issue fixed...yet. But we did take a ride down to Enterprise yesterday to see what else they had to offer. I sat in a Chrysler Town and Country minivan, a Ford Ranger truck with an extended cab, a Kia SUV... I rather liked the truck. It was very high and roomy! The seats were quite plush. But the kids hated it. I said NO to riding in the open flatbed in the rear. Moms and child safety restraint laws can be such a drag to 4 and 8 year olds. *insert wry wink*
We all voted for the Town & Country minivan. It's way more per week than that full sized Focus, sadly, but I am LOVING this van. John wasn't entirely happy with how the vote went, but after driving the van home and Tyler to school today, I am really pleased. I hadn't really noticed the gradual decline of our old minivan. The shocks, the brakes, the steering, the acceleration, the handling, the comfort, the power sliding side doors and rear hatch on the new van had me nearly in tears of joy. Or maybe I was ready to cry because it was too early in the morning and I'd been writing this blog entry in my head since 4am. But seriously... that van is AWESOME!
The husband reluctantly conceded that our old van is, well, OLD and probably due to be replaced. Add to that the new fear of sudden rear axle failure (yes, they are repairing that, but...) and how many other things that just suck on the old van, I think a new minivan is in our future. I've sold Tyler on the idea (no more booster seat and a rear entertainment package got him on my side) but Max is still reluctant. Max is very attached to the old van. It's the only car that has been around for as long as he can remember. John's company gives him a new fleet car ever couple of years and Max was a wreck when Dad had to turn in the slick black Impala that was his last car before his current Taurus.
Here is a question. Why is a "premium" car like a Taurus from Enterprise more expensive per week than a minivan? I'm not complaining! I like the van MUCH better than the cramped interior of the new Taurus. It just seems odd. Probably has to do with popularity, I would guess.
After I make dinner, I will get back to my online minivan shopping. So far the new Toyota Sienna is leading the pack with my choices. It's pretty slick looking! But I have a feeling all those options would cost a fortune. Something we don't have. I feel bad for my hubby. He told me weeks ago when he got the notice about the factory recall that getting a new car/van was out of the question. It's just not in the budget. Now, we're going to "make" it work. Wish us luck! And send warm skylight and dual rear entertainment system vibes!