a One-Car-Household

On my drive to pick up my hubby from work this evening I meditated on what our transition to a one-car-household has taught me. Truth be told, we didn’t transition to a one-car-household on purpose, and it’s most likely a temporary situation. But, for a while, and for now, we share a 2003, 118,000 mile Saturn. 

This is the story of how our two-car-household accidentally became a one-car-household and how it’s blessed this self-proclaimed connoisseur of house-wifery. I was dropping a fellow housewife off at home on the other side of the mountain when our 2008, 100,000 mile Honda Civic wouldn’t start back up for my drive home. It was around 11p.m., and my husband wasn’t answering my calls due to poor cell phone reception back at our homestead in the valley. (My friend and I were enjoying our “girl time” so enthusiastically that our get-together had run later into the evening than usual.) There was an angel looking out for me: the Civic’s battery died right in front of my friend’s apartment, and thank the Universe that her hubby was home. One of my biggest fears had become reality, but it became realized in the most perfect location–just a few steps away from someone who could “jump” our car. I was safe. I was with friends. (And I was given a cup of fresh coffee.) This situation significantly beat the alternative: I wasn’t stuck on the dark road over the mountain, alone, with no cell phone signal. 

Our Civic’s battery was on its very last leg and to be honest, the car was a good bit behind on routine oil changes. But, I did get make it back home that night, over the mountain to my husband and our animal kiddos. The Civic hasn’t been driven since that night, and frankly, it won’t start up in the driveway. We’re okay with that, though; we are saving money for that much needed oil change and brand new battery, and like I said earlier, we’re sharing my old Saturn.

Our two-car-household became a one-car-household that night, and “sharing” a vehicle has infused more “sharing” into our marriage. Before we down-sized to one car, I thought we shared everything– our thoughts, our fears, our laughter, our home, our dogs, our cat, the survival of a government shut down, loss of income, and the survival of a devastating illness. But, somehow, the ten minutes we share in the car together on the drive to my husband’s workplace in the morning and the ten minute return to our homestead in the evening has created a connection between my career at the homestead and his career outside of our home. Because I drive my husband to work each morning, I share the stresses and the laughter and the newness of each morning with him. We share traffic. We share frustration. We share the surrounding mountains. And we share the start of each day in a whole new way. When our car idles outside of the tower where he directs air traffic, we both get out of the car and share a tight hug and a smile and a “HAVE FUN!” I look up at the tower, where from the inside you can see the mountains for miles and the highway back to our homestead. I feel connected to the experience of his day before I ever set off on the drive home. When I hear the airplanes and helicopters on their highway in the sky over our little ‘ol house during my work day, I share a piece of what my husband is doing and experiencing. Though we have radically different “jobs” and play radically different “games” and even use radically different “sides” of our brains, the connection we already carry through each moment has become even more evident to me. Now that we share a single vehicle, I’m next to my husband when he is decompressing from his work day and when I’m revving up with a second wind for mine. (I’m a night owl.) During the process of our two-car-household becoming one, in some simple way, so have we. Individualized in the expressions of our spirits and Life vocations, we’ve become more connected, more unified.

This experience has brought the power of Simplicity close to my heart and overwhelmed my spirit with gratitude. Now I know that a one-car-household just might be our path. It may seem old-fashioned and restrictive to many folks, but of course it isn’t. It opens our relationship to Growth, it brings our lives Simplicity, and enhances the efficiency and frugality of our budget.

With child-bearing and child-raising and homeschooling in our future, the question of safety and ease does come to mind, and we’ve been prompted to consider how to maintain this new-found simplicity as our family grows with each new, little human. For now, we are blessed to Live together in a one-car-household, and when children come we are planning not for a true one-car-household nor for a true two-car-household but for some sort of hybrid of the two. I’ll let you know where the melody of Simplicity leads us then. 

Namaste, Emily

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About Emily Stansberry

Emily Stansberry is a freelance writer who teaches high school English in Appalachia. A teacher by day and a writer/reader by night, Emily lives in Floyd with her husband, two dogs, and cat. Emily’s family transplanted to Floyd County for the love of the Floyd-fashioned peace, culture, music, simplicity, and most certainly for the mountains. Emily writes about healing, simplicity, and the pursuit of good-enough-ness that lies beneath her (and everyone else’s) past stories of un-wellness and despair. She also enjoys the dance of article writing about happenings in her local community, with a particular interest in the theatre arts and literature arenas. Emily enjoys both fiction and non-fiction writing, memoir writing, science writing, reporting, editing, and even children’s literature writing, with a bit of illustration creation thrown in too. The act of writing is synonymous with the act of breathing for Emily, and as long as she’s writing, regardless of genre, she’s dancing to the beat of her muse.

2 responses to “a One-Car-Household

  1. Dad

    I think you should continue taking your hubby to and from work even after you get the oil changed and the battery replaced. You could just alternate which car you use each day and still maintain that simplicity.

    Love, Dad.

    • Dad/Rob, I cherish your thoughts & comments on my posts! With what we’ve learned as a result of the Simplicity of the one-car-household in mind, we certainly would like to indulge on a hybrid of the one-car-household and the two-car-household once we have our Civic up and running again! The hybrid consisting of both our Saturn and our Civic will enable us to have an emergency vehicle available in case of repairs, animal kiddo emergencies, etc. But, behaving as a one-car-household will maintain the new “sharing” we have experienced, the Simplicity obtained, and the efficiency and frugality infused into our household budget! Thanks for sharing! Namaste, Emily

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