My wife, Laura, has been accepted to a program that will earn her a Masters Degree in teaching. She found out she was accepted late last week. This is going to be a major career change for her, but not as sudden as one might think. For the last few years she has been tutoring, coaching tutors, testing the effectiveness of the tutoring, etc. While she hs experience, she doesn’t have the certificate giving her credentials to old court in a classroom. This teaching degree will legitimize her but also increase her pay scale.
This program is an all day program on Saturdays for a year and a half, giving me sole responsibility for the kids from the time they wake until dinnertime. This in itself is no problem, I am quite happy with my role as parent, and thankfully my kids are too. I’m not worried at all about Laura and how she will perform, as she is quite capable. I’m more worried about what I’m going to do for some of my obligations that fall on Saturdays.
I volunteer with the local chapter of the Knights of Columbus, and every year we take one weekend and sell Christmas trees to help support a local women’s shelter. It’s only one weekend, but it’s both Saturday and Sunday. I won’t be able to help out on Saturday with a 6, 4 and 2 year old in tow. I am also wondering how I will be covering upcoming conventions such as the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show.
My first thought, however, was about my volunteering.
Because she is going to be gone all day, we are now in a position where we absolutely need two cars. Her taking the bus to the campus is simply not feasible (it’s a 30 minute drive as it is). If something happens, I need a car to take the kids to the emergency room, or whatever it is that life may throw at us.
Since we have the van, we were looking at getting a cheap second car for her commute. Over the last year or so there has been a few times where we could have really used two cars. We’ve been casually looking for a used car that would be a “backup” as well as the one Laura would use if she were to be accepted in the program (which she was, as I mentioned previously).
Now that she was accepted, we had to step up our efforts – at least before September when classes started. I won’t bore you with the process of whittling down the various makes we were looking at, but decided to ultimately purchase an 80′s Volvo for $600. We found the car through Craig’s List, not in the neighborhood, so it was going to be a trip in order to get it.
Sunday Laura had to be at 10:30 Mass to be a Eucharistic Minister, so we couldn’t leave until after lunch. I gave the kids lunch a little early so that we would be ready to leave when Laura got home from Mass.
We quickly sped down to West Seattle (though completely within the speed limit) to the ferry terminal to Vashon Island. There is no real parking at the terminal, and it is in the middle of a residential neighborhood. We had to find some parking, then walk to the ferry terminal and make it down to the ferry itself. Somehow we raced onto the ferry at the last possible moment catching the 12:50 sailing. I called the person who was selling the car to let her know we were on the ferry and would arrive on time. The seller directed us to head out of the ferry and up the hill to the Vashon Island terminal’s parking lot.
After getting off the ferry, the road split in two and we followed the path that held the ferry traffic. It turns out that as the wrong way to go. We trekked for about a half mile at least in the wrong direction. Uphill.
Thankfully both myself and the seller had our cell phones. A couple of phone calls later, we hooked up and the car was sold. We now have a blue 1985 Volvo sedan. Laura drove the car back to the ferry while I walked on. We got snack on the ferry, and afterwards Laura drove the Volvo with August and Déla back home with myself and Ciaran in the van.
Unfortunately the new (ha) car has a manual transmission, and I don’t know how to drive a stick shift. I’m going to have to learn, but am frightened because of the hills in Seattle.
Déla and Ciaran both missed their afternoon nap, but it was worth it. The kids had a fun adventure on the ferry and going to a place they had never been and we got a decent car for a decent price. Getting home in time to get dinner and the kids to bed on schedule just capped a full, and good, day.