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Our Vehicle History: Together

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A Simple Six: Our Vehicle History: Together

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Our Vehicle History: Together

Continuing the story of our transportation past, this is where Brent and I began shared car ownership. You can go back and read about my history or Brent's. We began our relationship in 2001 with one car, his Eagle Talon. Shortly there after he was in a collision, without any injuries, that totaled out the value. The insurance company issued a small check and the scrap yard kept the car. I borrowed a Cavalier from my father and we started looking for a new car.

At this time we were living in Columbus, OH, the Grandview neighborhood actually. There was a Kroger grocery across the street, plenty of bus lines, a lot of fun shops and restaurants and it was very flat. Brent's full time work was north, in Hilliard, about 7 miles. He worked nights and had classes during the day. Driving was really the only consideration we had. Nothing else even occurred to us. We shared the car usage, I walked about town to appointments and the grocery but got rides to school and work.

We left that apartment shortly there after for a townhouse near the outer belt of Columbus. This put us further away from work and school, but in a larger space with some amenities we desired at a rent we could afford. We ended up purchasing a brand new two door Volkswagon Golf before the move. I gave the Cavalier back to my dad and we shared the Golf. Same situation. Nothing else occurred to us. No one we knew was doing anything different than we were, or we didn't notice.

We lived a single car life style with the birth of our daughter in Columbus and continued it when we moved to Pullman, WA in 2002. We lived in family housing on campus at Washington State University for the first year. I drove the car to work in Moscow, ID (about 8 miles), even though there was a bike trail I could see from our parking lot that went straight into Moscow. I had left my only bike in Denver when I moved to Georgia and never bought a new one. Having London seemed to make biking less appealing. Brent working and going to graduate school seemed to make efficient use of our travel time a necessity.

Brent walked to classes and to work. When we did anything on campus we would walk. It was a town covered in hills and I took it upon myself to find the flattest, stair less routes I could. We had a stroller to push and while I didn't mind some hills, others were just too steep. I imagine that a lot of what we did then was out of ignorance. We didn't know backpack carriers existed. We didn't realize people put children on bikes because we had never seen any, or rather, noticed any. Ignorance was bliss. We got along just fine and didn't pine for anything different.

Well almost. Everyone in Washington drove a Subaru, so it was easy to find a used one for a decent price when we decide to add Elliot to our family and found ourselves wanting four doors on our car. We traded the Golf in and sported the forest green station wagon that all the "cool" people drove.

We also moved, again, into Pullman and away from campus. It was a hard decision. I had switched jobs from Idaho to Pullman and Brent was still working and studying on campus. I typically drove the car with the two children and Brent took the bus or walked. I have a faint memory of Brent having a bike around this time and using it to get about as well. The memory actually consists of him selling it at the yard sale we hosted just before moving from Washington to West Virginia. We must not have used it all that much.

Just before the move to WV we also acquired a Kelty backpack carrier for London from a friend. Our arsenal of transportation became the front pack for the baby, double stroller for them both, back pack for London/stroller for the baby, or car. We lived another two years with this set up in Buckhannon, WV, where Brent worked and I stayed home with the children, before moving to our current home in Huntington, WV.

In 2006 we owned a fully paid off 1999 Subaru Outback. We had two children, London (4.5yo) and Elliot (2.5yo) and I was pregnant. For Brent's first semester of work at Marshall University he would take the bus, carpool or walk. I was pretty much the sole driver and I only went to playgroups. When Avery was born that December I stayed home, a lot. Brent drove to campus and did most of the errands and taking of London to preschool. In the spring of 2007 my dad gifted us a 2000 Cavalier. And just like that, we became a two car family.

In February of 2008 we traded the Subaru in for the 2005 Honda Odyssey, thus assuming a car payment. The van and car have been our staples of transportation. We added Oliver to our family in the winter of 2009 and have been a six person, two car family since. Well, until Sunday, when we gifted the Cavalier to another family, making us a simple six with one vehicle.

If you have been following the blog, you know that now we are reducing our dependency on the van and walking, busing and biking as much as we can. I would love to hear how you and your family get about town. What has been the motivation and decision making process for your choices?

3 Comments:

At September 1, 2011 at 8:15 PM , Anonymous Ashley K. said...

FYI: It is still the 'cool' people who drive forest green Subarus! :)

 
At September 1, 2011 at 8:50 PM , Blogger Stacy said...

That explains my demotion from cool to crazy.

 
At September 1, 2011 at 9:45 PM , Anonymous Ashley K. said...

:) That must be it.

 

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