Friday, February 6, 2009

A car-free update

Three months ago we got rid of our minivan and became a one-car family.

For the most part, the inconvenience has been outweighed by the fact that I no longer have to deal with maintenance, repairs, insurance, or renewing the tags.

Life feels simpler. The kids and I walk to parks, to my son's homeschool workshops, to Starbucks. We walk a lot. When we walk rather than drive, we talk more, notice more, and stay in better shape.

But sometimes the inconveniences do get to be a bit much.

A few days ago I tried to set up a rental car, and the process ended in a near-mental breakdown.

Then this morning the taxi driver knocked on our door at 5:15 a.m. to pick up my in-laws. Apparently, when I said they needed a ride to the airport at 7:00 a.m. he interpreted that to mean their flight was at 7:00 a.m.

Neither of us were very happy about this misunderstanding.

So, I'm still not sure how this experiment will end, but it's definitely been interesting.

I've learned that walking a mile with three kids takes about half an hour, and that putting them all in car seats, driving a mile, getting them out of their car seats and walking to the entrance of the school takes about the same amount of time.

I've stopped worrying about the kids being injured in an auto accident, and started worrying about them being hit by flying debris or poisoned by exhaust fumes.

I've realized that even in a carefully selected location with great weather and most things within walking distance, it can still be awfully difficult to get by without a car.

For now I'll continue my mental debate on the pros and cons of buying another vehicle.

And next time I call to order a taxi, I will make sure we are both absolutely clear about the pick-up time.

No comments: