So this week has been a nonstop orgy of schedules, milestones and activities. It's a biggie, but bear with me...
Tuesday - Took Kayleigh to get ballet slippers and tap shoes, then to dance class. Not a huge deal. Got me primed for each day getting a bit more busy.
Wednesday - Took the kids to school, picked up my brother and headed to Shoreline to shop cars. See, my late grandfather's estate dropped a sudden, one-time-only gift in the laps of each of my dad's children, thanks to my aunt, uncle and grandmother. It couldn't have come at a better time. The '92 Sable was about to become one of those "old car money pits", especially since the radiator cracked back in '03 and leaked coolant into the engine. Since then I've been getting crappy mileage and crappy performance, despite our local greasemonkeys doing everything mechanically possible (short of replacing the engine). Sam's Taurus wagon blew the tranny on the trip down to Oregon, and was basically hauled away for parts.
So here I am, a single father of two with a limited income and a failing car, no way to afford payments on even a crappy used car (which would be no better a solution than sinking money into the Sable). Yet here was this magical means of buying a new, reliable car with a full warranty for cash. It felt like Grandpa Ken came back to Earth to help me out this one last time.
After much research and a lot of test driving, I settled on the Kia Sportage - you know, the commercial with each person driving it somewhere and then throwing the keys to the next person. It's the overhauled new design built on the Hyundai Tucson/Elantra chassis. Not so much a small SUV as a sport wagon. Thing is shorter than a sedan, yet has amazing space inside, like a Dr. Who TARDIS. 4-cylinder 5-speed stick, good horsepower for the size of the engine, ABS, traction/stability control, front, side and curtain airbags all standard. Excellent passenger/cargo space, and 21-28 mpg (way better than the Sable, which is a really good thing as gas prices keep climbing). Has the Hyundai warranty too: 10yrs/100,000mi powertrain, 5yr bumper-to-bumper, 5yr roadside assistance and 6yr corrosion (a nice feature in Seattle). Got a great deal and excellent treatment from Chuck Olson Chevrolet/Kia in Shoreline (plug plug). Did the deal, but the exact rig I wanted was on a lot in Oregon and had to be brought up. 37 years old, and just bought my first new car. Go me.
Went to my Gilda's group that night. Met a woman who was roughly my age, had been high school/college sweethearts with her husband, lost him to the same cancer Samantha had, over a similar course of treatment. Has a 4yo girl. Brought back a ton of stuff for me, emotionally. Go figure.
Thursday - 15th wedding anniversary. The tormented blog entries are below. It was a rough day from the get-go. Could not stop crying... and it wasn't the break-down-sobbing kind... more like a constant stomach ache and saline drip leaking from the eyes. Decided I'd put it off long enough and went out to get inked that evening. Well, I tried anyway. When I got out to my car, I discovered my left front tire was flat, and the tire shop around the corner was closed. Message received - take a friend. So I called Caleb for a ride and he took me to Admiral Tattoo (plug plug), where a very friendly veteran artist proceeded to transfer the winged heart that was Samantha's symbol to my right calf. Yes, it hurt. And something about the physical pain became a catharsis for all the emotional agony I'd been feeling that day (and for the last 5 - 1/2 months). It was another milestone. When it was over, Caleb & I went around the corner to the Admiral Pub and shared a pitcher of Mack & Jack's Ale. And when I say we shared the pitcher, I mean Caleb had a glass, and I had the rest. In about 15 minutes. So needless to say, my leg didn't hurt too much. Put the kids to bed and crashed hard.
Friday - Kayleigh's 8th birthday. Up at 5:30AM, made breakfast. Got the kids up and moving, then drove around the corner on the Sable's alloy rim to get the tire replaced. They hooked me up and I was off - to the store to get cupcakes for Kayleigh's class celebration. Took the kids to school for the last time in the Sable. Forgot to go to the chiropractor. Met up with Erik and Caleb and went to check out Serenity. LOVED it, but then I loved the short-lived Firefly TV series upon which the film is based. Got home and cleaned for half an hour. Kids got home, piled them into the car and picked up my brother. Headed up to Shoreline to pick up the new rig. Bye bye Sable, hello Sportage (which Caleb has decreed we must pronounce with a French accent, i.e. spor-taaj, so we can drive the Spor-taaj to Tar-jaay). Got down to the Northgate Red Robin for a birthday dinner with my stepmom and our whole car load. Of course, being a Friday night, it was completely mad in there. We just managed to finish, drop my brother at home and get back to the house before the guys got there for our weekly game night. Put the kids down around 10PM, the guys left about midnight, I finally got to bed at 1:AM... Long day.
Today was actually a holiday in comparison! Got Tyler to Aikido, then grabbed some lunch with the kids. My stepmom picked up Kayleigh this afternoon for a dinner-and-ballet outing, just the two of them. Tyler and I took the Spor-taaj to Tar-jaay and got prezzies for Kayleigh's party tomorrow... when I get to host a Chuck E. Cheese birthday party with 5 eight-year-old girls and a bored boy of 11.
I am a leaf on the wind.