I'll do bad news first:
Our van died. *sigh* It was a good van. It carted around girl scouts to many camping trips, and lugged case after case to cookie sales. It traveled up to Canada, and practically down to Mexico (Julian). It was more familiar with going north than south, though :)
I don't know how many miles it had on it when we got it used, but we took it up to the 200K mark. Which is probably why the transmission was trying to use two gears at once. The technical term would be "shredding the engine."
So, our dilemma is do we want to sink $3,500 into putting in a rebuilt transmission (and taking the chance on something else falling apart in a very used-up car)? Or should we just sell it off and go with one car for a while? We have a big ol' truck which we don't use a whole lot, but it works great.
Trevor uses his bike & public transportation. I would be taking Connor with me to my job, which is only about 2-3 miles away from our house. And Lee is close enough to just walk to work.
That's the good news! Lee got a job at the county library. He starts tomorrow. He'll be doing computer tech stuff for them. We are very happy about this, since it took since February to happen. He also was trying for another job at the same time, and there were 70 applicants that were called in to be tested from who knows how many actual applications -- for 2 positions.
So, yeah - it's tough out there. This job is tied to the whole county system, so Lee has a good chance of being able to transfer up to better positions over time, vs. coming in from outside the system. This job is Tuesday through Saturday, which will be a different kind of schedule for us.
We'll check and see how the benefits compare to what I'm getting right now, and go with the better deal. My insurance has changed 3 times in the 3 years I've worked at my job, and our doctors/dentists, etc. are typically covered regardless.
The other thing we'll have to assess is what the budget looks like after a few paychecks, and see how long it will take to be able to get a second car - something smaller, this time. I don't have a troop anymore, and it's mostly just Lee, Trevor, Connor and I right now.
Way to go, Lee!!