Tuesday, August 04, 2009

I'm Thinking I Should Rename This Blog the Thank You to Tracy Blog

After a weekend spent obsessively checking the inventory at every car dealership in a four state radius, we had a basic game plan yesterday. Get a local dealership to get one of the cars we found in Virginia and bring it up here (that was the closest one that matched our criteria). So, we called back and forth and back and forth. And waited for them to return calls. And waited. And waited. And read news about how Cash for Clunkers may be done by mid-week...and waited. And finally, at 4 p.m. decided to rush down to Richmond, VA to buy the GMC Acadia we wanted because apparently, dealers don't like to share/sell/trade their vehicles with other dealers, especially out of state. Even if there is a guaranteed buyer willing to pay a deposit.

We hurriedly dashed the kids off to Tracy's house for the entire night so we could make the four hour drive south to get a car. Saint Tracy? That sounds about right. We drove down the highway through rush hour traffic, arranging paperwork and financing and details over the phone on the way. The dealership said they'd stay open after-hours to accommodate us. We prayed the car wouldn't break down before we got there, since you have to be able to drive your vehicle on to the dealers' lot to qualify for the Clunkers program.

We came barrelling in the dealership doors about 3 minutes before close. The overdrive off light was flashing on and off in "Big Blue" (our 1997 Ford Explorer). The driver side rear-view mirror was missing as were hubcaps. I'm sure we were a sight.

Poor Big Blue. She suffers from some problematic electrical misfirings. The Check Engine light has been on since 2001 or so. The doors have a really awesome trick where when you press "Unlock" they all unlock except Andrew's door. It locks. When you press "Lock" they all lock except Andrew's door. It unlocks. You should see me trying to get the kids out of the car. It is a clown act wherein every door of the vehicle ends up opened. And lately, the only lock that you can guarantee will work with your key is the trunk door. A few months ago I had to climb through the trunk to unlock the rest of the car. The radio mostly works, but if you hit a really big bump, all the speakers go out. But, if you use the windshield wipers, you can sometimes get the speakers to come back on. The shocks are completely shot. Just backing out of our driveway is likely to give you whiplash. You can see why we really wanted to get in on the Cash for Clunkers deal. Because this poor car is not worth much.

As we were cleaning all the piles (and piles) of stuff out of Big Blue, I came across little scraps of our history. A dean's pin from the Air Force Academy, a trail map from the Mohawk State Forest in Massachusetts, hand warmers from Alaska, Canyon hair, pine needles from last year's Christmas tree, tiny newborn sized diapers, Cheerios....and I almost cried. It felt a little bit like abandoning a pet. Big Blue has seen us through most of our married life.She survived the great Intestinal Debacle of 05. She has been with us in Del Rio, Tucson, Fairbanks, Massachusetts, Las Vegas, Alaska, Maryland. She made the trek to and from Alaska twice--has been on numerous ferries, many driveways, many great American roads and parks.
But, then I opened up the door on our new Acadia and that new car smell hit me and I saw the third row seats and the captain's chairs in the second row and the air vents in the back of the car and the free XM satellite radio and OnStar (for just a couple months) and the key fob with working lock and unlock functions and those near-tears vanished. We drove off the lot and went directly to Wendy's where we proceeded to christen the new car with her first fast food meal eaten en route. The poor thing has also already been hit by a basketball and a tricycle. This is what family vehicles are made for, though, so I look at it as a "Welcome to the Family" type scenario. Because what self-respecting Family Truckster doesn't have a stray french fry under the seat?

Our drive home was so comfortable. After riding in Big Blue for 10 years, this new one felt like riding on a cloud. But, I do not recommend driving on I-95 after midnight because we spent two hours going less than 1 mile due to construction. We pulled into the driveway at 2:30 a.m. which I can safely say is the latest I have stayed up in about 4 years. But, so far I'm thinking it was worth it. Though, I'm not so sure Tracy would say the same thing as she was stuck with our kids overnight and one of them is teething.

Becca cried today because she wanted Big Blue back. I only cried because I wanted a nap.


lisa said...

the intestinal debacle.....O.M.G......thats as good as my pinworm stories. :)

Aaaand.....Im sorry you were in Va. this week. If it was next week I could have come and stood out on I-95 and waved. :)

Meg said...

Well congrats! Gosh reading that almost made ME sad for the explorer! I didn't realize it had been THAT many places. I was going to ask you how many millions of miles were on the odometer, but I think you should make some kind of game out of it and let people guess!

Angie said...

At least you finally got the vehicle you wanted. What a pain to get it, though.

MommyK said...

When we traded in my Pontiac for my Sienna, the battery in it was dead and my husband had to jump it before he could drive it to the dealership. The radio inside was missing a button and if you wanted to change the station, you had to use a toothpick to do it. A piece of trim/mudflap was missing, a piece of door on the inside has fallen off, the headliner was starting to come down, and there was a big dent in the hood from a neighbor kid's basketball. I'm surprised they took it at all. I felt sad for about a minute, then I got into my new vehicle with nothing broken in it. Congrats on the new vehicle!

The Peregos said...

YEAH!!! Congratulations on getting THE one you wanted.

St. Tracy is it!

Tracy said...

I guess I missed this. Your kids were fabulous..Like putty in my hands!

I was just SOOOO glad you got such a pretty car. I did get a little teary eyed when you recapped the life of big blue. It will be missed, but man is your new one pretty!

Andrea_Ben said...

Good Bye Big Blue.

I vividly remember picking you up from the airport, winter in AK, a tire was almost flat, the back gate wouldn't open (Canyon was back there) and I tried to convince you it was ok to let her jump over Becca - an infant (she would be careful) and you flipped you lid. CLASSIC!

Love the new car!!!