Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Uncomfortable Comfort

Recently my wife and I had just begun to become more financially stable. It has been an uncomfortable, unused to situation that made us both nervous. Many years of struggling to get my business up and running, college for the kid, and the usual poor spending choices had created a kind of perverted comfort zone for us. We were living the dream. Plastic and home equity kept the fires burning and the hamster moving. It may not have been the lap of luxury, but it was something we could get our heads around. Owing money to everyone was a way of life for us.

That all changed when my wife was fired from her accounting job. That steady income she brought in was gone. What to do? Panic? Yeah, we did some of that for a couple of days. Anquish? Yep.

With no prospects of another firm picking her up, she hung out her shingle. "B-A Accounting". Since her firing had been a matter of economics for the firm, she had many contacts inside who threw business her way. That was just over 2 years ago. Now she is turning work away and her income is twice what it was as a staff accountant. So we became better than solvent. We actually began to get ahead a tad. And did I already mention this made us nervous?

We had every reason to be as it turns out. In the space of 2 weeks 2 of the 3 family cars died. Well maybe not dead exactly. But close enough so's you had to hold the mirror under their nose to see if they were still breathing.

We needed vehicles. My business and our rural lifestyle demand that both of us have motorized transport. Dependable transport. My wife puts 300 plus miles a week on her car visiting clients, And I needed a truck for my bike shop and home obligations.

So we went car shopping. Damn I hate car shopping. But after 2 intense days of frantic internet searching and then dickering with the local Ford dealer, my wife drove home in a spiffy new red Focus to the tune of $17,000 or therabouts. The next day my 15 year old Chevy pick up blew a head gasket and wouldbn't pass inspection.

2 more days of frantic internet searching and then back to the local Ford dealer because we liked how we were treated. After looking at the new trucks, I settled on a sweet little Ranger with only 10,000 miles on it. Nice rig. The bed's smaller than I am used to, but I'll figure it out.

Whew! That uncomfortable comfort we were just getting used to is gone. We now are happy as pigs in shit and owing everyone again. What a great country.

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