Philosophy, Urban Homesteading and Self-Reliance

A Week on Foot

I ran to Walmart this morning….  Truck

This is something I’ve said many times, but I’ve never meant it literally before.  But it seemed like an appropriate way to kick off my week of having no automobile.

One of the things about WeeHavyn that truly appealed to me was it’s location.  After two years of living in the middle of nowhere, where a running vehicle was simply a necessity, the fact that the library, post office, several restaurants, a gas station, the bank, a second-hand store, a gym, a feed store, and the farmer’s market were all within 5 blocks.  At one time, there was a grocery store right off the square as well, but Walmart  murdered that a decade ago, so the nearest grocery store is a mile and a half away.  Certainly not an insurmountable distance, but substantial enough to give one pause.

Being a country girl, a car or truck has been so much a part of my life, that it seems almost incomprehensible that one could live without one.  Yet the majority of the world’s population gets along very well this way, and it hasn’t been so long in human history that everyone did.  So…it’s time to look closely my paradigm and challenge the norm (at least in America)

There are three things that I think are going to make themselves felt the most during this experience.  My habits, my planning skills, and my pride are all going to be challenged this week.  I think nothing of running 20 miles for something, or zipping two or three miles for just one little thing.  I’m not really aware of distance and the weather makes no difference at all since I’m completely insulated from it in my vehicle.  Several times I’ve thought “I need this”.  But when I realize I have to walk 20 minutes to get it, suddenly I don’t “need” it so much anymore.  I’m also realizing that I’m not so good at planning.  I don’t combine trips, or plan ahead for things I know I’m going to need.  I have a feeling I’m going to get much better at that…

Finally, I’m surprised at how much of my pride is tied up in this “having a car” idea.  I found myself feeling slightly ashamed walking home with grocery bags.  I recall seeing others doing the same thing and pitying them because they couldn’t afford a car.  But can I?  Oh sure, I can make the payments and pay for the gas and insurance, but what am I giving up to do that.  My truck payment is $280, insurance $70, and  gas about $50 if I don’t go anywhere too far.  What else could I be doing with that $400?  Is it really worth it?

I guess that’s what I’m trying to find out!

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