(This post has been edited, I was reminded I forgot part of the story, so by request, the rest of the story continues at the end of the original post.)
The parable of The Man, The Boy and the Donkey, dictates a lot of the decisions in my life. If you are unaware of the wisdom in this parable, I will share.
"One day a man and a boy were going to take their donkey to a distant town to sell at auction. They left on their journey, both walking beside the donkey. After a while they came to a village where everyone they passed mocked them for being so foolish. It was their opinion that the old man should ride the donkey, after all, he is old and deserves the privilege of riding the animal. So, ashamed of the mockery, they old man climbed on the donkey and they continued on their way. Before long they came to another village, where these villagers also mocked. However, it was their opinion that this old man was selfish and the poor young boy should be the one who was riding the donkey. Again, ashamed, they traded places and the boy rode the donkey. Eventually, they reached the town where they would sell the animal, but to their dismay, the donkey faired a poor price because it was so worn and haggard from the journey." The moral of the story being, if you have a plan and stick to your plan, no matter what others think, you will be much more successful in achieving your goal.
Well, today at the Pit Stop we serviced a 2007 Yukon XL with leather seats, the much desired (and at this point in our marriage, required) dual climate control, built in DVD player, pretty much everything I would enjoy in a new vehicle. Did I mention this car is for sale? Yes it is. We service cars for a small car dealership and this is one they have in stock right now. So I say, "Mom, (she's the car shuttler for the day) ask them how much this costs, and if they can give it to me for less that $200.00 a month?" She list off all the accessories on the car, in that tone of voice that cleary is saying, "Keep Dreaming." "I know", I say, "but ask anyway."
She asks and they tell her the price is in the neighborhood of $25,000. They follow up with "and if she wants payments under $200.00 then she can only finance $10,000." At this point my mother bursts out laughing because she realizes my 1998 Dodge minivan would therefore need to be worth $15,000 on trade-in. Yeah right!
Back to The Man, the Boy and the Donkey. "That's okay," I say, "I need a new house before I need a new car."
(New house needed because we are bursting at the seams. We were only supposed to be here 5 years and now have been here 10. London was 3 and Isabelle was 1. It was the perfect house for 2 little girls, but flash forward 10 years and London is approaching 14 and is taller than I am. Isabelle is almost 12 and we added another kid 8 years ago. And our car may be a 1998 Dodge minivan and lovingly referred to by my hubby as the "Purple Barney Mobile", but it is paid for and works just fine (except for occasional blinker shorts).
"Yes," mom says, "but I worry for you because . . ." (insert conversation about how dreadful the economy is, and how many people overextended themselves in mortgages and so now they will be restructured which means banks are losing money and so to recupe some of their losses they will raise interest rates, which may put a glitch in building the house I want to build in a year or so.)
Sigh, "I know, I'm going to be 80 years old living in this house, still waiting for the stars to align and the odds to fall in my favor, waiting to build my house, still driving the Purple Barney Mobile, because heaven knows, I need a house more than I need a car!"
"And my children, as they leave my home when they turn 18 will turn to us and smile and say, 'I hate you, and I hate you, and I hate you and you and you!'" Never to return again, at which point hubby chimes into the conversation and says, "Good! My plan worked!"
So, always practical, Mother points out "You can always add on."
Something about this conversation had Mother laughing so hard she was crying. So I wrote it down so she could remember how the conversation went to be able to share with my dad. So this post is for you mom.