Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Roses, Silver Linings, and Lemonade

Sometimes we have to close our eyes to smell the roses, or when life gives us lemons we may have to make lemonade. Maybe you have heard of these cliché’s, maybe you haven’t. I for one am one who is not always a fan of cliché’s but that don’t make them all bad.

I have been at the place recently where I have had to live out the concepts presented in the above two cliché’s. You see if I focus too much on the things around me, say the bad things, I’ll miss some of the roses in life, and I for one like a cool glass of lemonade and who would have thunk that I have had some good lemonade as of late.

One of the reminders of my life is I have to look for the silver linings in the clouds to keep from experiencing the storms of life. In Kansas, we have many storms so we get used to the weather changing every few moments.

Recently my wife went outside to take off to school. I was catching a few zzzzz’s which is nice if you notice the hours I have been up lately. Well she comes back into the house, waking me up with a little hysteria to her voice. “Mike someone has robbed and vandalized the car.” It was something like that she said; she was waking me up so my memory may not be exact.

I go outside, check it out and the little Dodge Neon we had purchased from my daughter and son in law, was totaled. Someone was ready to distribute some vengeance. I wish they had read the passage, “Vengeance is mine says the Lord.” For some reason, I don’t think God would have busted out the windows, ripped off the mirrors, stolen the stereo, and ripped off the windshield wipers. It looked to me that someone was trying to execute some vengeance on my family for only God knows what.

We had been talking about trading the car, and trading in the van. The neon now had no trade in value; it does have salvage value of about $200 since we didn’t comprehensive insurance on it. We are still looking at getting a little truck or van because we traded our van.

Our van was a 2000 Pontiac Montana. It had served its purpose, from taking people to wrestling tournaments across the Midwest, to hauling lawnmowers or whatever else we needed to haul. In its prime, it got pretty good mileage, but in its later years, some 150,000 miles later it was starting to struggle. We decided to get something with a little better mileage.

My wife and daughter had driven a Yaris rental car in Tennessee when they went back for my wife’s brother’s funeral. They loved it, couldn’t quit talking about it. Was roomy, got great mileage and on and on. After some research we decided to look at several cars, some hybrids, the Yaris, a Honda Civic, a Ford Focus and from there, we thought we could find something.

After some searching we ended up at Eddy’s Toyota here in Wichita. I’m not much of a fan of car salesman, but have to tell you, everyone at this establishment was great. Low pressure, friendly, honest, and I could even add a few other nice words to tell you about them. In all honesty, I liked these guys and they presented themselves differently than most any other car salesman I have ever come across. I would highly recommend them, just tell them Mike Furches sent you if you go there, maybe they will send me some extra cookies or something. Ask for Jarrod or Mark, either guy will help you out.

We looked at the roller skate Yaris, the one called the three door hatchback. I would have seriously considered this car except I didn’t like the extra effort to get into the back seat. If it was just me or my wife, or we were looking for another new car, this would be the one I would buy. We opted to check the 4 door sedan. This Yaris has a different body style but the other things were basically the same. Surprisingly good gas mileage, and a lot more room than one would imagine, complete with a good sized trunk for any traveling we may do.

We were looking for something affordable, got great gas mileage, low payments, all of that poor man buying a car stuff. We didn’t want electric windows, wanted a manual transmission, and a few other basics, including air conditioning, and a good stereo system. It had all of those things.

Long story made short, we found out we had better credit than we thought, and we could get the car for a price we wanted, (note do a little research, some people are buying this car off the lot and selling it for more once they buy it.) The payment was a few dollars more than we were paying on our van, but for a new car, with 7 miles on it and the mileage we would be getting; we thought a reasonable thing to do.

In the trade process, we found out our vans transmission was going out, (note one silver lining.) We realized the payment was only a few dollars more, (another glass of lemonade.) Then we realized we were getting better gas mileage. Now listen to this big ol’ bouquet of flowers, a cold glass of lemonade and a silver lining to boot. The van had something like a 17 gallon gas tank. We would get about 300 miles to a tank. The Yaris has an 11 gallon tank, we have so far been getting about 450 miles to a tank. Do the math, with gas around $4 a gallon, a huge savings as we end up getting better gas mileage than is advertised on the Manufactures Recommended Mileage sticker on the car.

We still need a used, affordable, small truck or van, and are looking to replace the car that was totaled. We are waiting on a little more money but God will come through. We also need a riding lawn mower for our 1 ½ acre lawn, but God will come through. We have seen the silver linings, smelled the roses, and had a few glasses of cold lemonade.

I continue to learn that God is faithful. It is that reason I put down these words today, not to brag, tell you about my problems, or anything like that, but to tell you that God is faithful in the big things when we are faithful in the little things. God does still own all of the money in the banks; he still controls the weather, causes the flowers to smell pretty, and can make something sour like lemons taste pretty good. I am saying this so you know, if God can take care of me, he can take care of you. He loves his children, but gives us the choice to let him be our father or not. He is like most any other dad; he likes to be appreciated, likes to every now and then be asked for things, and loves to give gifts. He also likes a generous heart and a thank you on occasion. He just wants us to love him. As for me, all of those little things are worth it; my dad does things for me all of the time. The last few weeks have once again taught me that.

Now you can take a test drive, well sort of take a test drive. Double click on the video below, if the video don't work, just click on the link: While this is not my car, it does a good job of showing you the car.


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