It seems my attitude might match the dreariness of this cold fall day.

The wonderful start to my day came to an ugly halt when upon loading children into the van, I discovered what appeared to be chocolate sprinkles scattered across the floor and in the seat of my youngest child’s carseat. Sprinkles? I don’t remember getting chocolate sprinkled donuts or cookies, and I certainly don’t remember letting them eat such a treat in the van. Hmmm….

To my horror, I very quickly realized that said “sprinkles” were actually the furthest thing from a yummy treat. While the specific source of the mess is unknown, one thing is certain…the bits scattered across my van was actually critter poop. Oh.my.stars. For what seemed like an eternity, I ripped out every last thing in the van. I vacuumed every square inch. I searched every nook and cranny. No critter. Just evidence of his unwelcome appearance. 

Let me tell you a little bit about our van. Eight years ago, at the ripe ‘ol age of twenty-two, I put aside all the laughs and jokes from friends and family and proudly began driving a minivan. I didn’t care how uncool it was…it met our needs so very well, and because of the spunk and spirit I sometimes posses, I scored us a heck of a deal on it after haggling with the very rude salesman. 

This van has dutifully caravanned numerous children to and from activities and school. We were thankful to have been able to pay it off a bit sooner than anticipated, but its age has brought many a problem along with it. 

Like the numerous times it has stranded me in various parking lots because of a problem with the battery. 

Or how about the time the radio caught fire and billowed smoke out of the engine while I was driving on the main road through town? 

Or the fact that the “Check Engine” light is always on. Constantly. And no mechanic can figure out why. 

Or the time the automatic doors almost squished my son into a flat pancake. Or the time the automatic doors refused to close in a traffic jam downtown. Stupid automatic doors…they’re the reason for the critter poop incident today. You see, these doors have had their fair share of openings and closings. The van is fourteen years old, and it’s getting tired I think. 🙂 The motors on the doors have given us trouble in the past, and so in an attempt to spare ourselves the $1,000 plus price tag to repair each motor, we decided we could leave the door open while the van is parked in the garage. We figured it might buy us a little more time before the motors needed replaced. Because the motors are not the only thing our tired old van needs…it has a growing list of needed repairs. I guess we should’ve thought that all through a little better. Critter poop all over the van was not what we had anticipated, but maybe something we should have thought about. 

And so, in an attempt to share both the ups and downs of life around the Archer house, today I share with you the crappy side. Literally. It’s not just the critter poop that upsets me. It’s the fact that vehicle repairs are ridiculously overpriced, and it’s hard to know whether to continue to put money into a vehicle so old. It upsets me that everything is so expensive. That to purchase a new vehicle that would fit our needs would mean taking out a loan for a ridiculous amount of money. 

I suppose I could look on the bright side of things. The adrenaline rush I received from today’s poop discovery means that the van is now spotless, and I’ve been working like a mad-woman to clean the house. Because what if that critter got in the house? Ugh. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have more scrubbing and sanitizing to do around here. 

A little disclaimer about the post today: I love sharing my thoughts and stories to anyone who reads my blog. I sometimes hesitate to share my frustrations, as I don’t want to appear unthankful or grouchy.  However, I want more than anything to be real with you. Let’s face it…there are times I’m unthankful and grouchy. And there’s plenty of times that I’m overjoyed, too. It’s part of the roller coaster of life, and I want to be honest with each up and down of the ride. Thanks for joining me for my downhill ride today. Hopefully tomorrow will be a sunny uphill ride. 🙂

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