When we lived in Shanghai, we regularly had brunch at Element Fresh, a restaurant with lovely ex-pat friendly food. We always had a chuckle at the name of one of the breakfasts on their menu called "The Big American." It was essentially two full meals on one enormous plate. A small, yet accurate picture of how we are perceived by other cultures.
This winter we were blessed to be given a second car. It is in truly fantastic shape (and has all-wheel drive!) but due to age and miles wasn't going to be worth too much re-sale. How splendid - as it's worth a lot to us! Our Jeep has over 220,000 miles on it and is running well, but we always wonder how much longer it will do so.
Ironically, we really struggled with whether or not to accept this incredible gift. First, because we don't really need it at the moment since Jason walks or rides his bike to school/work and Moscow is a very walkable city for me when the weather isn't awful. Second, even with a gift like this there are always expenses and we really aren't in a situation to be adding to our expenses. Lastly, we realized we rather liked the struggle of having to figure life out with only one car. We felt a bit counter-cultural and we liked having the reminder that in so many places of the world people don't even have one car.
In the end, we knew we would be foolish to pass up such a generous gift and we accepted with hearts full of gratitude. We are now the "Big Americans" with TWO cars to our name. It still seems a bit funny to have cars that combined could seat 10 people when there are only 4 of us.
Two weeks ago I got my lesson ... while Jason was away in Oregon for several days at a conference, the Jeep was very sluggish in starting ... I felt so blessed to just be able to transfer kids & car seats to our second vehicle and drive away without having to cancel my appointment and/or be obsessed with wondering if the Jeep would start when our appointment was over.
Feeling SUPER thankful for this little vehicle (that looks very at-home in the new snow we got last night!) --