Monday, January 28, 2008

Getting Used To

We've been a one car family for about six months now, since we returned Nate's fraud-mobile to the crooked thief who rolled back the odometer and sold it to us with "100,000" miles on it, (which turned out to be a 100,000-mile fabrication from its actual mileage.) With our purchasing pride still reeling from said bamboozling, this week we found ourselves looking for another used car. It was unpleasant for all the reasons that used car shopping is notoriously un-fun, and because it meant the end of Nate's ideal commute.

The commute that used to look like this:
-mount scooter
-ride exactly five miles to train station
-board train
-sit, read, relax, listen to iPod, make phone calls
-get off train at work right in front of downtown office

Now looks like this:
-Enter new (used) car
-Drive (in congested rush hour traffic) seventeen miles to work
-And back
-Every. Day.

And also means:
-no more $3/wk. gas bills
-no more environmental pats on the back for public transportation use
-no more $20/yr scooter insurance premiums
-no more books completed during commute time
-But, on a gladder note, it also means no more subjection to anonymous "DART farts" in the confines of the poorly ventilated train cars. (I'm sorry. That was crass.)

Truth is, I loved owning just one car. Even with all the inconveniences of a shared vehicle, I loved the sacrifice for Mother Earth and the nod to frugality. My dad says "your life is proportionately miserable to the number of engines you own, all the way from your cars down to your electric toothbrush." I think I agree with him (though I don't have an electric toothbrush.) Life was just simpler with one engine, one insurance premium, one gas tank to fill, and only one metal body vying for space in our two-(if they're both compact)-car garage.

Never thought going back to owning two vehicles would feel like a burden. I'm sure we'll get used to it quickly. We're also getting used to the idea of a new job for Nate. As of February fourth, he'll join a smaller CPA/Financial Planning firm that specializes in asset management and financial consulting for dentists. The thought of having my husband enjoy his occupation more than having his eyelids stapled to the wall is an unbelievably happy prospect for me. I hope the new opportunity lives up, at least in part, to the expectations we've conjured. The thought of being permanent, (albeit in Texas,) hopefully for the next three years is also a happy prospect. It settles my anxious little soul to know that me and all of my treasures will stay in this house that I love, at the end of this culdesac that I love, in this neighborhood that I love, across the street from the park that I love, and just a few miles away from the gaggle of girlfriends that I've come to adore like a big, surrogate family. The fact that we're settled is settling in just fine. We're also getting used to the fact that our son has a lot of gas that he unrestrainedly lets out in the most reverent portions of our church service. It's happened two weeks in a row now. Could it be the new meeting time? And if last week was any indication, we're also adjusting to the fact that said son is no longer taking an afternoon nap. That is a big, jagged pill for me to swallow, especially at this extra-rest-requiring stage of my "confinement." I plan to try waking him up an hour earlier in the morning and engaging him in some very boisterous a.m. play in an attempt to preserve the afternoon respite for a season. I am in no way prepared to bid the blessed nap farewell.

I wasn't very well prepared to bid this blessed man farewell, either. But that news went down more like a sour skittle than the jagged pill that unexpected death can sometimes be. The void that exists when a remarkable soul dies is always a smidge bitter to process, but he has left plenty to smile about and celebrate in the legacy of service and goodness that survives him. My belief in the continuity of families is as strong as my instincts; I hope he and Marjorie had a sweet reunion yesterday. President Hinckley's life brought mine closer to the love and influence of Jesus Christ. His death reaffirms my faith in a plan that is much bigger than the comprehensible span of mortality.

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