The Shift

by - June 3, 2010

It was supposed to be a day-trip to the city with meager hopes for the purchase of a new car.  Upon the death of the Grand-Am and the minimal insurance pay-off we had low hopes and pathetic ambitions.

Scott was resisting the pull of the mini-van despite our hope for more space.  We've spent two years with three kids, a car seat and a booster, squeezed into a back seat that was not designed for children.  I was fantasizing about a third row where Zander could be out of punching, pinching, flicking, hair-pulling range.  I was dreaming of a vehicle that was good looking and amazing on gas - a "Swagger Wagon" for a fraction of the price.  Scott wanted a sexy SUV.  Zander wanted a built-in DVD player.  Liam wanted something red.  Noa just said, "Yeah!"

Scott's best friend's sister's baby-daddy is a salesman at the same dealership where we bought our last two cars and he worked us a deal.  The Passat was within our price-range and it was immaculate.  Zander's hair blew across his face, his head stuck through the sun roof as they pulled in from the test drive, disheveled and goofy-grinned like a kid on prom night.  "It's awesome!" he declared.  "Let's get it!"  And we did.  Papers signed.  SOLD!  It looks good in the driveway.  I'd like to keep the new car smell and the new car clean but I'll settle for something that won't embarrass me to be seen in.

A stop-in at our best friend's house before treking home resulted in a 2 a.m. escape for an hour and-a-half drive home.  I had full intentions to sleep but we spent the time marveling our situation.  For the first time ever we're really feeling financially mature and secure.  Our dreams have switched from if-only to when. When we go to Disney World.  ("You know, I'll probably cry the whole time," I told him.  "It'll be so fun," he said.  "I know, but I'll cry.")  When we go to Italy.  ("I'll be standing in the middle of Venice, crying," I told him.  "I know," he said.  "I'll be crying in the Roman Coliseum," I told him.  "I know," he said.  "I'll cry when I see the Sistine Chapel," I told him.  "I know," he said.)

Our kids are clothed.  Our cupboards are full.  Today I just paid off two credit cards.  Life is good.  My "Swagger Wagon" is a 2004 Volkswagon Passat and I plan to drive it until it's limping and ugly.  I am counting my blessings and they are many.

My resolution: take nothing for granted and appreciate things beyond their worth and from this will I draw patience and happiness and peace.

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  1. Alanna, your workmanship with words astounds me. I only wish I had the desire to write as often as you do and the ability to format my thoughts in a way that holds the attention of my readers.

    Keep up the posts, when you're published I can say I read your blog before hand.

  2. Thanks for the encouragement, Larry! I'm forcing myself to do it because I'm hoping it will make me a better writer and motivate me on the road to finishing a book. It's like exercise - you don't really want to do it but then you get started and it begins to get easier the more you do it and then you start (almost) looking forward to it.

    I keep checking for new things from you...don't leave me hanging too long : )

  3. Yay!! Congrats on the swanky new wheels. I love this post - honest, hopeful and fun.

  4. Your writing makes me cry.

  5. Ya man that that was really awesome to read. I hope the car treats you well. You guys deserve it!!


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