As some of you may know, I have gone without a car for a little over a year now. My Neon, which I loved dearly, went kaput in early January of last year while I was 7 months pregnant. We had the opportunity at tax time last year to spend a small portion of our refund on a car, but it was not enough for a good car and the whole thing fell through leaving us without a car and the means to buy another car.
In the time we've gone without, we've gotten around in various different ways. Walking has been fun: in good weather I'd put Kairi in a sling or wrap and walk a few blocks to the gas station, or I'd put Gracie in the stroller for longer walks. We had a roommate for 3 months that got Jason to work and us to the grocery store when needed, although that was much more hassle than it was ever worth (and a completely different post altogether. Sheesh.) We took cabs, which generally speaking cost between $6.50 and $8.00 1-way and came with a wait time of anywhere between 10 minutes to an hour, sometimes longer. But mostly, we had to rely on my Gramma to get Jason to work every day. We were lucky that in the time we went without transportation of our own that we had such means available to us.
We were waiting on our refund check to get a car, and this time we were spending the majority of it so that we could get a GOOD car. I had decided to buy from a dealership this time instead of any Joe Schmo that put a classified ad out. I spent the better part of a week getting things ready once we got our check. I had to go out of town 3 times that week, not counting the trip to Tulsa we took to actually buy our car. Believe me when I say you're lucky that I'm sparing you the details.
A week ago Friday, my mom drove up from Tulsa to pick us up for the weekend. On Saturday we went to Joe Cooper Ford in Tulsa. I told the salesman what I wanted: a good family car, good gas mileage, 50-70k miles (less if available, but absolutely nothing over 100k miles), $6,500-7,000. He told us about one car that sounded decent enough, but it had just been moved on the lot so he had to go inside to find out where it was. When he came out he told me to forget about that car, that they had just gotten an '06 Ford Focus in as a trade in a few days prior that would be perfect for us. It had 45k miles, brand new tires, tinted windows, 6 disc cd player... He was so right about it being great. We took a test drive and it handled beautifully. I wanted to take it home, and they wanted $6,995. I gladly signed the papers, paid for it in full (with very little of that tax refund to spare) and brought that puppy home.
She's a beaut, ain't she? ....Okay. She's a regular old Ford Focus. But you know what? She's mine. And I love it. It was so nice when we got home. I came in to go to the bathroom and (luckily beforehand) remembered that we were out of toilet paper. Do you have any idea how good it felt to be able to drive up to Wal-Mart and buy some toilet paper? Like... right then? Without waiting on someone to get me? Without having to pay a fee? Amazing. I've since been able to pick back up on my favorite little things in life like going to the local coffee shop for an iced chai. Being able to do the simple things like drive to the gas station for a soda or take my husband to work have been great too. And not having to rely on someone else to take Gracie to and from school when the weather is bad is such a huge relief.
If you've never gone without a car, you'll never fully understand what freedom you really do have in owning one. I hope I never have to go without again.
6 years ago