Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Life with (and without) a car.

"Mama, lets go to the red car."
Once upon a time, we moved to L.A. Selling everything that wasn't nailed down, my husband climb aboard a plane, and my son and I climbed into a car (with my father-in-law) and drove to Los Angeles. But you know this story (if you visit this blog on a regular basis), and if you don't - the condensed version is - We left everything in Ohio, including a 3 story house, with a lovely backyard, and ended up in sunny (300 days a year!) Los Angeles to set up our new home.

Welcome to Baldwin Hills, Los Angeles, California!

And then life went like this: my husband got a job, which required the one car we owned - and I stayed home with our son.

For a year and a half we lived like this. Some days my husband would work 15+ hours, one place he worked enjoyed 20+ kind of days - so we learned to walk. At first this wasn't so bad, the boy was still in his stroller, so I pushed and walked fast, and he giggled, laughed and at Cheerios.

But then he out grew that stroller, so we did a mix of carrying, and walking - until I finally broke down and bought a metro pass. We grew used to the life we had.

And then it changed again.

Now, 500+ days later - we have access to a car, and my husband walks to work. It's very exciting, having a car... you can go to the store in the afternoon, instead of predawn hours, or just before they close. You can go to the beach ANY time you want to. (Which we do, and I now wear foundation 2 shades darker than the one I wore in Ohio because of it.) We can visit pet stores, and go to far away parks, or even just drive up the PCH and stare at the Pacific.

The Pacific Coast Highway (PCH)
It's only been 2 weeks, and I feel like I never went without. I find myself looking back fondly on that time as an amazing bonding experience with my son. What else can you call it? We became best little friends who went everywhere and did everything together, on foot, as one. Spending so much time together, alone together, makes you do a continual reevaluation of your life - and his.

Basically, we moved 2500 miles, across the country so I could have little to no contact with humans of any kinds - outside of this blog, twitter, and facebook. (And suddenly you understand why I'm on facebook as much as I am.) After many, many years of mass socialization, I was alone with only a toddler, and in the end I'm happy that it happened, and I wish it would happen to you too.

Life without a car strips away 1000 things you never really need to have near you. You can't go places, and if you do, you really have to want it because (in L.A.) you're going to be walking a long time.

Life without a car pushes you into new neighborhoods, onto streets you normally would drive past, into stores you may over look, and into places you would normally never go.

SR-71 blackbird - my favorite plane

If I had access to a car right away, I bet we would never have spent so much time at the museums.
If I had access to a car right away, I bet I wouldn't know the name of nearly every side street by my house, or all the small local parks, or where the metro could take us.

We live in a society that frowns on going without - but it's the foundation of my life. And I recommend it to you. See how it is to live ONE WEEK without a car. See what you discover in your own backyard. See what you find about yourself.

Life with a car is still new, and while I'm excited for all the new adventures we will have, I'm hoping I never forget what it's like to walk everywhere. Because - and I never thought I would say this - but I think I'm really going to miss it....

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