In the beginning I was a lonely wolf child in the woods with a father who made me eat trees and roots and stuff. I caught dinner, killed it, cleaned it, cooked it, then washed the dishes and took the compost out back and buried fish parts in the garden.
In my current life, my car was dying a painful death and I had to get a car fit the grown-up wolf child. Here were my priorities: American-made, affordable, simple, 2-door, hatchback, good on gas, 360 visibility, red. This all seemed attainable until I went car shopping. I started testing everything and hated everything... until that magic moment when I saw it and fell in love.
Okay, it's 4-door, but it's still a hatchback for the stuff I need to cart around. I don't know what that stuff will be yet, but now the possibilities are endless. It's on the "10 most American cars" list, with a Mexican engine and a Canadian something or other, but the rest of it's US and assembled in Michigan. People laughed at me when I said I wanted an American car because they think everything is made somewhere else, but it just doesn't seem right to make a gas-efficient car then ship it around the world for me to start saving gas.
My Ford CMax is a hybrid. I don't have to plug it in; it knows when it wants gas or electric. So far it mostly wants electric, and my gas gauge hasn't moved off FULL even though I've been trotting around all over the place this week. It's silent in electric mode and it gives me "efficiency leaves" for driving responsibly. It recoups electricity from the wheels every time I brake and gives me credit for good braking too. I love constant positive reinforcement with leaves -- it absolutely makes my inner wolf child very happy. I think it's as "natural" as I'm going to find in a car.
And did I mention that it's red? Not just any red; it's the absolutely perfect shade of red (ruby red metallic or PMS #201 metallic if you prefer).
I was sorry to let my old car go, but a bad transmission was the last sign that it was time for something new. It was 10 years old, and a lot of those years were spent driving to the west side and back through Cleveland's rush hour traffic and some years when I didn't have enough $ for proper maintenance. RIP or blessings in your new home.
I had to go through the old car for all my treasures before handing over the keys. I put some of my lucky stones in the new car, but I'm a bit undecided if I should put my feathers in the new visor or search for new feathers. I know I have to take my office out for a ride, so I haven't put the minnow bucket in the back yet with my nets. My office mates don't know about my inner wolf child and I don't know if they'd understand.
Since the new car is bigger than the last, I'm considering putting the rest of my survival gear in too. You never know when you'll need a tent and sleeping bag. I have maps too because with 50 mpg, it seems like there are roads as yet untraveled that need exploring. Aawoooooo!!!
Survival tip: Dealerships sell you more car (or house) than you can comfortably pay, so they extend loans for years. If you pay extra towards the principal, you shorten your loan because your early car payments are mostly interest on the loan. You actually pay for what you bought at the end, but if you add even $5 or $10 to your car payment at the beginning (clearly marked "for principal"), you'll get rid of years of interest payments. If you get a tax refund, put that on the principal too and you'll save a ton of money.