Saturday, March 05, 2011

I Can't! I Lost the Defuser Gun When I Misplaced the Invisible Car

And so ends my self-imposed No Driving Week.

Thursday I needed to go to a non-grocery store. The store is only about a mile away, and there is a bus, but the bus would only take me the last quarter mile: kind of a waste. So I put Ash in the jogging stroller and went for a walk.

It was surprising. When you walk, you see things that you don't see while driving. I discovered that my city is very walking-friendly. The sidewalks are extra wide (and don't randomly end like in Burgville) there are always cross walks, and I even found a walking path next to the sidewalk that took you along park benches and trees in case you wanted to go the scenic route. Speaking of scenic route, I'm amazed how much of this city is not-city. I found a beautiful waterfall surrounded by palm trees, a brook that ran along a forest, and dozens of trees and bushes in random places. It's just beautiful!

We got to the store, got what we needed, and walked back. I have no idea how long we took, but I know it was a lot longer than if we had used a car. I also know the next time I need to go, I'll just walk. It made for a much more enjoyable day.

Friday a friend picked us up and we went to the outlets for some shoe-shopping. She dropped us back off at home at the end. It was a nice outing, but she did have to go out of her way to pick us up and drop us off. I think that is the main problem of not driving: it forces other people to pick up the slack.

I liked this week a lot. I liked taking the bus, I liked walking, I liked how I felt like I got to spend more time with Ash. When we were waiting for the bus or going for a walk, we would talk and play and tickle. I can never do that while I'm driving. It made me feel like a better mom. It also made me feel like in better shape, since I was walking so much, and like a better citizen of earth, since I was reducing emissions.

The downsides are obvious: Cars are freedom. That's why they are so popular. Without a car you can't just go when you want, you have to plan around bus routes, walking time, weather and other's schedules. Still, I don't really mind that. I think the benefits far outweigh the extra planning. Like I said: the problem is that I feel like I'm punishing others. There are some places that are too far to walk and the bus can't take me: the ocean, the library, friend's houses. If I want to go to those places, or if other people want me to go to those places, they have to come get me, and that's just annoying. I have awesome friends who have volunteered to take me places, but can I really ask them to spend extra gas money because I don't want to? The answer is no. If I got me driver's licence taken away, or if I lost my car, sure. But just because I don't want to drive? No.

So, I think I will take the bus to go grocery shopping (as long as I remember my purse). I will walk to the store and anywhere else I can. For now, I will keep the car and use it only to go places I cannot go on the bus and are too far to walk. For now.


  1. Haha. Sounds like a plan:) Preach My Gospel Chapter 8 will give you some tips for you to plan the day;)

  2. I'm glad you see this so sensibly, that you don't want to put others out so you don't drive. I hope Sunland is a better walking environment than the city I just left--or even the one I live in now, which indeed has the sidewalks that just randomly end, or suddenly get narrower, and sometimes no sidewalk at all even on major streets.

    In the great wasteland we came from, and the smaller college town T lives in now--our carless (that's car-less, not careless) kids have had some close calls.

  3. It's a fair compromise. I'm trying to do the same. Whereas before I was using the van for everything, now I just use it for special occasions. Once a week (or less) instead of everyday.

    I think it's awesome that you are trying to use your car less. If more people would cut down, even by just using the bus once or twice a week, I think it'd do wonders.


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