This past Sunday we took our boys to a Skate Park in Battle Ground Washington which is about an hour north from home.We had a lovely time watching the boys zoom around the park on their bikes.We brought a picnic lunch, the dog and Sol's guitar to make it a full family day out.
When we started for home Chance's Toyota was not running right so we ended up stopping several times so he could tinker it. Once we were back onto I-5 the car was not happy at all.By the time we were half way home we knew we were in trouble.Luckily for us our friend Alison lives not far from I-5 and the bridge that crosses into Oregon.We limped our way to Acorn Cottage and in a puff of smoke our dear truck chugged it's last breath at Alison's door step.
We called my Mom for a ride home,sent the boys and their bikes home on the MAX (Our local train system.) left Alison a message on her answering machine since she was not in and safely came home.
After many calls to find out how much or if the Toyota could be fixed we were hit with a whopper,$6,000 to rebuild the engine.Holy Moly man,the truck is not even worth that much,it is a 1973 project in the works.Chance's much loved "Pig" is a goner. So we took inventory.
1.We still have my little wagon that is only 5 years old and runs like a top.(knock wood.)
2. We could take a micro loan out through Chance's company.
3. A car loan was not an option.
4. We would figure out something even if it meant having one car for a bit.
We started out thinking we needed another truck but first the loan. Chance was able to get $3,500 with an interest rate of 4.25% (unheard of.) and we can take 5 years to pay it back making the payments $62 a month.Looking good things are rolling along. But once we looked at trucks for that price we were a little gloomy,not that we said that to each other,we were both trying to be hopeful for the other one. So today we started thinking outside of the box and asking ourselves some questions.The biggest being "Do we really need a truck?"
We don't want another project car to sink our money into.We do have a wagon that will go any place we are likely to go. We have the loan of our neighbors truck when ever we need it.Do we want to be still spending so much in gas so Chance can drive the 15 minute drive to work?
The only down side we were seeing to not having a second set of wheels is if I have no wheels while Chance is at work I have no way to pick up the boys when they are sick at school.This happened last week with Issac so it dose come up.But what were the choices?
We found the perfect solution to our need,a 1979 Vespa Motor Scooter with only 838 miles on it. Chance had scooters for many years and in fact that is how we first got around as a younger couple.All of the perks to buying one also fit perfectly into our current goals and desires.Here they are.
We found a used scooter that leaves us enough money left from the loan to cover the fees, two helmets,rain pants for Chance and the endorsement Chance will need on his drivers license.
We will save $120 a month once we deduct the loan payment other wise it would be $180. This savings comes from gas, parking fees and the insurance. Cutting out spending is a big goal of ours.We want to have more money to use the way we want to.Also by buying used we are recycling in a way.
Although it is another motorized vehicle it is a bit more environmentally friendly.If Chance uses the scooter just to get to work and putter around the neighborhood one $4 tank of gas will last him for 200 miles which would be most of a months worth of driving.Using less gas is a huge environmental plus to us.
Parts for Vespa's are a dime a dozen and Chance can do the repairs himself. In the long run this will save us money as well.
We put to use the 7 R's of Cycling. We could not repair or reuse the truck so we rethought our needs with a solution that will reduce our footprint and spending.We are putting the truck up for sale as a parts truck which will enable someone else to recycle or reuse the truck.
We did ponder Chance riding his bike to work.The ride is not to far and fairly easy.There was a big down side to this for Chance.Chance starts work at 4AM and would have to leave here 45 minutes earlier than he all ready dose, by weeks end he'd be wiped out from losing sleep.Also Chance is on call at work all the time.Sometimes this means he needs to be at work at odd times of the day or night and he needs to be there pronto.45 minutes is not pronto.
I don't know which one makes me the most excited about our choice the savings or riding on the Vespa with Chance. Either one is going to be a good thing I just know it.
I know this posting is not really about any thing homestead-ish but I wanted to share this with all of you.We are all now living in a era where we have to let go of old ideas and create new ones.It's like Chance's question to himself "Why am I holding onto the idea of a truck?" Why was he? Because of the old cliche of the "American Dream". And that is all it is, a dream,one to let go of and find a replacement that better suits our times.
My next posting will be more homestead like.I have two books I will be reviewing.One on preserving and the other a new baking book. I am excited by both of these books and what they will add to our home.