Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Great Car Experiment

Last month (January 27 to be exact) we sold our second car.  We had been talking about it for a little while, and I decided to see if we got any interest – after all, is there much of a market for a 24 year old Mercedes?  An offer was made, accepted, money and keys exchanged, and it drove off into the sunset…or something like that with a cloud of diesel exhaust.

No biggie – we still have a car, Lynette is only working once a week, and the Center has access to cars that I can use when I have to travel for work.  Besides, the money we will save in the meantime will help us save up for a diesel Jeep Liberty (what, you thought we’d add a gasoline engine to the garage?)

So, the experiment began.  Fortunately, we live close to my office.  Most days, I drive to work in the morning, come home for lunch, and then Lynette and Luke will take me back to work in the afternoon.  On Tuesdays when Lynette teaches class, I’ve been walking home with Luke in the stroller.  I’ve hitched rides with coworkers, and thought about riding my bike if the weather was a little warmer.  (Good news, – my EcoVessel bottle allows me to get coffee to work without spilling, even on my bike!)

We also live close to a grocery store and the place that we get milk, meaning that Lynette and Luke can walk up to the store if necessary.  So all-in-all it was a well thought out (albeit over maybe a day or two) plan.

What have we learned?  We CAN live with one car.  We have to keep our calendars up-to-date, and communicate several days in advance about the details of our schedules, paying double attention to where and how Luke will get places as well.  Walking home from work also is good exercise.  There were no major fights…and, believe it or not, we’ve actually driven fewer miles with just one car in the past month than we would have put on each car normally!  In fact, today is March 2nd, we have not purchased fuel since February 13!

But, there were a few things that we did not consider:
  • Record snowfall.  We’ve had two huge snowstorms this winter.  One so bad that we couldn’t get the VW SportWagen out of the garage for a day until the alley was cleared.
  • Carseat.  Anywhere Luke goes, it’s gotta be there.  Luke’s not old enough to ride a bike.
  • Matt can’t always get a car from work…meaning that sometimes he HAS to take the car.
  • Luke occasionally sleeps in…and it’s never wise to wake a sleeping baby…even if it is to take Dad to work.
  • Matt likes cars.  Especially ones with diesel engines.  And Lynette is beginning to feel like her husband is spending more time reading Jeep forums than doing…well…about anything else!

So…after 1 month and 3 days…we are officially ending the experiment.  This weekend (hopefully) we’ll be picking up our brand-new-to-us 2005 Jeep Liberty CRD.  Luke is so excited about the torque curve of the diesel engine...Lynette is excited to have her husband back.  Let’s pray for another blizzard!

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