Friday, March 28, 2008

35 days without a car and newspapers

We did it, we went more than a month without owning a car. Yes, we did find it necessary to rent a car for about a total of 8 days out of that 35 -- couldn't shirk our duties as the parents of a t-ball player -- but we went the better part of a month without a vehicle. I should say, *I* went the better part of a month. My husband had his scooter for travel to and from work. But I did it. I hauled bags of groceries and two toddlers in a jogging stroller for miles. We walked to the library, the bank, the park, the mall, the movie theater and school.
We learned to go without things we didn't need because we didn't have a way to get them. We enjoyed spending more time at home and less time with the television. The dog got a lot of exercise and we got a lot of strange looks from our neighbors.

It's all come to an end. Our new Altima was delivered this morning. I'm hoping I've learned a few lessons from this month. In being forced to spend time walking with my kids instead of in the car, where the radio is turned on or the kids are looking at books or toys, I learned a lot about them. We had lots of talks about math, bugs, dinosaur bones and litterbugs. My kids have learned that life isn't always super easy and sometimes you have to carry shit yourself. Lucas has already seems to want to be a bit more self-reliant after a month spend helping me carry bags and things.
The new car is fine, it's generic and something I'll use to get places that are too far to walk, but I hope we can keep the slow pace and enjoy each other's company and enjoy the beautiful city we live in.

As I was preparing dinner tonight a young man came to the door. He was selling subscriptions to the L.A. Times. I've been meaning to restart my weekend subscription for some time, but haven't gotten around to it. It was so nice to talk to an intelligent 16 year old and he seemed very nice and articulate. Usually when I come across a teenager these days and I say something to them, they stare at me with bug eyes and do not respond. It is so weird. I don't remember ever not responding to an adult when I was a teen. But they seem so afraid these days. Maybe I'm just freakin old. Anyway, this kid was a breath of fresh air.
I used to deliver the newspaper -- it was my first job, when I was 12!! Yes, at 12 I was riding around on my bike delivering papers after school and going around by myself collecting money each month. Can you imagine? Now kids don't have that opportunity. There are no more evening papers and I'm sure there never will be again. It was so cool to have my own money at a young age. I used to babysit at 12 as well. These days there are few families that would entrust their kids to a 12 year old. How is a young person to earn money? I think it was a really good experience for me... to earn my own cash, and not by washing my mom's car. It was something separate from my family and it was only by my hard work that I could come by this money -- mostly used for movies and candy:)

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