What is Old or New?

Kia name

Front of new minivan. Seats 7, not 8, and is a Kia, not a Chevy. Has a luggage rack, which we wanted, but other than a few less dings, looks a lot like our previous van. And yes, that's parts of me reflected in the chrome.

So, how do you like buying a car?

Me neither.

We had reached the point this week that we were seriously considering the future of our Chevy minivan. We purchased it new in 2003. Nine years later, with around 140,000 miles on it, we learned it would need some expensive repairs soon.

Well, we could pay to fix it, but we weren’t sure whether other systems would start to fail—and there is the reliability factor. I know it makes economic sense to drive a car until the wheels fall off, but what makes economic sense doesn’t always make sense overall.

At first, I lobbied for a little pickup truck. But Audrey noted that we often drive with groups of grandchildren, and our experience with minivans has been that they provide almost as much “haul” practicality that a truck provides.

So, we settled on a minivan. A little Internet research later, and we had identified the probable make and model—the Kia Sedona. It seemed to pop up on a lot of “best of minivan” lists in recent model years, yet is among the least expensive vehicles of that type.

We drove out to Hiawatha to the local Kia dealership. We drove around, saw two used 2011 cherry red models that looked likely, and parked to walk into the showroom. Where we were greeted with balloons, a beanbag toss area and a table of food.

“You came to our event,” a cheery car man said.

Well, no. We just wanted to test drive a minivan. And we did, and liked it. Now, even though it’s considered a less expensive vehicle, a typical new Sedona runs more than $30,000. By looking at year-old used vans, we cut that price by a third.

We had not planned to buy, but you know how it is. You can’t easily escape from a car dealership once you have walked in and talked with someone. Rather spontaneously, we took the plunge.

As it turned out, the post-buying ordeal turned out to be unusually long. Because they had an “event,” their business office was overwhelmed and overwhelmingly slow. We decided to buy by about 4:30, and Katy was feeding us chili around 7:45.

Well, no reason to string out the process. The “new” van isn’t new, but it’s new to us.


Snowdrop in back garden poised to bloom. Spring is coming although some winter still remains.

Seems appropriate. As I write this, I’m watching the Oscars, hosted by Billy Crystal, a new, old host. Today, as winter seemed old and spring new, I was shooting these pictures with a used camera I’m trying out to see if I want to buy it for the Mount Mercy Times.  See more test photos.

We’ll see. I’m taking more time considering a camera for several hundred dollars than I did a van for thousands. That’s the way it goes.


Some new crocuses planted in our back yard are starting to sprout as winter grows old.


The tip of a small, new spruce tree in my backyard.



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2 responses to “What is Old or New?

  1. Your comment about taking more time deciding about your camera than about your vehicle really struck a chord. I could easily say the same!

  2. crgardenjoe

    I guess with a car, I just want to make the decision and get over it and go on with life. I don’t think the “perfect” car is out there, and a car just gets me from place to place. Yes, I have to “like” it because it’s a long term relationship, but I don’t have to “love” it. A camera is different. It’s a means of expression and will help or get in the way of my own creativity. There is more to obsess and fret over with a camera …

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