So here's what happened.
Meredith did her research and knew the Mazda CX-5 was right for her. Before spending any time in a dealership, she started emailing back and forth with Eric of Werner Mazda. Our dear friends, the Maneys, had an exception experience with them not too long ago so she didn't want to waste time, she went right to the source. That's a lawyer for you!
Meredith and Eric were able to address all questions and approximate price through email. We went in and Eric matched her with an amazing salesperson, Rob Hearing, who has been with the Mazda name for years. Talk about an experienced team. No messing around, direct, friendly and not pushy, which is key in my book. Rob is warm, sincere, helpful and by the end it felt like we could have invited him over for dinner! We love Rob. My hat goes off to Werner Mazda.
The only decision Meredith had left to make when we walked in was to buy or lease. I looked right at Rob and Eric and asked them what they would do. The both said lease. Her mileage is a bit of a risk, but a good company can work that out and the idea of being maintenance free for three years and then, as Eric pointed out, being able to drive another new car with new safety features, etc., was a wise decision.
The part I dread is when you must next go to the finance person to "seal the deal" in a sense. At both places that were talking about right now, they were wonderful. When we met with Jay Trabucco at Mazda, I would say we were a tough group. Meredith's plan was going in was sign on for "nothing" else, no maintenance plans, this or that. In and out. Jay was great. He explained an oil changing plan that did make sense to an adult with no time and reduced the price for her, too. Meredith loves her new car and, most importantly, she knows she can go back with any questions or concerns for the next three years and beyond.
So what happened to me? Here goes. You might remember the only car I have been noticing through the years is the Nissan Rogue. Sure, I love many of the fancy ones out there, but who can afford them? Also, I kept going back to what I told you Bart always says, "It's really hard to go wrong with any car, SUV today."
My only issue with the Rogue has always been the darn name! I looked it up many times, hoping for something different, and I didn't like the meaning of the name: it's that plain and simple.
Remember, too, I had made the decision to drive my second-hand Lexus to the 300,000-mile mark or until she just puttered out, whichever came first. No payment, how can you beat it? Bart always would remind me, though, "Sherry, the next thing that goes and you could have made many payments toward a safe, maintenance-free car."
I knew he was right, but I can still dig in my heels on some things.
Nursing programs require students to do many hours of clinical work in hospitals and rehab centers all over New Hampshire and Massachusetts. As Mackensie always reminds us, there are no snow days. Patients need them to have them there regardless of the weather and late nights and overnights are required, too.
Her old second-hand car had served us well, but after a few times getting stuck in the snow, she, too, made the decision to make a safe change because of our New England weather. She and I started the search, what could she afford, and what would be the safest choice.
Last week I told you about part of her car-leasing journey. Leasing usually is a much cheaper monthly option if you know you won't go over the mileage agreed on with the dealer. Each time we came close, but then walked away as it didn't feel right. Well, before starting to write to you a couple Sundays ago, something told me to Google the Rogue SUV. The safety features blew me away, but I still didn't like the name.
We headed in and met Lea Stevenson, who had worked in the service department and was moved into sales. She didn't waste time. Lea made a huge financial decision fun and easy. She suggested we put the car in both our names as Mackensie is starting to build her own credit history. Only fair as she will be making payments, too.
Special thanks to Dave Miville, who made the financial paperwork quick and listened to us when we said we wanted to get in and out.
Mackensie just about cringed when I blurted out to Lea, "I love the style of the car, but I hate the name!"
Her sales manager overhead me and explained to me that the original planned name was "Qashqui." I looked it up and found what we know as Rogue in Europe is called this. It's the same SUV but the interior has everything on the opposite side. The name appears to have come from a group of tribes that came together, to work together and do what they believed was best. They would have liked my favorite quote, "Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much."
Rob also explained that Rogue has a connection to superheroes; originally the color names were planned to be Gotham Gray, Indigo Blue, Phantom White, etc. Rogue was also part of the 2016 Star Wars movie "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story."
Maybe it was meant to be, that Mackensie ended up leasing a very basic Rogue and I went with a few additional features. Here's what happened and John and I are still a bit shook up.
On New Year's Day we drove to Connecticut to celebrate Christmas with our family. We decided to take my new car on the trip, just the four of us. Traffic was much heavier than we expected. We were driving along, enjoying a rattle-free, worry-free drive, and all of a sudden an SUV in front of us cut sharp to the right into the breakdown lane.
Next we saw the saddest thing, a deer had been hit but was still alive and trying to get up. John instinctively made a quick cut to the left. The whole car shook and we missed the deer by inches. Our first thought was what if someone had been in that left lane when we moved over with no warning? John and I are not sure I would be writing to you now. The Rogue handled great and John did an amazing job of keeping us on the road. Maybe it was finally time for me to make a change.
Again, thank you to everyone who helped us along the way and as a takeaway for all of us, don't follow close to the car in front of you. Leave lots of space and make sure you can see the road up ahead. Never did I think I'd end up with a Rogue and never did we think that poor deer would suddenly be in front of us. Life can, and does change on us in an instant.
Sherry Farrell is Londonderry Town Clerk and a lifelong resident of New Hampshire.