**I have made changes and uploaded the new image in this same gallery posting. I would still love CC!
this is a work in progress....the story is really the focus of this page, and obviously the pic of the new vehicle. The length of the story doesn't lend itself well to much white space, and I'm at a loss how to proceed. I'm somewhat of a minimalist, but this looks TOO minimal LOL. I welcome all comments, be it gentle, medium, or strong.
Here's the journaling, in case you want to read it.
After taking Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University we acquired a new outlook on financing vehicles. We’d been saving up to purchase a replacement for the van, and had done our research on SUVs. We wanted one that seated 8 so each of the kids could bring a friend along when needed, but didn’t need the size of a Suburban. The Honda Pilot fit our needs but used ones were hard to come by, and we were determined to pay cash for it.
One day Chris stumbled upon Smart Honda in Des Moines, who had three used Pilots in our price range. The question was whether or not our trade in vehicle, a 1999 Ford Windstar, could make it down there. It had leaks in the transmission and power steering, had to be jumped frequently to start, and had a rattle when it idled. Amy had begun to drive the truck out of town instead of the van because of the van’s unreliability. We didn’t know if it would make the trip down and back and down again if we found a vehicle in Des Moines, but the salesman assured us if we found something we could do the deal and drive it home that night. The Whites offered to watch the kids, and so we headed down to Des Moines after school the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.
It was dark as we traveled I-35 around the west side of Des Moines and we were in “after work” traffic. Clipping along at 70 mph about five miles from the dealership Chris asked, “Does it look like my dashboard lights are dimming?” Yes, they were dimming, and suddenly they went completely out, along with the radio, the headlights, the taillights, the brake lights, and the hazards. We had no way to indicate to those around us what was going on, but luckily the driver behind us gave us a little extra room. Thankfully the streetlamps and other traffic gave us enough light to see by, and we were already in the outside lane so we could take the next exit without signaling to change lanes. As we slowed down on the exit ramp, everything came back on again, so we said a prayer and kept going. When we pulled into the dealership, I looked at Chris and said, “We cannot drive this back to Hampton tonight!” We looked at three Pilots and test drove a 2006. When it was time to look at our trade in, we worried that the van wouldn’t start, but it did, and the mechanic took it around back to check it out. As we waited, Chris pulled out the checkbook, knowing that we’d be writing a check for this (not financing it). We had exactly one check left in the checkbook!
After the inspection the salesman said, “You’ve gotten your money’s worth out of that van.” (We offered no additional information, but did agree with him). We sat down to haggle a bit, and when we agreed on a price he said, “Sold, we couldn’t let you guys drive that van home.” (no kidding!) We had to sign all of the paperwork with the finance guy, and he couldn’t understand why we’d want to use our own money to buy it. “It’s cheaper to borrow the money,” he argued. What?! We didn’t agree, of course, but at that point we just wanted to drive home our new, paid for, reliable, 2006 Honda Pilot. God kept us safe and provided for us the whole time, and we were so thankful to drive off the lot and leave the Windstar behind.