Sunday, September 17, 2006

Apples & Automobiles

Since every weekend for the past 6 weeks has been virtually non-stop, we decided to take it easy this weekend. Chris had three days off, so Friday, he did the yard cleanup & ran the usual Saturday errands- have I mentioned that not only is he a prince among men, he also has ADHD & finds it almost impossible to relax? He even went over to the blood bank to make a donation, so all of us spent Friday evening at home.

It was so nice to sleep in Saturday morning, knowing I didn't have to be anywhere. Naturally, I woke up at 7:30 & couldn't go back to sleep; I came downstairs to fix some tea & read to newspaper. Eventually, the other bodies began to stir & by 9:00, Chris was asking what I had planned for the day (I'm believing that's because he was antsy, not because I always have things for everyone to do!) We had been talking about going up to Apple Hill to visit, & since was sunny, coolish day, we decided to pack up extra clothes & head up to the Sierra foothills.

It was definitely worth the trip- the weather was gorgeous, the orchards were overflowing with apples (some of the farms are pick-your-own, others you pick out what you want in the barn) & there weren't too many people or cars. The first place we stopped was having a "Teddy Bear Picnic" fundraiser for a Family Resource Center. There were lots of games for the kids, a silent auction for some awesome gift baskets & live music. We watched the Teddy Bear parade, then had some pie a la mode & fresh cider. We wandered down the road to a little micro brewery & pub, then on to visit several of the farms, stopping whenever we saw something interesting. One place had alpacas (I guess there are several ranches in the area- I'm going to go back to visit & scope out some yarn); another had an enormous field of sunflowers & petting zoo; several had arts & crafts vendors in tents, offering all sorts of locally made items. We only made around to about a third of farms, not including the Christmas tree farms, so we'll be going back in a month or so, when the trees are turned & the pumpkin patches are opened. We brought back a huge bag of apples & pears, cider syrup, apple butter, & some apple wine.

Today was another low pressure day; our only plans were church & Sam's dance class this evening. I filled in on the worship team for someone who was ill, then had a short ensemble rehearsal for next Sunday. I mentioned earlier that we are needing to get Chris a newer car for commuting, so we went over to a dealership to look at a car we saw in the paper Saturday. Now, you know how I feel about car dealers- so I was not really looking forward to the whole thing- but Chris really needs a car. As soon as we stepped out of our car, I could see three of the them heading our direction, so I just started walking quickly towards the cars to find the one we were interested in, leaving Chris to deal with the sharks. I checked out the car in the ad, decided to pass, & started looking at a couple of other possibilities, when Chris comes strolling up, with a salesman in tow, chattering away like a squirrel on espresso. Turns out, he had worked with this man about 10 years ago at his previous job; he remembered our kids coming to the office to visit & that I had been a seamstress.

Well, talk about a God thing! This is his last week at the dealership (he's getting out of car sales) so he wasn't real concerned about making a big profit for the company. I told him what we needed & what I was willing to spend, & he took it from there. Two hours later, we were the proud owners of a 2006 PT Cruiser, with less than 11K miles & fully loaded. We got great financing from my credit union & came in with payments $2 over my budget! Poor Chris is almost afraid to drive it- he's never had this new of a vehicle, & assumed I would drive it & he'd take over my car! Fortunately for him, I love my emerald-green Focus- I'm not ready to give it up.

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