Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Zipping through life

So it's been nearly a year today since we've surrendered our "God given" right to owning a vehicle that we could call our own.  If you weren't aware, the selling of our SUV and a subsequent blown head gasket on our econo car led us to the place of considering our ability to really urbanize our lives and walk, literally, away from car ownership for an undetermined  amount of time.  It was the grand experiment.  Quite honestly I thought that it would last a few months, and most certainly not beyond the rains of a Seattle winter.  It's been a year now and, although nothing is ever certain, I don't see a vehicle anytime in the foreseeable future.
We can walk to most anything.  We zip around in Zip cars when necessary, we recently joined the smart car fleet from Car2go, and if needed, Enterprise is always ready to pick us up.  All of this adds up to more intentional trips and far less cost.  When we began this experiment, there were many questions that we had to answer about how all of this all might work.   At the one year mark, I can honestly say that we've answered pretty much all of them.   The only question, for most people anyway, that's never been answered is "Why?".  Why would we "choose" this?  The reactions have been mixed.  It seems as if it has stretched from admiration all the way to pity.  Some honestly wish that they could break the chains of bondage to their vehicles while others seem to think that we are homeless.  It has even been implied that its our God given right to own a car.
The best answer that I can give as to why we would "live this way" is that its because we can.  I would never impose or expect this way of life from anyone else.  It's our choice.  In the land of tolerance and choice, it is very interesting to discover which choices really make people uncomfortable.  Where, in other socio-cultural choices one would be tempted to say " well I would never choose that but who am I to judge", not so much with this one.  A choice to abort a child would draw less attention than our choice to give up car ownership.  You may think that an extreme statement.  You wouldn't think it extreme if you lived my story.  This past year has revealed a great deal about how we can really view comfort, convenience, and the "American way".  We do this because we can.  It's just that simple.  It is stretching, but its good to be stretched.
We have been encouraged by people who tell us in secret whispers, or like Nicodemus, under the cover of darkness, that they dream of getting rid of their cars.  There is an undercurrent out there, threatening all things oil centered and convenienced based.  A secret revolution of sorts.....whatever.... We may or may not continue in this life. The choice is always there.   For the time being though, we will continue to enjoy the freedom and the ability to do something out of the ordinary, simply because we can.  It isn't the first time and will certainly, prayerfully, not be the last.


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