Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Trusty Jeep

Yesterday we got in the car, ready to go to Hershey's Chocolate World with a friend, and quickly realized it was pretty chilly outside! We weren't parked near our house, so I decided to go around the block and run back inside for some blankets to bundle the kiddo's in. Since we park on the street, I don't always warm up the car unless I can be nearby.

Since it was especially cold, I drove around the block, parked, turned off the car to use the keys to let myself in the house, ran inside, grabbed the two blankets I had just taken out the day before when I cleaned the jeep, ran back outside, bundled up the kids, and went to start the jeep.

Nothing. What? I just had the jeep running. Tried to start it again....nothing. Really? I tried a few more times before calling Joel to see if he was anywhere nearby. Thankfully, he was just pulling up to our house since he forgot something. He (of course) got it started on his first try. We just chalked it up to being chilly, and I went on my way. I'm pretty glad I went back for those blankets though. Our heat decided to fail us once again. We just had it fixed a month ago.

My poor kids were little Elijah and Ella Popsicles, and I made a mental note to never leave home without mittens. Poor Ella bear kept looking at her red, cold hands, crying big crocodile tears that probably were freezing against her face. It was a great day to not wear socks or warm shoes. Thankfully my friend drove to Hershey, so the misery didn't last long.

So today when we left the house to go to Target (where else?), I held my breath as I started the car. Thankfully, it started right up and we were on our way. Kids were wearing multiple layers, bundled up in blankets, with mittens on their tiny hands. I remembered warm shoes and thick socks. We were driving on the highway, when I reached down to see if by some small chance the heat worked again.

POOF. A huge puff of smoke suddenly appeared in front of the windshield, along with a huge glob of brown, watery junk. I started to pull off, but realized it seemed to be just water and steam, not actual smoke, so I kept going and called Joel when I exited the busy road. He thought he knew what happened, and gave me the go ahead to try and drive home.

So, the poor jeep limped home (almost). The hood "steamed" the whole way home, and we all got to breath in the wonderful antifreeze smell. Almost to our street, a terrible clanging noise started, and with only a few blocks left, decided it was best to just stop. Ironically, it was the same place the jeep broke down last month.

Boo.I started to get the stroller out to walk home, but my kind, gracious, patient (I may have taken my frustrations out on him a bit), husband rescued us. The kids thought it was quite the adventure. They have never been in Joel's work van, for good reason, it has no seats.

So with Elijah in his car seat, just sitting in the back with the tools, and Ella on my lap, Joel got us home to our warm, toasty house. Now we battle the decision of what to do with this jeep. It has broken down twice in the past month, and needed a wheel fixed just a few weeks ago. It's 14 years old. Do we continue to pour money into it, or buy a new car. Nothing "major" has gone wrong, but how much money should we keep putting in an old, unreliable car? I know my choice is to purchase a reliable car (with heat, ac and a trunk that stays up so I don't have to hold it with my head while trying to put a stroller in the back). We are trying to be wise with finances, and not spend money we don't have...but we definitely haven't been saving for a new car.

The jeep has been through a lot. I first met the jeep in bible school in CO. I think it made the drive from Pennsylvania to Colorado 6 times, and once it went to Oregon and back. Not to mention the off roading excursions it encountered while in CO. It was first Joel's car, then ours, and brought both the kiddo's home from the hospital. It's been a great car...but I think its days with us are numbered.

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