"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Life as a One Car Family

At Christmas time we took our commuter car to Michigan and handed it over to younger, more desperate drivers and launched ourselves on the adventure that has been solo vehicle life. My friend Nutmeg raised her eyebrows when I told her that we were going to just wing it with one vehicle and said something to the effect of "Wow. That will be interesting!"

To be perfectly fair to Nutmeg, she had a foresight that I in my Pollyanna style simplicity didn't even sort of posses. It would be great, right? Really, there is very little that I have to do and very few places where I have to be so, really where could the serious hitch come in? It seemed simple, as long as you don't consider the times when A and I have to be in different places at the same time and both need to drive to get there...and yeah, there aren't a lot of those times but they do show up. This morning for instance we had a minor crisis when I mentioned that still wanted to take the car today to go get milk at the farm and also to hang out at church with some friends...and then A remembered that he had a lunch date with co-workers at a local downtown restaurant too. Oops!

We usually end up realizing these sorts of mix-ups at the last minute...something about the way we both optimistically have decided in our minds that one car family life is totally do-able. We're always surprised when we come upon these hitches. Strange, since its come up a couple of times now....you'd think we'd catch on. We're a little slow.

And yet...I have to say that so far, although we have these mini crises where there are mid-action, stategic emergencies...so far, we've resolved every one. This morning A realized that co-workers would of course be driving their cars to the lunch locale and he decided to get a ride with one of them...and Sunday when he had to sing in the early service and the late service (we usually attend just the late service) he just whizzed home to pick up the waiting boys and I between the two. We're making it work. The only time we've been able to foresee so far where it really might not work is when the faithful van needs repairs...repairs that will take several days and aren't the kind you can wait in the mechanic's waiting room for while your kid flips through the demo book about Firestone tires and you read and re-read Family Circle. Yeah. Those might not work so smoothly with a one car plan. So, occasionally we will have to rent a car but, hey...we still figure it will likely be worth it and how often will that really be? (Heh. Heh. Heh.)

Mostly though, having one car means:
  • Less repair work.
  • Simpler and cheaper insurance.
  • Only one car to vacuum and wash.
  • No more switching back and forth of carseats when we're moving from one car to the other. (And the Daddies all cheer!)
  • More time together.
  • Much more communication about what exactly everyone's doing today and when and where.
  • Occasionally depending on/spending time with our neighbors, our co-workers and our friends. 
Seems good to me so far.
Check back with me in six months and see if I'm cursing my current Pollyanna self or if we really are still sailing along.



  1. You can do it! Weve been a one care family for 7+ years. You learn to just do it. Sometimes you have one person waiting on the other (I ususally do the waiting) but it saves so much money in the long run!

  2. Wow! 7+ years! Inspiring! Thanks for the good words!

  3. We've only had 1 car for 8 years. But then again, my husband gets home before 1 p.m. every day. I don't know if I could handle it if he got home at 5 or something. I'd wanna hang myself by 3. LOL!! But you can do it! It'll be fine. :)

  4. We've had one car for about a year now. We don't have kids but for just the two of us it has worked really well. It has meant that we have to rely more on carpooling, but that is a good thing, right?

  5. Yeah...I think its a good thing...sharing is really what it boils down to, as I was telling my three year old this morning. Great real life adult application of the principle.