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Who Needs a Car?

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There was a time, not so long ago, that I would have given you a dirty look if you suggested I get rid of my car. Since I got my license at nearly 17 years of age, my car equated freedom. I didn’t have to rely on anyone else to get me from point A to point B.

While I was working in the metro city nearby, I had to have a car. Brian and I didn’t work the same exact hours, I had meetings all over the County throughout the work week, and we definitely both needed our own car for the commute.

We thought we’d go nuts when Brian totaled his car and we were down to just mine. We rushed to buy a new one when we should have sloooowed it down to shop around. Outside of work though, I used my car less and less, preferring to go places with my hubby rather than solo.

As my due date approached and my belly closed the gap between me and the steering wheel, I became less interested in driving myself around. I even had him drive me to work a few days near the end and has him pick me up. Due to my high risk status and dilation, I was not going out for client meetings and was actually at the office all day.

After having Rissa, it took awhile before I felt up to driving anywhere without Brian. Since becoming a stay at home mom, my driving needs are low. Sometimes I drive Rissa and myself to the store, doctor appointments, or out to meet up with someone. But, this doesn’t happen a lot. While it’s nice out, we can walk to the post office or store. It takes longer but it’s doable.

We’ve done it!

environmentally friendly carSo I started to entertain the idea of selling my car (it’s paid off) and just having hubby’s (almost paid off). It’d be cheaper to get rid of it despite being paid off. It’s still worth a couple grand. We wouldn’t have to pay insurance on it or registration. It is barely driven.

Without it though, I worry about emergencies where I need to drive… Yet I can’t really think of an emergency that would leave us stranded. Though our small town lacks in public transportation.. So no option there. (Seriously, you can’t just call a cab to get a ride if you need one. It’s bizarre to me!). That and winter in Wisconsin sucks so like half the year we wouldn’t be able to walk anywhere.

I think I was afraid of losing my independence if I didn’t have “my” car.

Well, it seems like the last few times I *had* to go somewhere it had issues. Last time it was the battery (now replaced) but Tuesday…

Rissa had her 9 month appointment scheduled. I get us loaded up and start the car. I hear a high pitched squeal like when a belt is wet, but then the smell. It was like burnt rubber and I could see smoke coming out from under my hood.

Great, I thought, my stupid car is on fire.

I let it sit, I can’t see flames and the smoke dissipates, but I didn’t pop the hood. It didn’t feel too hot so I got back in to try again.

It starts, it seems fine as I back out onto the street…

But I can barely turn the steering wheel.

Appointment is in 10 minutes.

I called Brian, crying and cursing. He says he’ll try to come home but that’ll be at least 20 minutes. I call the doctor’s office and tell them my car broke down, but I could walk there. They say they’ll squeeze me in when we get there.

I get the stroller, diaper bag, water, her hat, then realize she needs sunscreen on now….. Half hour later I made it. Hubs picked us up so we didn’t have to walk back.

Looks like the serpentine belt busted. Not sure if anything else is damaged or not. But now I return to wondering – do I need a car if I’m staying at home?

How many vehicles does your family have? Could you do without one?

_____

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Image: Paul / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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