Monday, June 16, 2008

Why I drive a Big Gulp

I've driven a Camry for the last eight years. Over the years, Cam and I have had some tender moments. We've shared laughter and tears, traffic jams, Diet Coke spills, upset tummies, and a package of McDonald's apple dipper caramel sauce that formed a molecular bond with the back seat.

It's been fun. But, just like all fun, it must come to an end.

Sorry, Cam. I'm trading you in for a newer model.

We have looked, researched, contemplated, considered and reconsidered. A few weeks ago we finally took the plunge and bought a new vehicle.

When we started shopping for cars, my biggest issue was space. There are only three of us, but we seem to have a lot of stuff. Ask my closest friends and my patient husband; my trunk is always full of somethingorother. I have gotten a little better about keeping it clean. (Hubs would disagree.)

My close friend, T has teased me about it. I've been known to have a treasure box full of candy during Bible School season, Hello Kitty band-aids, Sunday School craft supplies, bags of clothes ready for Good Will and even other items that other people would give to me to pass on to needy people. (For some reason, they think I know just where to take them.)

In fact, one time our church received donations of toys after a severe hurricane. There were so many donations that my friend Steph and I ended up hauling them to a local agency. Inside one of the donation boxes was a game of Lucky Ducks. Anytime I hit a speed bump or rounded a curve too fast, I heard "Quack, quack, quack" from the trunk.

So, where was I?

Oh, right. Space. We bought an SUV.

I know all about gas prices. I drive my daughter to and from school every day. I have to stop and fill the tank on a regular basis.

However,I live in America and for the time being, I am able to choose what I buy (within my means), when I buy it, and I can shop around for the best price and quality.

I can purchase a non-fat venti mocha, add the whip from Miriam or save our money and spend the same amount on a gallon of gas. Neither are a bargain, but for now I can choose. (Silly, isn't it that we complain about paying $4.00 for a gallon of gas but we'll pay the same amount, plus tip for a drink that we'll guzzle faster than any Hummer could.)

But, all of that could change.

I can drive our new Honda Pilot because I still love the workmanship of Japanese cars or I could one day purchase a car made and designed by a US auto maker, all because I am able to shop around and nothing but my checkbook and family budget dictate anything different.

That could change.

I can haul Lucky Ducks or used clothing to a faith-based relief organization or I can load the back with Vacation Bible School treasures or even Bibles and drive all over town.

But, that could change.

I can drive my daughter to school or we can stay home and homeschool. We could just ride around for the fun of it.

All of that could change.

We can drive to church and give an offering, to the mall and purchase something with the money we've saved. We can also use some of the money we have saved to send to our sponsored child, donate to the local homeless shelter, or give to a family member who needs help with their medical expenses. All of this because, for now, my husband's income is not taxed (too) excessively.

That could change.

One very important Tuesday in November, I am going to hop in my new Honda Pilot, bring daughter along as I always do, drive to the polls and cast my ballot for the next American President.

All because I can. For now.

But, all of that could change.


Anonymous said...

you mentioned hello kitty! thus, you are a victim: check this out. :D i dunno, it just might interest ya.

happygeek said...

Oh you wonderful Americans.
I pay a heck of a lot more in tax than you and still choose what to do with my money.
And the poor people in my town, they don't have to decide whether to pay the rent or get the surgery. They just get the surgery and the money for rent is still there.

Roxanne said...

First of all--great post.

Secondly, when we buy again it will be a Pilot. I have bought two brand new cars in my lifetime--both Hondas. One lasted 9 years and the one we have now is 8 years old--a Civic and now a CRV. Can't say enough good things about 'em. AND some Hondas are made in the US. You can tell which ones because they have a 1 at the start of the serial number rather than a J for Japan or a 2 for Canada. Atleast that is what a Honda salesman told me.

Grafted Branch@Restoring the Years said...

Yes, all of that could change.

Frankly, my saucer-wide eyes are wondering why you upsized with a small can do that! Us? We just purchased a little Mazda for my husband to take to work, and are trying to decide the best course of action for the rest of us. There's a minivan and an Explorer in our driveway that are not long for this household.

I think we're (as a country) in for a very rough ride, so I'm glad for you that you've got yours. :)

RR Mama said...

I own a Honda Pilot to. I love it. It has so much room. I love it even more because we just paid it off. The Pilot is the third Honda we have owned. Guess you could say we love Honda's. Happy riding!

Tracye said...

I have an Expedition... love, love, love it! Except for when I have to fill it with gas. Then, it's hate, hate, hate it!

This post gave me goosebumps.

I, too, will be at the polls in November... because you're right. It could all change.

Not necessarily for something I believe in.