It's almost been a year since I have had a car! I didn't make any big Green decision to go without a car...here's what happened: I had been driving a nice emerald green Volvo station wagon. It needed some work and there was no one in our rural community that could do the job. I had made temporary arrangements to car pool and it worked out so well it stuck. Then I moved and left the car in safe storage. Not being the highest priority I decided to see how long I could go without it. Admittedly, sometimes it is annoying to not have a car but overall when I think about maintenance, insurance, and gas it is a choice I decide to put off daily. I have done much more staying home, and more walking. I needed to be doing the walking anyway so it's maybe a little of personal tough love.
Now I have a new job across town. We looked at a number of options and decided that I would take the bus in the morning and have a family member pick me up after work at least during the dark early months. I have also found that some of my coworkers live only four blocks from me and have been invited to join a carpool which I may do in the future. For now the bus is the answer. Some of the benefits are a daily walk of more than a mile and a chance to read. There is something about reading on the bus that makes you feel smarter than reading at home. One of those can't explain realities.
Leaving home for hours without a cell phone and no car reminds a person to be prepared. I ditched my purse and opted for a over sized briefcase for my belongings. The bag has many pockets - I love pockets. Anyone who knew what I had in my bag would laugh so I decided to share:
Outside pocket 1 - windbreaker.
Outside pocket 2 - book and coffee cup
Outside pocket 3- foldable umbrella
Outside pocket 4 - Pen, aspirin, address book with paper, a ziplock bag, lipstick, tick tacs, and a granola bar.
Inside pocket 1 - Wallet with ID and lots of ones, lunch
Inside pocket 2 - Work shoes or tennis shoes depending on what part of the journey, suit jacket or sweater, socks, brush, eye glass case, anything else I might need.
For the love of Coffee.
I am from Washington and we have coffee in our veins. This is because we drink it all day long. This has been the biggest challenge as I can't find a thermal cup that does not leak or is big enough for the day. I was breaking down and going to Starbucks at lunch and after a day started thinking about my options. Starting on Monday I will be taking my $15 coffee pot to work because buying it was cheaper than even one week of coffee from Starbucks. That is one of the few companies that I wished I had bought some stock in when they first hit the scene.
Oh, the ziplock bag - I put my coffee cup in it. On one of my early trips the bus jerked a little and over went the cup with a line of coffee running along the bus floor. Thankfully I was able to get a napkin but the ziplock is now insurance.
Someone jokingly told me that if I took any more stuff I would have to use an airline bag with wheels. I had to think about it a couple minutes before I laughed and said not necessary.