The Hard Way

I have been literally glued home this week because the car that I use is in the shop. It was broken down for a few days and then we got it in the shop yesterday. They are still working on it. That scares me.

Anyone that talks to me about this wonders if I am ok with not having a car. My dear neighbor even has offered her extra car for me to borrow in case I need it or want to go out for awhile without the kids while she watches them! Is this the American mindset? If you can't "get out" then you must feel horribly stranded and frustrated. I feel completely fine. In fact, I feel so fine that it has forced me to get the house in order, fold the laundry, read the Bible more, spend time with the kids. Maybe cars are really America's hidden evil. Now, I have had seven plus years to lament not having a car of my own to drive whenever I pleased. ---With three kids, two broken arms (my son's), two horrible pregnancies, and various other ridiculous things I endured without a vehicle. I had issues with it, believe me, but then it was also something that comforted me because I could always say no, and I did not have to go to this or that if I did not want to because you know, I didn't have a car. It was my excuse. I felt very safe in my excuse. Pretty soon friends would not bother with me because they knew that I did not have a car. True friends eventually got in my face, came over, and said, "We're going somewhere! I have a HUGE van! I can take you with me and two other families if I wanted! You're toast!"
I did receive a lot of help and am totally grateful for it.

I guess that helps me appreciate the times I do not have a car. I have no choice. I just accept the circumstances. I would rather walk to the pool anyway, or walk to the store if one was close enough (which one isn't). I literally wish at times I could churn my own butter. I have always been known to do things the hard way. I have noticed this about myself. I remember Dear Sir had put a huge hedge into our front yard at our old house. For years he kept it up but eventually he got so run down at work he got to the hedge once every two weeks. I remember getting a letter from the HOA, and from one of their random drives through the subdivision they saw our hedge slightly over-grown. "Cut the Hedge," it said. More like, (and I still remember this because it made me mad) "Cut the heage." I figured if the guy could tell me to cut the hedge he could spell it correctly too.

I resolved that I had time, I had no car, I had the resources, so I could cut the thing. Dear Sir was reluctant at first but he let me. He only let me cut the hedge if I cut it with the manual trimmers instead of the electric. He was convinced that I would cut my hand off or something considering how clumsy I am. And I was a little fearful too. We had a huge yard and the hedge covered a ton of space. It would take me forever, but I went out there faithfully every week and cut that thing down. I got sunburn, allergic reactions, rashes, and bugs in my face, but I cut the thing and actually enjoyed it. I figured that I burned calories doing this since I wanted to lose my baby fat anyway. I remember never running on a day I cut the hedge. I would never make it.

I remember distinctly one day a man stopped his car and got out with a hedge trimmer. "Umm, I live down the street and I saw you MANUALLY cutting your hedge, and I wondered if you wanted to borrow this? It would make it much easier!"

I just smiled at him. I felt really stupid. I just said, "Well, I actually have one of those in the garage, but I like doing it this way."

He looked at me bug-eyed. "Are you sure?"


"Well, I thought I would just offer..."

"Oh, well thank you so much, that is so nice."

"You must like doing things the hard way..." And he walked off.

Frankly, I'm probably just an idiot.


Mindi said...

I disagree. You are not an idiot!

I do agree with you about cars. I didn't have a car for years when the children were babies,and it was great. A life is simplified when it has fewer choices. I lived in the city so I actually could walk to the library, the grocery, the bank, the post office, the pool, playgrounds and a women's bible study. I could even catch a city bus and go to a free art museum or meet my husband for lunch. Probably this is one of the things that makes me love living in the city. We are in the same position now, in a different city. I can walk or ride a bike pretty much everywhere that I want to go. I have a car, but it sits in the garage most of the time.

R said...

Too cool, Mindi. I love that kind of life.

MLight said...

We used to have a manual lawn mower. The neighbors thought we were crazy. The mower didn't do too well with long weedy grass, but it was so nice to be able to mow the lawn and have my five year old walk alongside and talk to me without having to worry about the noisy motor spitting rocks or sticks out.

R said...

I think that is kind of cool. We can all feel Amish at these times!

R said...
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