I think it was early this month when the fridge went phlooey. We moved up to a side by side, so goodbye to $1514 and some change. The oldest boy and his family were here for Christmas and lost the clutch in Houston on the trip in last week. Not only did LOML get to drive to Houston to pick them and all their crap up and carry them the rest of way here, she got to loan them the money for the clutch... $869.41. Yesterday she got in the Escape to go to town and heard the very recognizable Ford power steering howl. Turns out the entire rack and pinion is shot... something between $1500 and $1700.
So this morning after I drove 55 miles home from working all night, I stuffed myself in the in-law's 12 year old Crown Victoria with the kids and all their crap, and drove 5 hours to Houston and back so they could get on the way back home.
This was the first time I'd driven the Crown Victoria any further than around a parking lot, and I gotta say, I was very impressed. 12 YO, 167,000 miles, and still getting 24 MPG at 70mph. Very comfortable seats, beautiful ride, nicely appointed interior, and you can put a lot of crap in the trunk. I've been driving pickups and small imports since the late 80s...last 'big' car was an '83 Cutlass Supreme... and I'd forgotten what a nice feeling it was. When I go car shopping in a couple years, the 'look at' list will include some real cars.