Sandra Dodd

Yesterday, in Austin, Kirby, our oldest, who is 24, bought a car, on
his own, from CarMax.

When he went to Austin three years ago, he took a two-door Chevy Grand
Prix that he inherited when his uncle died. It's been repaired
twice. He said it was not as reliable as it used to be, and later
this month his job is moving across town to a new facility.

For months he has looked at cars and considered what he wanted to get,
carefully comparing prices, and the relative merits of a sedan or a
pickup truck. Regular cab or crew cab.

Yesterday he called me. The papers were in progress, but he was
driving home to get his checkbook, because he didn't know they
wouldn't take a down payment from a debit or credit card. "I wasn't
as prepared as I thought I was," he said, but he was kind of glad of
the chance to talk to me and his dad before he signed the final
papers. I reminded him about getting it insured, and to take the
insurance card from his old car so they would know he had insurance,
and so he would have the phone number to call and add this car before
he drove it away. Keith talked to him about refinancing the loan
through USAA rather than CarMax, and not to sign away his right to pay
it off early without penalty. I suggested he borrow money from us,
pay it in full, and just owe us money instead. But he said no, he
wanted to establish credit and this was a good way to do it. He put
$5,000 down, so the payments would be lower.

So although he was happy to have us advise him, he was also happy not
to take financial assistance, and he drove the car away in time to go
to dinner.
It's a 2008 Mazda 8 sedan, black, four-door, standard.

This morning I was looking through photos for something to use for
"Just Add Light and Stir." I don't know if I mentioned that new
project here. It's a daily inspirational post (or e-mail).

In a few days, the image will be this photo of Keith and a baby-Kirby,
probably five months old, if this was (as I think) Christmas at
Keith's parents' house. I really like mirror photos, but I like that
Kirby is looking at Kirby, and Keith is looking at Kirby. And it
seemed a good companion photo to the car-purchase of yesterday.