After the Blue Banger died, we had a couple days to search for a new car and we drove all over town looking at car places. We test drove one zippy little Ford Escort ZR2 or something and it seemed to work fine, but the guy who owned it previously was quite obese and had done something to break the driver's seat. Not so great. Every time I stepped on the gas, the whole seat would rock back, so it felt like I was on a rocking chair rocket ship. Boo.
After hours of looking at lots and looking online, we made a big list of what we would be able and willing to pay if we a) used our savings only, b) used our savings and got a loan and, in a wouldn't-it-be-great-but-yeah-right, c) used only what we had in our checking account. With more thought and prayer, we decided that it would be best that we stayed out of debt (following the counsel of the prophet), so we prayed really hard that something would come along.
After searching Sunday and Monday, I called our neighbor Chace and asked him if he would go out looking at cars with me. He is a car lover who is up on getting good deals on good cars. We drove around for a while (including going to a junk yard that sells cars with salvage titles, and even rebuilds and repaints the good ones) then he mentioned off-hand that his dad had a car he wasn't using that he might be willing to sell. He called his dad and he said we could drive out to his house and look at it. He said he'd been using it as his "work truck," but it was mostly just sitting in the driveway.
Chace told me about the car, a 1990 Nissan Stanza, with 280,000-ish miles on the odometer, but with about 80,000 miles on its current engine and about 120,000 miles on the current transmission. The car had been in Chace's family for a while and his dad, an extremely talented hobbyist mechanic, had changed out the engine and fiddled with this part and that part making it run well. It was charcoal gray with minimal rust, no dents, really new tires, and my favorite of all, it was just as zippy as that rocking chair rocket Escort.
And, best of all, he only wanted $300.
I just about started crying and when I called Crystal, she was almost speechless. I couldn't tell Chace's dad thank you enough ... he even postponed his birthday date with his wife so he could show me all of the intricacies of the car. When I was writing him the check, I made it out for $350, because it was his birthday, he was totally hooking us up and I knew it was still far below what the car was worth to me.
That night, as Crystal and I were driving around in our new car (that definitely showed it's previous "work truck" history with all the dirt in it! -- again, Chace to the rescue, he loves to detail cars and came over and worked on it for four hours with me the next week, making it shiny and spotless, he even hooked up the radio and made sure the AIR CONDITIONER woohoo! worked) we said a prayer again thanking Heavenly Father for watching out for us as we tried to do what He wants.
We named the car Nissanifer, which is in relation to a joke my college roommates had about boy names being used for girls. We talked about how Jordan can be a girl's name, but Brandon would have to change to something like Brandy or Brandina. My roommate Jason said his name couldn't be feminized and said, "What about Jasonnifer?" We called him that all summer! Now my car is like his mechanical sister or something!
Anyway, here she is, Nissanifer, in all her work truck glory. She helped me move our potted garden after the cold hit and we had to get rid of our tomato plants.