These are some of the storm clouds that were gathering Friday evening as I headed home. They were awesome looking formations that changed with each passing mile. They have no relevance to today’s blog but they were on my camera and I wanted to share them with you.
Yesterday (Saturday) was a long and at times stressful, but over all fun day spent with my Son, Mark. The car we bought for Mark while he was in high school had served him well. It took him through high school, college, and the first few weeks of his new job (which requires him to do a lot of traveling.)
To say his car was in bad shape was like saying the Titanic was taking on a little water. The car had 145,000 plus miles and had really seen a lot of hard use. So with Mark driving on average of 80 miles a day with his job it was time he got a new car. I was honored that he asked for my help but worried at the same time. Buying a car is not a fun experience even on a good day. I hate the entire process the dealers put you through. The exception is Turpin Motors in Dubuque. They actually made the car buying experience enjoyable, but I digress.
The plan was for us to meet in Cedar Rapids for breakfast, plan our strategy, and get a car for him by the end of the day. Sounds easy right. He found this quaint little cafe on 6th Street SW in Cedar Rapids, called Breakfast House Cafe. Nice little place and they had very good food. I have been dealing with a pesky stomach disorder most of the week but thought it was in a manageable state when I sat down to breakfast. That was incorrect. So now with all the other things to deal with I can also add that little problem to my list. Let’s just say I was in a lot of places that I would just as soon not been in yesterday. 😦
We went from there to go look at a car he had found while looking on-line. On the way we went pass one of the large McGrath Dealerships. They have 5 or 6 huge dealerships in Cedar Rapids as well as a lot of other types of businesses. So we detoured and went in to see what they had. We were met by an energetic young man named Jason. His fast walk was only exceed by his fast talk. He loved every car he showed us and he drove us all over town to the other five McGrath Dealerships looking for something to fit Mark’s tastes and his budget. He actually found two vehicles that Mark liked but then he found out the Dealership did not yet have possession of the title and was not sure when they would have them.
Finally we settled on a vehicle that was (in my mind) questionable and they started playing the numbers game with us. The funniest thing was when they went to look at Mark’s car. Everyone used the same words to describe it. Politically correct and not to insult, they called it “a little rough.” 🙂
They gave Mark a price that was not even close, so I told the guy we’d think about it and maybe be back after lunch. We then went to the Dealership where Mark had found the car on-line. We met a wonderful young man on crutches. He had hurt himself while doing some training with the National Guard. Turns out he spent a tour of duty in Afghanistan as well. He was the hardest working young salesman I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. I thanked him for his service to our country and then sat back and let him and Mark talk.
I had a good feeling about the car and the Dealership (even though they were an outlet center for used cars owned by… Yep, you guessed it, McGrath Auto.)
One good thing was they were having a big tent sale so we got free burgers and chips while we waited and waited and waited. When you’re a first time car buyer with a new job and not a lot of resources it takes some creative things to finally make it work. I’m not going into all the hoops we had to jump through to get Mark’s car but I will tell you that he ended up with a pretty nice car and he is responsible for it.
I learned some new things about my Son yesterday. I’m very proud of him and I thoroughly enjoyed the entire day. I wouldn’t want to go through it again today but it was an adventure and one I’ll remember for the rest of my life. It was a real treat for me to spend the day giving advice when he asked for it and trying to keep my mouth shut when he didn’t. I wasn’t always successful but I think most of the time I was.
He sent me a text when he got back to Iowa City saying thanks for the help and that he made it without putting a scratch on his new car. 🙂
Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your Sunday and hopefully you get tomorrow off to relax as well. Be careful.