Very, very busy weekend, as it turned out…Friday, after work, we went car shopping. Not ‘shopping’ per se, because the internet helps you figure out what you want, and being a Costco member, or AAA member, or a member of any organization that has a car buying service can help you get a good deal. So it’s a matter of shopping on line to figure out what you need vs. what you want, then going to get it. It was really very easy. So we went to the dealer, and told him what we were looking for, he looked it up in the region to find out if they had it. We looked at three models, one because my wife thinks I’m smaller than I really am, the next model up from what I had already decided on, and what we did buy. Sorta like Househunters on TV. You choose from three options. One’s too small, one’s too expensive, and then you have the model you want, and then it’s a matter of all the add-ons. In my particular car, they have three packages. There’s the basic, the one with some options, and the one with lots of options. Basic is manual transmission and a radio to go with the small engine and small tires. The middle ground has the better engine, slightly bigger tires, and some other amenities. The limited is the top of the line of the middle package. But even then, there’s options we didn’t want for various reasons. The best package has everything-moonroof, navigation system, and back up camera. We don’t need those (the only time we really look at the moon is when it’s on the horizon, either morning or evening. When it’s high enough to be framed by a moon-roof, we’re already sleeping). So we picked out something with some nice luxuries. We didn’t have to haggle for price, we already had a quote. They base their price on the percentage below MSRP, so we ended up getting it under invoice.
Today, in the auto industry, I think dealerships in a region team up so no-one has to have a complete inventory of colors and options. It’s simply a matter of finding the options you want, proclaiming the color you want, and they locate it. In our case, it was about 60 miles away. In signing paperwork, the salesperson mentioned that the car would be driven to the dealership. I didn’t catch that, but my wife did, and it bothered her that someone would be driving her new car before her. I think it’s a Pinay thing. To me, it was 60 miles, so what? But to her it was a deal breaker. The next day, the salesperson called to say that it would be late in the afternoon before the car would be there, and my wife told the salesperson that, if they were going to drive the car, she didn’t want the car. We went around and around finding a car with the same options in a color we wanted, but to no avail. The sales manager came up with a great idea, kudos to him for being so accomodating…They were swapping one of their cars for the one we were buying, and the driver had to drive the swap from one dealer to the other, pick up our car, and drive it back. Would I like to ride with the driver to the other dealership and be the one to drive it back? Perfect! Only one problem, unrelated to the car…we were waiting on a delivery at home, which was late. The piece de resistance to our back-yard makeover was arriving-a brand-new BBQ. So I had to ride solo with the driver to the other dealer and back. All the while preparing food for guests on Sunday, after Mass…
The parish we are attending now is being run by the Oblates of Mary the Immaculate, and has been since 1955. Due to a shortage of vocations, they are unable to carry on managing our parish. The pastor of 20 years is retiring, and the Bishop was presiding at Mass to bid farewell to the pastor, and the Oblates. The parish overlooks a river at the confluence to the bay, and the scenery is dominated by a pair of bridges. The Bishop reflected that a bridge is a symbol of life. Life is a bridge. You don’t build your house on a bridge-it’s a means of getting from one place to another. Life is our bridge to heaven Beautiful, profound thought.
So this has been a weekend of saying goodbye to a pastor of 20 years, and a car of almost 20 years. Our first car we bought together is no longer in our possession. Anything temporal that you have for 20 years becomes cherished. We’ve been married 25, been in our home for 25, owned our car for 20. We have grandchildren older than 20 years. Of course, we must learn to let go of the physical thing when the time comes, and begin to cherish the memories.
A bridgeis a means of getting from one place to another. You don’t build your home on the bridge. Life is our bridge to heaven.