All in on Okotoks

We went a number of years of being mortgage free and debt free in Fort McMurray.  It felt great to have that financial freedom.  However, the move south to Okotoks required a return to a mortgage and using a lot of the equity we had built up in our northern home to get set up down here.  We both felt it was time to make the big move and lay many of our chips on the table.

As we were hitting the highway, I was having a silent dialogue with our 2008 Ford Escape.  It had served us well for over 10 years, but was starting to show signs of its age.  For instance, the engine light was on constantly for the last six months.  The last technician who looked at it said that trying to diagnose and fix the myriad tiny challenges that would cause the engine light to turn on was a guaranteed money pit.

"If it drives fine; keep driving it," he suggested.

It seemed completely healthy - outside of the engine light being on - until a few days ago.  Getting back into it at the fire safety place, while picking up some new fire extinguishers for the studio and loft, I discovered that it was no longer fine.  The power steering wasn't working.  It just shut down out of the blue.

I had it towed to Okotoks Ford and they were very lovely about diagnosing it and providing a decent price to get it fixed.  Their senior electronics technician looked at the engine light issue and determined it was something to do with an oxygen sensor.  We were looking at about a bill of $1,600 to get it back on the road.  Not bad, I thought to myself.

I was waiting for the call to go and pick it up, but when it didn't come, I took the bull by the horns and called the service associate.

"I don't have good news," she said.

After having done all that work, new failure codes started to pop up, including one that said that the entire steering column would need to be replaced.

"I hate to say it, but the cost to fix this far exceeds the value of the car."

With that sentence we had to shift into purchase mode.  While we knew it was coming, neither of us anticipated that it would happen so soon.

Now we're looking at adding a 2019 Ford Edge and lease payment to our new life.  The phrase "we're ALL IN" kept going through our minds.  We're all in on Okotoks.

Despite the return to major financial commitments, this feels like the place we are meant to be.  It feels good, and both Heather and I are ready to seize the opportunities, surprises and challenges of our next 20 years at Birdsong Studio and Healing Centre in Okotoks.


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