02 April 2008


We have been more or less housebound since Friday afternoon, when we inadvertently killed our car's transmission and had it towed to a repair shop that wasn't open all weekend, and which took one day to diagnose the problem, and is taking another three days to fix it. Oh, the joys of being a one-car family! But on the bright side, by not driving, we are saving a lot of gas money, and we are sparing the atmosphere a miniscule amount of pollution. I'm patting myself on the back as I'm typing this.

It's okay, really it's okay that we're stranded at home, because we now own Rock Band and we are putting it to constant use, annoying our neighbors and giving ourselves sore muscles from the intensity of our rock and roll. Our neighbors retaliate by blasting bad '80s music and Celine Dion at unpardonable volume levels (really, any volume is too much for Celine), but I suppose that makes us even.

Being carless has really not been so bad. Greg has been working from home, and the kids and I have been finding more to do around the house. It's been nice enough to play outside the last couple of days (though windy and muddy -- James and our neighbor were playing a game yesterday called "Scooby Doo and the Tornado Swamp"). This afternoon I played Candy Land for the first time in ages, albeit with Lego people instead of the plastic characters that come with the game. Okay, I know that really has nothing to do with not having the car this week, but I'm on a roll, here, and this is my first post in a while, so let's pretend it's relevant.

The biggest problem we're having actually, is that we're beginning to run out of food. This is partly because we're too lazy to walk the mile and a half to the grocery store for whatever food could fit into a backpack, but partly because I am viewing this situation as a challenge to see how well I can feed our family on the odds and ends now in the cupboards and refrigerator. I've been managing the dinners pretty well -- thank goodness for canned and frozen foods! -- and we have plenty of breakfast stuff around (even stuff that doesn't require millk, which we're almost out of), but I'm starting to run out of ideas on lunches. Today's fruit-and-vegetable-group offerings for my children's lunches were banana yogurt and pickles. They love those, sure, but it's a good thing we're getting the car back tomorrow.

Of course, when we get the car back we have a bunch of errands to run, so it'll probably negate all of the good anti-global warming karma we've been accumulating over the last week. But I feel like I've learned some kind of lesson this week, something about simplicity and not taking things for granted and being resourceful and adapting to unfortunate circumstances, and maybe some other things that I can't quite grasp in my current tired state. It's been a pretty good week so far.

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