The little girl in the picture above single-handedly destroyed the vehicle sitting in the driveway behind her! Yes, she did!!
In July of 2003, with my husband deployed to Iraq since February, I was reading our Army post’s newspaper and came across an ad from the Saturn dealership in a city 80 miles away (Springfield, MO) … offering a military discount of $1,000 on any new Saturn purchased. The Saturn Vue had just come out – and I wanted one. Don’t ask me why – maybe because Saturns are made in my home state of Tennessee – or just their uniqueness at the time appealed to me. We had bought a Saturn SL1 in 1995 that my husband drove, and I wanted to trade it in for him.
With his permission via our email conversations and my power of attorney and a print out of my old Saturn’s Kelly Blue Book value in hand, I drove the 80 miles to test drive a few Vues and talked to someone at the dealership. I loved it – and came home to email Dan once again. He okay’d my idea – and we decided I could bring home a new Saturn Vue only if they had one in red or silver. I drove back to Springfield the next day – and sure enough, there was a lovely silver Vue at the lot!!
I think the salesman was surprised at what an easy sell I was that day. I knew what I wanted, I knew the pricing, and when he offered me a puny amount for my old Saturn as a trade-in, I immediately refused and showed him my research of the Blue Book value! He went to “talk to his manager” – and I got the trade-in amount I wanted!!
Signed, sealed, and delivered, I was so happy that afternoon as we drove my shiny, silver Vue home! I didn’t even tell anyone – except Dan – what I had done!! What a fun time to drive in a car with that “new car smell” … and yes, I know, a brand new vehicle depreciates a certain insane amount the minute you drive it off the lot – but in my opinion, that experience is so worth it – even if you only can do it once in your life.
The Vue was mostly my husband’s vehicle once he got home from Iraq as I had a mini-van that I loved and needed with 2 kids always in tow. Sadly, my father-in-law had us trade my beloved van for Dan’s grandma’s Buick a few years ago – before we knew we were expecting Miriam – because as he told us: “the transmission may go out at any time.” … So Dan drove the Buick, and I inherited “my” Vue.
Last summer, in June, about this time, the transmission in that Buick went out!!! In Tulsa, Oklahoma … about a 4 hour drive from where we live! It took forever to get that car repaired and back home to us … but thank the Lord, He did provide. And now as of today, that Buick is the only car we have left …
How did Miriam destroy our Vue?! Well, it began with her wanting “to drive” sometimes when we’d get home from driving somewhere. I’d let her play in the driver’s seat while I sat on the porch and watched her turn lights on and off, pretend to steer, and push buttons. As most people do, we kept loose change in our car – and she found that change one day … and stuck a few coins in the CD player slot. At first, I thought I had gotten them all out – but I must not have. After playing one last CD, the CD player quit working … and a few days later, the clock on the CD player/radio quit. A week or more later, the cruise control suddenly stopped working as well. And then last week, the power steering went out along with all the gauges (gas, speedometer, etc) on the dash board. Apparently, those coins in the CD player set off a series of electrical shorts that are slowly killing our Vue!
Our mechanic looked at the car for free – and said there was nothing he could do. Maybe a dealership could help. But the dealership is 80 miles away (and Saturns are now discontinued anyway) … and thus, we have decided to put our Vue to rest based on its age and high mileage and decreased value. I’m not sure what we will do with it exactly – and we probably can’t do anything until after my husband gets another job … but I can’t help but be sad to lose this friend of our family! My kids grew up riding in that car with their dad and now with me, even though now Andrew has to somewhat scrunch into the backseat with his long legs – and with 3 kids, we barely have enough room in the trunk for all our stuff for overnight trips with luggage … I’ve been longing for a minivan again … and hopefully one day soon, I will get one again.
Who knew this 2 year old child could cost us an entire vehicle … as someone observed upon hearing our story, it does seem like we’ve been ‘short changed.’ 😉