There's been a moratorium on any spending of, say, anything over $50 these days. Preparing for a possible loss of income, we are paying off everything, stashing cash in the bank, and maybe even the mattress. We aren't stopping for a cup of coffee, buying a donut, or eating out. There are lots of discussions over what is deemed necessary and what is just plain luxury at this point. Even loading up the cell phones leads to a major discussion in our house.
Joe brought the lawn mower in to be repaired yesterday. Oh, two weeks ago, we were ditching the thing, buying a new one. The wheels are splayed and it's been conking out too much. We keep coasting it, hoping to make it until spring, but it ain't gonna happen. Joe replaced the air filter and spark plug, but to no avail. "Clunky" is still sputtering--a lawn mower cry for help. Joe finally admitted defeat and took it in to be repaired. The luxury of getting a new one is no more. If Clunky is a goner, we'll be borrowing the neighbor's until we have a more certain view of our future.
Now the van is driving funky. This is the newer of the two cars, so we have to address the issue, I guess. It's not that it is driving wrong--it just makes a lot of noise lately. It is clunking and creaking over bumps and turns. I finally figured out the best way to describe it--it drives like a conastoga wagon. Maybe a covered wagon. I think there was too many potholes hit when my student driver was learning. They have a tendancy to drift to the right, which was fine with me considering the alternative. I couldn't yell for him to avoid the potholes because that would have led him to swerving, which is really scary. So, we hit the potholes and bumped along our merry way. He has learned to look for these road demons and since has learned to avoid them, but the damage has been done. I probably need shocks or something.
Joe was going to take it in on Friday, but we've decided that a big car bill is not considered a necessary--more of an aggravation than anything. The car rides well, it just sounds bad--creaking and squeaking. Colin and I laughed about it on the ride to the doctor this morning. What else can you do? It's part of the new plan--do what's absolutely necessary, not what you think you would like done. It's serious time. It will have to wait 3 months until we know what is happening financially.
After one particular squeaky corner, I turned to Colin and asked him if he would call me "Half-pint" instead of "Mom". He gave me one of those "Are you kidding me?" looks that he gives me routinely and we both busted. "I always hated Nellie Olsen" he says, humoring me. At least we can still laugh.