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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks


We are finally back up and running with a vehicle! We spent most of Monday this week looking at more cars and had settled pretty well on one, but Kira decided that she wanted to look a little more while we were still waiting for the insurance check. Our rental van was due back Tuesday night, but a friend in Kira’s branch was kind enough to offer us a station wagon that he had just purchased for his son who is away at college right now, so he wouldn’t need it for a few days. Kira picked me up from the train station that night and then we went straight to pick up the car, and then to drop off our rental before going home. It’s amazing just how much time this entire ordeal has sucked out of our lives. 

Wednesday, Kira and I went looking one more time, and the first place we stopped had what really felt like a keeper. Part of its charm, I think, was that it looked exactly like our rental vehicle (a black 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan). The rental of course felt out of our price range, but this vehicle is a 2013, without some of the bells and whistles, and it was just within about the middle of our price range. It had one owner, and the engine was surprisingly clean, so I feel pretty good about it. Kira was most concerned about comfort for long trips, so she checked all of the air flow and such, we found a couple of things to fix, but I can do most of them myself at low cost, so we bought it!

One of our concerns was that the fan had a high pitched whistle whenever it was on, so I watched a tutorial on YouTube to get to the blower motor, and spent about 45 minutes on Friday afternoon cleaning out a little debris and lubricating the turning parts. It’s much better now, so that’s off my list now.

Among the other things are a broken window button. It still works, but the button is loose and so you have to press it at just the right angle to get it to engage. I ordered a new control panel to correct that, so I’ll replace it as soon as it comes. There’s also a broken tail light that the previous owner just covered with tape, so I ordered a new one that will take about 10 minutes to replace once it’s here. After that, we’ll be in good shape. It’s got new tires, but it was missing hubcaps, so the dealership is going to bring us some new ones this week.

Otherwise, it’s been an exhausting week of attempting to recover from this illness that’s been ravaging the household. Avey was down with it pretty hard, so she missed 4 full days this week, and then reluctantly did a partial day on Friday. She’s doing much better now, though all of the adults are still dealing with coughs and mucus. Hannah finally felt like she might just survive a few days ago after sleeping better than she had in many days.

Pay day came early this week, so Hannah and I made our Costco run on Friday afternoon in the new van. It was so nice to get to just tuck the seat down into the floor instead of removing it and carrying it around the garage! I then did some minor repairs to our floor where it transitions between tile and wood. There were originally flimsy faux wood gap covers that we easily snapped into pieces, so I replaced them with some metal ones, which should hold better.

It’s taken a very cool turn in the last couple of days, finally into jacket weather, so I harvested the last of our carrots today. The boys got very excited on Saturday about decorating the house. We let it slip due to our total lack of energy, so I got out the Halloween tote and they had fun decking out the house with stuff. I took a short trip to the hardware store for a bolt so that I could fix my mower seat. I don’t know what happened, but two of the three bolts were gone one day, and the seat slipped around. I got that put back on pretty quickly. We then all spent the afternoon running errands down in Valparaiso, including playing at a very windy and chilly park (though the boys had a blast).

Kira and I finished up things with the insurance on Friday after completing our negotiations for compensation. That will sure be nice to put all behind us once the check arrives. Carver’s eye still has a black mark underneath it, but at least it will heal. We’re really looking forward to getting our time back to focus on other things. I feel like I’m very behind on my work things, and this week will be a good reminder, as I have to go to campus 4 days in a row.

The kids are getting caught up on school work that they missed. Carver finally turned in all of his late assignments on Friday. Let’s hope that the flu will pass our house by this season, as I’m not sure I have it in me to do any more of this.


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