Wednesday, July 23, 2008


The van has been making a funny noise and the battery light has been on for a while now. Today, the noise became alarming and I took it in, relying on the coast down the big hill to get me to the shop. Turns out the rack and pinion are outta here and the alternator has been overcharging the battery (!?) and wrecking itself. Between the two, the repair costs total nearly half the value of the vehicle.

So I don't know what to do. I need something I can afford, which would be more or less zero in monthly payments, but I could wring a little bit out of the budget. Without a down payment or credit history (marital status changes one's credit rating), a payment becomes downright unimaginable.

The recommendations I'm getting from mechanics are, on the low end price-wise, to go for a Chrysler product that will just get us from point A to point B. On the other end, one that seems more functional for the long term, is the Dodge Sprinter or similar vehicle. In between lies the Toyota Sienna. It's accessible enough to take us through perhaps the next five years, up to the place where Q has become too heavy to lift in and out of a seat/chair. The mileage is good, the repair histories nearly unbelievably trouble free. The price is still way out there.

I'm kicking around perhaps paying for the repairs and taking the next six months to scrimp and save, praying that something gives. I've asked the repair shop to see what else might be ready to crack inside there, to give me some idea what else I might be staring down and how soon. They'll get back to me in the morning.

It's funny. I've had some offers for help with school stuff, inquiries about what we might be needing. Before we left this morning, I almost posted that I've got most of the supplies (still looking at some Usborne books -- wink), but that now, the real fun begins: ramps, lifts, access to home and vehicle are the big, big, and now looming ever larger issues.

And here we are. The boy is about 28 pounds. He's growing, but not as fast as I'd feared or hoped -- it's a double-edged sword. I'd planned to get him some software to use with his new buttons and a backpack that I could then have modified to haul him on normal family endeavors -- hiking and etc. I'm thinking about all that again. He would benefit from those things in a very large and definite way, no doubt there. But therapy is important too and all those doctor's appointments... We have to have some way to get there.

I dunno.

I'm off to think some more, make more physical order while things feel all out of sorts, and entertain the boy who is running out of patience with his formerly delightful orange maracas.


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