September 2007

More temptation. 240 wagon. Affordable. I asked for details. Today, I feel like a junky who needs a fix. I want a car. The rest of the family is doing fine. I WANT A CAR!


It’s been fairly expensive, this car-free thing. Until today. A Zero-Cost day. I rode to the studio to teach yoga.  The Big One and I rode up to the thrift store together. Bought a great Riva Sport Snow saucer sled (say THAT really fast) for $2.95 and tied it to the back of the burley trailer. Great day. We’ve survived a whole week as a car-free family. This could actually work out.

The Big One’s bike is awesome. I made it downtown in less than 15 minutes. I didn’t even slow down on the big hill on Central. Life is good. Met up with Papa, The Big One and Devil Baby at the Light Rail. “No diaper mommy!” Ah! Let’s go without a diaper on the bus! Doesn’t that sound fun? It bought us an unintended piece of Pizza Luce, which never hurts. Saturday buses are infrequent, so it was challenging keeping a handle on my child at the Central Library, with all the lovely, yet dangerous landscaping. I won’t leave home without the Cuddle Pockets Baby Carrier again. Gotta trap that not-yet-three-year old in. It is safer that way.
Transportation costs: $3.50 Pizza $7.00
Weekly Total: $517.00

Rehearsal ended at 9. He isn’t home yet. I like having control over the whereabouts of my 11 year old. With the new bike (with its 24 speeds) and the co-director transportation, I just never know where he is. I guess it is good practice for college. Stayed home today. It is amazing how much time I used to spend running useless errands. Without a car, I have to plan ahead for my errands, which slows me down. I put together the composter that my friend Jean gave me for my birthday. And, I rode to the local State Farm office to buy back the wreckage of our Volvo S80. It’s a little deal I have going with our mechanic’s supplier. It makes us feel like donors. Our engine will give life to another Volvo. I asked Papa if he missed having a car as we rode together to the State Farm office. He quickly answered, “No.” Am I the only one who is grieving here??????
Papa’s transportation costs: $5.00. The Big One’s $2.00.

Today was darn-right scary. Or, rather, I should say that we were darn-right scary looking. We’ve got to start carrying our video camera with us. We slept late today, and our plan was to meet the Pre-School Adventure group at Elsie’s Bowling Alley. Rush, rush, rush, a car would be nice. Papa’s bike frame is still cracked. How to get across Northeast to the black light bowling experience? Papa rides my Suede, with The Big One in front of him on the seat. Ooh, comfy. I drag Devil Baby’s screaming body into the burley trailer (ride MY bike, mommy!), and I ride on The Big One’s 1960’s cruiser, again. My sitz bones still hurt from my little ride yesterday, but off we go, cruising down the hill. You know, when we lived in lower Northeast, our mail carrier used to remind us over and over again that the law of the land, going back generations, was that once you’ve crossed Johnson (the hill), you’ve made it. Well, now that we’ve crossed Johnson, and have to ride up that hill several times a day, I’m longing for lower Northeast. Nice, flat, lower Northeast. I digress. I’m on the cruiser. Papa is on the Suede. Devil Baby is screaming. The Big One yelps at every bump. Oh, and did I mention that the sky looks ominous? Cruise away. Get to the bowling alley after a quick hello to fellow commuter, Pat Dwyer as he was opening Grumpy’s Bar for the day. After bowling a game, Papa hopped the bus to an appointment and we went out into the beautiful day to head to Behind Bars in lower Northeast. Just to look. And to have Chuck fix my brakes. (Thanks, Chuck!) We ended up buying a Kona for The Big One and leaving the retro bike with Chuck. Devil Baby cried the whole way home about the fact that he didn’t get a new bike. The Big One insisted on bringing his bike on the bus tonight to rehearsal, partly to practice, but mostly because it was like Christmas morning for him. New challenge? What do you do when the bike rack on the bus is full and it is 11 o’clock at night? Take a cab.
Total cost for the day: $440 for the Bike, 2 bells, a front pack. Brake Fix was complimentary.
Transportation costs: Bus fare: $7.00 Cab Fare: $10

The Big One took my bike to his friend’s house today and in my rush to get him, I had to ride his too small, too rickety brake-free bike to pick him up. I had to wake Devil Baby up to race The Big One across Northeast for his evening rehearsal. On my way home, I whizzed past a gorgeous ’95 volvo station wagon. It was the devil, calling out to me. “You hate car-free living. Buy me! Buy me!” I stopped and got a number. Temptation’s all I ever wanted. . .Belinda Carlisle’s smoked filled voice singes my ears. Oh, yeah. Vacation. Not temptation. I snapped out of it and rushed to my friend Kelley’s holding my almost bursting bladder. Her husband, Buck answered the door. They were having dinner. “Buck. I need to use your bathroom.” Not, “Hi Buck. May I come in to use your restroom?” Nope. No subtlety. I need to channel my mother on this car-free journey. Never pass a restroom without stopping in. Bus costs for the day: $4.00 Hourcar cost $25.00

Today we sailed down the hill on our trusty bikes, playing beat the clock with the library, enormous weekend fines looming on the horizon. As we flew down B street, we saw John Munson, carrying his stand up bass. As much as Devil Baby wanted to stop and say hello to his all-time favorite musician, as he was holding his all-time favorite instrument, instead we kept sailing. “Hi John! We are car-free!” “Good for you!” he shouted after us. As we approached Lowry, another near miss for our family. “Hey, I’ve got no brakes!” I said to my son who was speeding down the hill. “Me neither mom.” We dragged our feet to a stop, just before we hit the major thoroughfare of Northeast. “We need a trip to Behind Bars.” One bike needs serious brake repair and the other needs to be sent to the junkyard. This is not fun. Papa’s bus costs: unknown.

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