I have been asked a few times recently how the resident fisherman and I manage to get along with just one car between the two of us.
- In the fall of 2008, we sold our second car. Pat worked from home, we lived just a short walk from my parents and I did not work outside the home. Piano students came to me, I walked down to the folks whenever they needed me. There was just one night a week when I HAD to have the car. Pat stayed home that particular night.
Pat scheduled his fishing expeditions around my calendar. Because neither of us had to report to work anywhere at any specific time, it was actually quite easy to 'make do' with one car.
- saves money, cars are expensive
- saves insurance money, one car is cheaper to insure than two
- saves money on repairs
- saves money on gas
- builds communication, we needed to be sure to let the other know when we needed to be somewhere
- builds cooperation, we needed to prioritize our meetings and appointments so that the most important/urgent need would be met
- we keep our volunteer work to a manageable amount, since we are not free to run to any and all meetings/events
- sometimes one of us has to miss out on something
- it can be inconvenient, you can't always do what you want to do when you want to do it
- sometimes you have to impose on folks, for example if Pat is out with the car and someone wants to meet with me, they just have to come to our house (hopefully not a terrible imposition)
- I can't run off to see the grands whenever I want
- we can't do as much volunteer work as we might because we can't just run off to any meeting/event we please
So for almost 7 years we have made this work. It is not such a great accomplishment. Communication, cooperation, deferring - these are wonderful skills to build into a marriage. I love being at home too. Plenty to do here. I can stay home for several days in a row and never be bored. Or finished with all my projects.
Just a generation or two ago, having one car would not have been a big deal at all. My mother-in-law, who died in 2004, never learned to drive. Only one car there.
I never saw my paternal grandmother drive, they only had one car (and a tractor! - give me a tractor anyday!).
Having the choice and means to have two cars is a modern luxury. But not a necessity. Even working families can make this choice if necessary by locating near jobs.
Getting along with one car is not a hardship. In many ways it is a blessing, freeing up funds for other things besides those which eventually rust away (Matthew 6:20).
Getting along with one car? Yep. For now..
Herbert Hoover's campaign slogan (above) indicates that having one car in the garage would be a great luxury. A grand promise.
When did it become a sign of scarcity?