Jansse discovered a tragedy today - the stuffed animal he got for Easter was devoured by that pesky puppy Bo. That lead to tears and a retreat to bed on Jansse's part. Even though at eight years old he is often so grown up and independent, stuffed animals are like real people to him! He has imaginary personalities and roles for each and every one he ever gets, and they are all his "favorites." I just laid on the bed with him and held him while he cried and cried.
Fortunately for me, I do have this photo of him from Easter morning holding the bunny who for that one week was known as "Easter Bunny." (By the way, Jansse doesn't believe in the Easter Bunny, just names his stuffed animal after him.)
It is a nice shot of Jansse, but right now I think it is best not to remind him of the tragedy.
What did console Jansse was the news that Andy was at the auto dealership arranging for a new car for us. This is something we have been contemplating for almost a year, and we have really put a lot of thought into it. As you know, this is a major purchase. We put it off last fall because we decided we didn't want the additional debt, and we would just make due with the GMC truck and Chevy Tahoe that we had. The biggest drawback to those vehicles was neither of them get good gas mileage. But, we just couldn't justify the added payment when we could help the gas situation by reducing our trips to town and our overall driving.
Well, as you know, gas prices have continued to go up, making the two cars that we had less and less economical. Finally, we figured if we could get something that got 26 miles to the gallon we would reduce our gas use on one of the vehicles by 1/2. That is likely to be at least $200 a month in gas cost reduction. Well, heck, that is almost the payment on a new vehicle if we traded in one of the gas guzzlers.
Then, the final straw hit. The Tahoe is in need of some repairs - we're estimating over $2500 in the next year because the transmission is showing signs of being on its last leg, and there is something wrong with one of the oxygen sensors, making the car run very rough, especially when it first starts. Plus, there are multiple other less expensive, but still necessary repairs that were going to have to happen. And then there are tires. So, between what we save in gas each month and what we will save in upcoming repair bills, we actually save some money by getting a new Subaru. Yep! Here it is sitting next to the retiring Tahoe at the dealership:
To end the day on an even better note, Jansse and I finally heard the first SandHill Cranes of the year today as we were driving the new car up the driveway. They are later than ever before by at least four days, and I'm afraid the 8 inches of snow is not a particularly warm greeting for them, but it is fun to hear their funny calls again! A sign that spring is somewhere buried under all that white stuff!