It has been close to three weeks since my car decided enough was enough and ceased to function. I am still sorting out what needs to be done to fix it and how much it will cost. At present, it looks be about $2,000 to make it a real car again. If only money truly grew on trees. *sigh*
But this isn’t about that.
I am lucky. I live in small town close most everything I need and I work about 5 blocks from home. I can walk. I bought a rain coat to keep dry on the many rainy days. I have good shoes with supportive insoles to keep my feet mostly happy. I am healthy enough to walk without it being a struggle. I even have one of those little wheeled carts for shopping trips.
Even if my car was working, I would still walk to work on nice days. I did that years ago when I lived a few blocks from work. The walk let me shake off the day and reset. But walking when you want to walk is a little different from when you have to walk. Some days I rather not make the walk, but now, I have no choice. So I walk. No matter what the weather.
I walked to the grocery store with my little cart and did my shopping. This was fine on nice day. This would not be fine on cold day in the rain and screaming wind. I have new respect for the people who this all year – especially by choice.
I can get food and get to work. I can get to the touristy downtown shops, but not to the Dollar Store or Goodwill unless I take the bus. I can’t get to my favourite fabric shop, or even the not-so-great fabric shop unless I take the bus, or get a ride from someone. The issue with the bus, is the bus system here stinks and is expensive. One route only runs on weekdays, the other only on weekends. Seriously, it is cheaper for me to drive my car than ride the bus to Goodwill.
My little car gets an average of 27 miles to the gallon. Gasoline here is about $2.65 a gallon. The Dollar Store and Goodwill are in the same mall, about 10 miles up the road. The bus fare is $3.00 one way. That route is a weekday only route. My favourite fabric shop is even closer, only in the other direction. That is $1.00 fare one way, but that route only runs on weekends and I work weekends.
Mostly I miss being able to go where I want to go when I want to go. When I get a ride, I don’t want to ask to go to multiple places. I don’t ask to drive through the coffee stand for a fancy blended tea. I don’t get to wander into yard sales, or stop at funny little hole-in-wall shops. You just don’t ask someone to drive you all over the county. They are doing you a favour, and they may not want to doing that favour all damn day.
With a little luck I’ll have my car back in few weeks. I am hoping the lessons learned during this time of the feet will stick, and I will keep walking to the places I can walk to.
At least until the weather turns cold and wet.