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One Car or Two Cars?
Meredith over at Like Merchant Ships is talking cars. Or rather Car. As in the lack of one, so she is walking everywhere with her kids. She wants to know how other non-two car families cope.

We currently have two cars. I do a lot of speaking, and I'm often on the road, and Keith's on call at the hospital so he needs a car. It isn't practical anymore for us to only have one.

But we lived with no car at all until Rebecca was 4, and then with only 1 until Rebecca was 6.

When we lived in Toronto, a city with a great subway system, I'd just hop on the subway. It was easier than driving anyway. I got really good at carrying the stroller up and down stairs! Usually I'd have the other child on my back, and everything sort of balanced out.

On the days when I just couldn't manage the stroller I'd stick one kid on a Snugli on my front and one in a backpack on my back. Of course, I was only 27 then. Looking back, I don't know how I had the energy. But boy was I in shape!

In big cities, though, it is easy to walk everywhere. We'd take the stroller to parks, to libraries, to play dates. We didn't really need a car.

When we moved to Belleville, a small town with only buses, we did the bus thing for a while, too. The kids loved it. They still love buses. Sometimes we'd drive my husband to work so we could have the car, but it wasn't always feasible.

Besides, when the girls were young, and the day without Keith stretched out before me, I found buses were great ways to plan my day. I knew when they came and could plan my downtown route--library, banking, etc.--all to get back on the bus. It helped the days go more quickly.

In relation to the post below, it really isn't feasible for my friend to only have one car. They live out in the country, and for many of you in the country you know that a second car is a necessity, even a safety issue.

But I think many families could get by on just one car, they just don't realize it. And a car costs about $4000 a year, if I'm not mistaken. Maybe even more with the price of gas today. What do you think? One car or two? Is it a sacrifice worth making?



At 9:36 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said…

Here where I live in the States (in the suburbs of Maryland, the richest state in the US) they haven't bothered to connect the sidewalks in our neigborhood to a large stretch of the main road so that we're able to walk to the nearest retail center.

I've tried walking to the grocery store anyway with my son in a stroller, but I felt as if I was literally risking our lives.

I'd love to be able to do without a second car, but I'd be terrified of the isolation that might result from being carless in a society that has planned its public spaces around private transportation.

For me, my own car is a necessity. Otherwise I could probably spend the days I'm alone with my son without the opportunity of seeing another adult, which I think could push me into depression. It's hard enough to connect with people when you have transportation.


At 11:08 AM , Blogger Becoming Me said…

When we lived in DC, having one car was no problem. We walked and took the Metro almost everywhere. When we moved to Texas it was tougher. My daughter and I did a lot of stroller but some days were just too hot. It was tough.


At 2:41 PM , Blogger Abi said…

We have been a one car family since Dec. 13th and I hate it. Up until that time we have always had two cars 22+ years of marriage. I feel like I live in the car at times. Seems like every 2 hours I have to hop in the car to go somewhere. Have to take hubby to work. Then oldest teen daughter, then go back and get hubby, then back in the car to get daughter. Somestimes I'd just like to stay home. Now that it is getting nicer may have to break out the bike and say peddle it!


At 10:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said…

We live in a medium-size town (about 70,000 people) with not-very-frequent public transportation, and lived with one car for several years. It was a short commute to my husband's workplace, so on days I needed the car he either took the bus to work or I drove him.

I enjoy being home with my kids, and tried to plan all my errands for just one or two days a week. (Often a day for errands and a day to go to Bible Study.)

Now that our kids are older and there are activities, friends, and soccer practices, we LOVE having two cars. But they are both paid for - bought used, and no car payments.

Maybe you'll think it's too easy for me to say this, since we DO have two vehicles now, but I believe - to some extent - it's an issue of contentment. We're conditioned to be on the go, and to expect a lot of stimulation and interaction. I would not want to feel like I live in my car, or to be afraid to be isolated at home with my family.

Ladies, I don't mean to be critical of you, but to encourage you to find joy in where the Lord has placed you. Nurture your homelife. :0)


At 12:00 AM , Anonymous Homemaker Barbi said…

I admire your story about using the subways and buses with your small kids! We don't really have those options in Alaska, but I think with determination you can make the transportation that is available to you work. Great article!

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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