I walked to the grocery store to grab some cream cheese for a delicious cream cheese, tomato cucumber sandwich today. As I walked there, I passed a young lady who was having trouble with a wheel on a stroller that held her 6 month old daughter. I stopped to help her for a minute and then she was gratefully on her way.
At the store, I was tempted to purchase several things that we did not really need such as orange juice, wine, and olive oil. I was deterred from purchasing them knowing I would have to lug those heavy items up the hill to get home instead of just throwing them in the car.
As I left the store to make the short walk home, I was greeted by a really pretty butterfly. It landed on the sidewalk in front of me. Then flew further up the sidewalk and landed until I approached again then flew further up the sidewalk again. This butterfly and I played leapfrog in this way all the way up to my doorstep. It was almost like that butterfly was making sure I made it home safely and once I was safely inside, it flew away to watch over another traveler.
We got a Toyota Corolla after the wreck in hopes that it will last forever.
When I sat to eat my tasty sandwich, I pondered what it would have been like if I had drove to the store instead. I wouldn’t have been able to help the lady with the stroller. I would have come home with far more groceries than I really needed. I would not have had the pleasure of journeying with a butterfly. I wouldn’t have got the small bit of exercise walking required. I likely wouldn’t be writing this blog post right now.
When Jay and I got married, the idealists in us decided that we would never have more than one of anything. Only one car, one computer, one television (if that!), one table, etc. Since that time, life has set in to change that a little bit. We currently have three computers (see yesterday’s post to find the reason for this), only one of which is truly functional. We have two tables because it worked out to have two tables and I got to refinish one and now it makes me really happy to use it. We have two desks and more pillows that any couple should really have (but gosh darn, they just look so good on the bed and are super cozy!)
But, one thing that we have stuck to in our original plan is to have one car. I have had a lot of people ask me why we only have one car, and many people have thought we were pretty strange for not following the norm in this area. Well, here are some reasons we consider ourselves very blessed to just have one car:
1. It’s cheaper! We are super fortunate to be 26 and just now have a car payment. We would still be driving our old paid off car if it hadn’t been totaled in a wreck last spring. Cars are expensive to maintain, and I’m grateful we only have to worry about one.
2. It makes us coordinate and communicate more. Pretty self-explanatory. If Jay needs to be across town at 3 and I need to be on the other side of town at 4, there is some fun planning and orchestrating that takes place. Which leads to my next point…
3. It allows us to rely on others more. I have a hard time with this one pretty often. I like to be independent, but it turns out, that’s not really what we were made to do, and that’s for sure not what community is about. For example, last April, a car pulled out in front of me on one of those crazy days when it was sleeting in the Spring. Both cars were damaged pretty badly, but I wasn’t too far from home. I called Jay and he, of course was quite worried and alarmed. I was still pretty dazed and confused from the impact, so I asked him to come get me on his bike. No, his bike doesn’t have a sidecar or anything. I don’t know what I was thinking. He was smart and a little less foggy-brained and called our good friend Rob. Within minutes, both of them were there in Rob’s car where we sat to warm ourselves while we waited. That’s the kind of inter-dependence that having only one car leads to.
4. Having only one car forces us to be intentional about where we live. We currently live within biking or walking distance of both of our jobs, our school, a grocery store, Walgreens, the farm where we get our CSA, lots of friends, another local farm, the Greenway trail, the dog park, and several other parks. This is not coincidence. We would like to always live within biking or walking distance to at least one of our jobs so that this one car lifestyle can last.
5. We bike and walk so much more! A few weeks ago Jay took the car out of town for the weekend while I stayed home. I won’t lie, part of me dreaded not having transportation, but it turned out to be one of the most delightful weekends I have had in a while. It was nice to bike all over the place. Whenever I walked anywhere, Nutmeg joined me. She loved not having a car around!
I’m sure I can think of lots of other reason why having one car works for us and why it is important to us. I mean, who wouldn’t want to walk home from the store with a butterfly?
Do we think every couple should only have one car? No way. Honestly, we don’t care what you do as long as it works for you. I mean, maybe four or five cars is a bit excessive, but hey, whatever floats your boat! We are thankful that life over the past four years has allowed us to joyfully manage with having only one car. Who knows what will come our way though. We hope that one car is a sustainable long-term thing, or maybe we can even get down to no car. Whoa! Now that might just be a little too crazy.