I came to the conclusion yesterday that it is our cars that make us independent. Without them we are vulnerable and isolated, dependent upon the kindness of friends and family. My son's car gave up its duties this weekend and now sits in the driveway refusing to move. So Robert spent yesterday online, and in my car driving from lot to lot, searching for a reliable replacement. He asked me if I minded being without my car for the day and I told him that I never even gave it a thought- I was busy teaching. He replied that it would drive him crazy to know that he couldn't leave if he needed to do so. I guess I don't have to worry about how quickly he will find something to drive! I'm betting that by the end of the day there will be something new in the works.
I've been without a car many times in the past. They never seem to warn you before they give up. And of course they don't wait until you actually have the money to replace them. So sometimes you have to be patient or do some creative financing in order to be driving again. Once we spent a year without a car and depended solely on the bus, walking, and a couple of friends for our transportation. I didn't say it was a pleasant year!
I've also been physically unable to drive. With my accident and surgery record, you know I've spent a lot of miles in the passenger seat!
My father's elderly neighbor can no longer drive. My dad drives her to shop and to the doctor and various errands. I remember when that happened to my grandmother. I didn't understand at the time how devastated she was by the loss of her car. She wasn't even living in an area where she could walk anywhere or get to public transporation. Friends and family were her ride for the rest of her life. I know now that she hated that!
We have a friend in her eighties who still drives and from what I've seen is still fairly safe in doing so. At least she isn't texting and listening to her iPod at the same time! I'll take my chances with her on the road.
As you get into your car today and drive wherever you plan to go, be sure to count it as one of your blessings. You are independent today because of that modern miracle of ingenuity. At least as long as it keeps working!