The past 24 hours have been stressful and emotional and tiring and relieving and scary all rolled in to one.
At the drop of a hat, yesterday, I had to rush out of work and drive for about an hour to take care of a situation that needed taking care of. And when the situation was taken care of, I had to drive an hour back to work to pick up the kids from school.
Which led me to today's thankful post....and for being extremely thankful for my car.
My whole adult life, I have wanted to be able to buy a BRAND NEW car. Since my very first car, every car I owned was bought from a used car lot. The cars I owned were OK for a while, but they had high mileage, a high payment, and by the time they were paid off, would break down and require me to go right back to the car lot to get another used car.
I hated being trapped in the cycle of paying a car payment for a car that wasn't worth half of what I was paying for it.
In 2009, Hubby and I were able to buy a semi-new car. We bought a 2008 Mazda 3, and it only had 18,000 miiles on the clock. However, it was still considered "used" so it came with a very small warranty that lasted a year. The perk was the price tag. It was a standard model. Five speed, no power locks or windows...basic. We still have the car, and it's almost paid off, but it's now Hubby's primary vehicle because it served it's purpose for me...and can now do the same for Hubby.
Last fall, after I started my new teaching job, I decided it was finally time to go and check another box in my lifelong "to-do list" and that was buying my brand new car. We hunted around a few car lots, but brand new cars come with HUGE price tags, and I had to be serious in my selection. Sure, I had some wishes that I'd have liked to have... but I had to think about gas mileage, monthly payments, insurance costs, warranty, etc.
We ended up at the Kia dealership, and that's where I found my new car. A 2013 Kia Sorento. I was able to get the SUV I wanted, but with the gas mileage of a car. It had the bells and whistles I wanted, such as electric locks and windows, automatic transition, Sirius radio, bluetooth capability that connects my phone to the car so that I can talk hands free, and enough space to haul around the kids comfortably and pack what I need to in the trunk. It also came with a 60,000 mile / 5 year bumper to bumper warranty and a 100,000 / 10 year power-train warranty. So, I know that as long as I'm getting the regular maintenance, I can have peace of mind that if something was to break down, it would be taken care of.
The best part was that I finally got to the point where I could put the car in my name. My credit had finally been fixed enough to get a brand new car.
Since having the car, I have been vigilant in getting it's oil changes and required services. And another perk is the fact that the dealership does all the work on my car, and their prices are actually CHEAPER than taking it to somewhere like Walmart or a Jiffy Lube. I pay about $40 each time I go in and that gets me the oil change, but also covers tire rotation, fluid checks, brake checks, and all other sorts of "checks" that aren't usually done with regular oil changes. It make sense that I get such thorough work for a great price, because I know that they sure don't want to have to make good on that warranty if they don't have to, right?
But, after all of this, it's not the car's features or style or luxuries that make me thankful for this car... it's just knowing I can have peace of mind anytime I need to get from Point A to Point B safely and securely. It's from knowing that I can drive here, there, and everywhere when I need to without it costing me an arm and a leg in gas. It's knowing that I can comfortably put my kids in the car and not have to listen to constant whining and complaining because there isn't enough room.
It's all of those things.
And, when I get a call about a family emergency, and I have to zip out of work in a flash... I can do so without having to worry if I'll get there with any problems.
I don't really like to be thankful for materialistic items, but I believe that if there's a valid reason to be thankful for them... like having peace of mind and a way for that item to connect me to loved ones.. then it's OK to be thankful. I have been truly blessed with the means to pay for the car, sure, but it's been a long time in the making.
So, today, I am thankful that I will be able to get to work today. I am thankful that I will get to drive to a Christmas concert tonight that Peanut's performing in. I am thankful that I will be able to drive us home again.
And that thanks is all because of my car.
Which is what I'm thankful for today... and everyday.