June 16, 2007

Delta Breeze

Yesterday's high temperature: 103F. Our country church does not have a central air conditioner, just a couple of inadequate wall units which do help somewhat on Sunday mornings when there's 40 or so mostly older people sitting still in their pews, but which are nowhere near up to the task of keeping our building cool at 12 noon on a Friday with 75 very active children running around the building. However, it was a very good week (with 75 chidren!).

My wife and I had a window of a few hours in between Vacation Bible School and the evening hot dog dinner. It was time to buy our new car. For the past two weeks, we'd spent hours searching the internet and scouring newspaper ads looking for a minivan comparable to the one we lost in the car crash. We weren't having much luck. Mostly older models than ours, or makes that were lower in quality (and gas mileage).

Our first stop was the bank, where we deposited the settlement check from the insurance company. The bank informed us that there would be an 11-day hold. "But we need to buy our new car today; our insurance won't cover the cost of the rental for 11 more days."

The very helpful people at our bank got on the phone to see what they could do. We sat and waited. We walked across the street to get something to eat. We returned, and sat a little while longer.

I began thinking, perhaps we should get a smaller car. We'd be able to afford it -- a brand new one, even -- and with what we'd save on gas mileage, we could rent a larger vehicle those couple of times a year when we'd really need one.

The bank people told us our check was now cleared. As we left to go car shopping, I said to my wife, "Let's get something smaller." To my surprise, she agreed.

We drove to the Toyota dealership and began looking at Corollas. I loved our old Corolla, and know from experience that I can fit quite comfortably in the backseat of one, which means that most anyone else could, too. But then (with a little help from the salesman), a nearby Scion xB catches our eye. My wife falls in love with it. We end up taking it for a test drive. Then we end up signing papers. We write a check for $1000 less than the one we had earlier deposited into our account.

We hastily leave the dealership and drive back home; the Scion will be ready for us to pick up today. On the way home, I start laughing. My wife starts laughing, too. We start talking, and actually enjoying each other's company. It's wonderful when one of your sources of stress is lifted from you.

We arrive back home and walk across the street to church. It's time for the hot dog dinner! A few families arrive, and I'm slightly disappointed; I had been hoping for more. But then I start counting heads, and realize that close to fifty people are present, which was, in fact, more than I was expecting. And the 50 of us had a very enjoyable evening of informal fellowship and celebration. As folks leave and we start cleaning up, the Delta breeze starts blowing, which means cooler weather for the weekend.

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