Thursday, February 17, 2011

Shopping blues

I, like many women out there, like to shop. I also like a bargain and rarely buy unless I think I have gotten a “deal,” so shopping has been difficult lately. It might be what I’m shopping for—a house, some furniture—or simply my perception of a deal!

The area where I am house hunting has weathered the financial storm pretty well, looking at it from my side of the fence. I hear stories from people who live here that most home prices have fallen more than a hundred thousand dollars, but they still seem pretty pricey to me!

The issue is the elementary school. It’s rated at the top in the state and I firmly believe it has helped maintain property values, because people want to start their children off here. I refuse to move my kids from this school, as they have settled in nicely, love their teachers and are thriving in the before- and after-school care program. And what a program! They’re taking TaeKwon-Do, participating in science clubs and my girl has attended two sessions of cooking classes—all this in addition to homework assistance (run by the teachers) and an excellent staff! Needless to say, we are not changing schools, so the search continues. So far, I have seen several homes I like, but none I love and, since this is, potentially, a home we will live in for several years, I want to love it!

One thing I did manage to buy yesterday—a new car! I had been driving a 2001 Suburban, which I loved and hated to give up. It was comfortable, old enough that I had ceased caring about the kids eating in it, and I knew how it responded in most conditions. It responded poorly. It was not a four-wheel drive, and it had a tendency to slip-slide on almost anything. Having been built in 2001, it lacked any significant safety equipment for the rear seat, where my most important riders sit.

All of these drawbacks led to some pretty white-knuckled drives down from the mountains. Many days, I was thankful for the heavy traffic, because it kept speeds down and I could drive slow, not feeling pressured to push the limits of my aging ’burb! So, last night the kids and I headed off to see our friendly Ford dealer and we are now the proud owners of a new 2010 Explorer—old body style, truck frame, all the bells and whistles for safety and heated seats! We are pretty darn excited!

But—out of the mouths of babes—my boy just told me, “Mom, you should have bought the more expensive thing first; the house, then the car.” Thanks, son. Maybe you will stay home today while I go out and test our new toy, driving to the mountains! We will table the home search for a few weeks; we have nothing but time!

For Reflections on Nursing Leadership (RNL), published by the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International.

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