Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Problem of Apathy? (Part 2)

I really am not as apathetic as I sound about the environment. I just have my things that I focus on.

Yards and watering is one. It drives me bonkers when I see people watering in the heat of the day. Water at night or in the morning where you aren't losing so much to the air around. And don't get me started on the sprinklers that are on during the rain. I like drip systems and soaker hoses in my gardens. Also those big huge acre fully grassed yards. Sure, it's pretty I guess to have everything green and the same. But what a pain to mow. If someday I should have a large lot it won't be all grass, and if it is when my kids are older, it will be unlikely to have any grass. I look at those gardens in Sunset where the yard IS the garden... love that.

Paper products is another. The catalogs, the flyers, the ads, etc., that we get in the mail. I hesitate to actually stop them altogether through that website that eliminates junk mail, because they do have a place... right a few months before Christmas. Sure, inundate me then where I can sit down in the evening and scope out ideas for gifts from the comfort of my couch. And seasonal ones, because yes I am a sucker for cute Easter decorations and the like. The rest? Keep 'em.

We are trying to sell our old house right now by owner and a favorite tactic of local agents is to send postcards and flyers and "instructions" detailing how to sell your home (all the hard work it will take). They are just offering "tips"... they would never be trying to actually solicit from you the listing... never. One pair we get 5-6 pieces of mail from them every week. It is on my list to phone them and ask them to quit wasting resources because we are listing our home by owner because my mother in law is a licensed real estate agent AND if we did choose to go the agent route (and we might still) it won't be them! We would choose the agents/friends we bought this house with.

Ok, off my pulpit and back to the topic at hand. The sub-topic I have been avoiding and that got me thinking about formulating this post last week...


We need a new one. It could be within a matter of weeks or a year. Whenever the Subaru decides to give up the ghost. It will happen.

Can I admit that I have never coveted a Prius? Never. I got semi-interested when the hybrid engine Highlander was introduced a few years ago. But the availability was slim at best.

A friend of mine from daycare commented the other day that he read on Facebook about the car dilemma. Then he commented, “well now you can get a smaller car!”

I think he was referring to replacing my 4Runner and so I reminded him that this is my husband’s car we are talking about… The Outback. Not MY 4 Runner.

I might as well get it over with… I LOVE my 4Runner. Love it. Yes, I am an evil capitalist gas-hogging SUV driving American. According to many out there, the source of all that is wrong in America.

While we were deciding the other day what to do with AB’s car (we ended up deciding to fix the transmission so it is drivable for some unknown period of time with a cracked head gasket while we figure out what kind of car we want), AB asked me, “if money was not an issue, what kind of car would you buy?”

We aren’t car people. I don’t have a specific car that I covet. I envision myself someday when kids are grown driving either a Volvo C-70 or a Benz. But frankly, I love my 4Runner.

AB’s idea is that he gets MY 4Runner and I get a minivan.

Oh joy.

Have I mentioned that I am NOT a minivan person? Just not. It is probably more practical to go that route, though not my chosen route. (I did remind him the other day that if he gets the new job he is applying for that HE can get a minivan and pick the kids up daily!)

One consideration is a truck. When I was a kid my mom had a car, my dad had a truck. It was just always that way. We are always needing to haul stuff and add to it that one component of our “when we sell the house” plan is to buy a travel trailer. With the 4Runner we are limited to a max weight of hauling 5000 lbs. Which then limits us to an “Ultralite” (which is fine) or a small travel trailer. We want hard sides because we aspire to use the travel trailer in different seasons (Olympics 2010, skiing, Yellowstone off season...). But if we were able to haul more the options become much better.

However, the question really becomes how “practical” is a truck really when you have two children and two dogs? I refuse to put my dogs in the back of a truck. And we really need space to seat 6 so that when we have visitors that we don’t always have to shuffle car seats and take two cars.

I mumbled under my breath to Hans what my ultimate choice would be… thankfully I don’t fear scorn from my husband.

A Sequoia.

Then I can take my gas guzzling, SUV driving to the extreme with the step up from my beloved 4Runner.

And maybe what the real option is to take the Subaru and the 4Runner to the dealership and ask for a deal on a Sequoia (for me) and a Prius (as a commuter car for AB). Then I can at least offset my carbon footprint. When I get scorns of disapproval I can nod at the Prius?

I know, I know... why the guilt? Someday I may have an answer for you.

This post is now open for flaming.

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