the happiness chronicles: 9 year old cars

The other day a friend of mine was telling me how happy she was about her brand new, BEAUTIFUL car. I have to admit: It is GORGEOUS. It has all the bells and whistles you can possibly imagine. I know it will come in really handy for her and her rather large family when they hit the road this summer for vacations. They will be riding in the lap of luxury to say the least.

Several days later, a mutual friend of ours (Lets call her "Friend #2)" mentioned our other friend's new purchase. She also was impressed at how nice it is. So much so that Friend #2 said these exact words:

"I will be so happy when my lease is up and I can trade my car in for something like that..."

I have been thinking alot about that.

Here is my car.

We call him "Clifford", a name coined by my little brother -a few short days after we got him -who commented on how it was a BIG RED DOG. Clifford has been such a great car for the Argyle Family. He has been tried and true to us and has been virtually free of major repair problems. Oh sure. We have had the occasional belt or battery that needed to be replaced. BUT Clifford has been really reliable for us over the last 9 years. We have so many sweet memories of trips here and there, family vacations and road trips, bringing our last two babies home from the hospital, taking my now deceased grandfather around on hot summer day excursions to get him out of the house.

We joke that Clifford always get us the best parking spaces too. Brent laughs everytime we are trying to pull into the mall parking lot when it is three days before Christmas, or a sold out concert. It doesn't matter what the situation, Clifford always pulls right up and there is a perfect spot. He said I can never trade cars because I am doomed to have a car with bad parking Karma after 9 years with Clifford.

I have to say that having a nice, new beautiful car is so cool and I am glad for my friend who is so excited about having it.

But for me, I have decided NOT having a new car makes me happy. Is that weird?

I love all of the sweet memories that come to mind when I get in and turn the key, I love the smell of Clifford, the fact that I don't care if Tanner plays basketball outside right next to where Clifford is parked. So what if he dings the door? I love how easy it is to spot my bright red suburban in the busiest of parking lots. I love that my kids can see me coming from far away and get a big smile on their face cuz they know Mom is coming to pick them up. I love that Clifford has enough seats that we can always bring along a friend. I love Clifford especially for the day he kep us all safe when we were going full speed down the Tollway and hydroplaned and did several donuts. I still attribute the fact that we didn't roll to the powers that be.

And... I LOVE not having a car payment.

Clifford is ours,

We haven't had a car payment in so long, I think we probably never will again. It gives me so much peace of mind to know that we don't have to write a check each month to drive him. I was especially grateful for that in year 7 when Brent was unempoyed for 8 months.

There is so much to be said for staying out of debt and following the counsel of this guy.

President Gordon B. Hinckley

He repeated the words of some other wise guy many years ago but we try to remind ourselves of it frequently around here. He said, '

"Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do or do without."

I can honestly say that "wearing it out" makes me happy. Here's to all the old car drivers out there that are wearing 'em out too.



texasangie said…
Amen!! I feel the same and hope to drive our old cars for many miles to come!!
emblair said…
Amen, indeed. You know when you refer to your cars by name, and name only, that they are part of the family. It will be a very sad day in the Blair house if Maggie or Herbie ever HAVE to be replaced.
Chesney said…
So true! I love my 9 year old van! It has been so good to us financially! I love having no car payments as well.
Janie said…
I don't get new car fever... and luxury brands - why pay more - you get from A to B and I get from A to B, you just paid THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS more than me.
I love, love, love my paid for van that we bought used from the classifieds. Even though my husband works for car dealers we know that is one of the most expensive ways to buy a car - even used.
and leasing a car - why oh why do people do that???
Amanda said…
I hear ya! I do love me a new car...but I love me a paid off car more! 2 more years on my car...not that I am counting! LOL:)

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