A Two-Car Family Once Again

By , June 4, 2017

Quite improbably, we find ourselves a two-car family once again.

Our first experience with “The American Way” came many, many years ago. I replaced my former boy toy, my motorcycle, for a modest sports car after some yahoo knocked me off the bike as he tried to run the yellow light I had stopped for, on account of its imminent turn to red, and the presence of a whole class of preschoolers waiting at the crossing. But, that’s a story from another life, for another time.

We sold one of the cars we moved to Alaska. Eventually, we acquired another vehicle because I had my day job, and Michelle needed a van to carry her childcare charges about town. When she closed the daycare, we sold the van, and got by on one car. I started commuting by bus and carpool, Michelle walked or rode a bike to her new job. We enjoyed the savings, and the space in the driveway.

Now, our one and only bought-brand-new car is feeling its age at 22, and we once again have two wage workers in the family. Still, we would have made it fine, if it weren’t for a unique opportunity.

Old friends from Juneau have retired, and plan to downsize to an RV, in which they’ll travel the country. They solved the problem by offering us their truck! I went to Juneau last Tuesday to help them move, and to pick up the truck. I got back yesterday, but this post is late because I’ve been running and gunning, trying to find my feet on the homestead again.

We consider this our “foster truck.” We’re caring for it, using it, and, a year or two from now, our friends may decide they don’t need it. If that happens, they’d likely offer to sell it to us. We plan to use it as a bridge, supporting us as we consider replacing our venerable old Jeep for a more up-to-date vehicle. New to us, but not new—I doubt we’d ever buy a brand new vehicle again. Another story for another time . . . .

We consider two cars a luxury, but I think we’ll adapt. The main advantage I see is that I no longer need Michelle to come out and get me if I need to run to town unexpectedly. It affords a freedom from a restriction that I’ve long relied on as an excuse not to leave the homestead! Now, I see I’ll need to take more responsibility for interacting with the world beyond these woods. Most times, this will improve our situation on many levels: safety, productivity, reliability. Occasionally, though, I may find I regret the freedom to move I willingly gave up years ago.

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