The blessings of being without a car

August 29, 2014

Yes . . . you read that right. I'll explain.

My son, the one who is campaign manager for our Michigan senator here, went back to college last week. He is going to take classes, and run back and forth to our district for campaign work. How he is going to do this, I don't know. There is a group of committed volunteers in the area, and he can do a lot via phone and internet. But still . . .

So rather than him having to buy a car just yet and pay insurance and so forth, I lent him my car, at least through the November election.

And I love it. It gives me an excuse to Stay Home. My favorite place to be.

I'm already experiencing a greater feeling of relaxation and peace, and a settling down into quiet, but creative days.

In some ways, I actually feel like I've gone back in time, and think of my mother and my grandmother, neither of whom had cars, and did just fine. I have a greater freedom and space to work on projects, write, and get some housework done.

no excuses now!
I have a desk and craft area upstairs, but the table in front of the couch in our family room is usually "Command Central" for me.

I have time to knit!

The laptop is open to The UK 1940s Radio Station. I love this station. It plays music that was popular during the 20s, 30s, and 40s in Great Britain, and includes broadcasts heard during the war. If you love history and the 40s like I do, you really should check it out. It's free (donations accepted).


So, I am happy. Listening to the 40s station today, and knitting, I almost felt like I was back in time. Before women were expected to Do It All.

Of course, I have access to a car in the evenings if I want it (rarely), and on weekends, when I can run any necessary errands. There are a few small inconveniences (I couldn't schedule my overdue dental appointment until December), but if I really need the car for some unexpected reason, I can take my husband to work and use his car.

I'm thinking that come November, my son will be used to having a car, and will feel reluctant to give it up. And, so far, I think I might be reluctant to take it back.

How about you? Could you manage/would you want to manage without a car?


  1. I rarely use my car, but when I want it, I want it. I have not been out of the house for over a week now so I guess that I qualify as a homebody, too. Did linking to the 40s channel make it crash? =D

  2. How wonderful for you, Deborah! I would have to say that you may likely not want your car back.:)
    I too long for that peace of being home. After I finish up with my parents in getting ready for the estate sale, I plan to do just that. I have even stepped down from some ministries in order to live a much simpler life.
    I long to sit by the fire in my rocking chair with my Bible, and drawing closer to my Heavenly Father.
    I may even take up some type of needle work.
    Enjoy your time at home!
    Bless you! Debbie

  3. We've done with one Suburban between my husband and me for a year. He usually has it, and sometimes I borrow from our daughter. I don't mind doing without, but sometimes dislike having to work around everyone else's schedule. It has its perks, tho. :)

  4. I think I could survive... I have a car and large van both available for me through the day but seldom go out...Of course, as soon as they would noIt be available I would need That is the way it goes...I love a more simple lifestyle especially the older I get.. enjoy your freedom! Blessings!

  5. I actually love when I'm "housebound." It's amazing what I can get done, and it's nice to just slow down and enjoy my home.
    Mary Alice

  6. Ah! Blessed relaxation! Sometimes it is nice to just stay at home for a while--exactly what I'm planning to do tomorrow...stay at home and take it easy (though it looks like you are keeping busy)! Thanks for the link to the 40s radio station...some of the groups that sang during the war (like the Andrews Sisters) were pretty good.

  7. It sounds like you have really adjusted to the car situation and so generous of you to lend the car to your son! Where I live a can walk or use the car. I sometimes enjoy walking to where I need to go instead of driving! Take care.

  8. I don't think I could give up my car...I would get stir crazy just knowing that I couldn't leave. I do love to just take an afternoon and relax--go for a walk around the neighborhood and stay in all day! I hope you have a good weekend!

  9. Deb you have the best attitude. And your sacrifice and generosity will surely help win that election - sure hope so. You must be so proud of that son of yours!

    Can you even believe it is school and football and elections time now? Where did summer go?

    You will get a kick out of this. My eldest daughter loves ALL THINGS 40s. She listens to 40s music all the time and collects vintage 40s clothing. She researched and researched to get it all down perfectly - nails, hair, underpinnings, etc...................and talked my husband and myself into going to a 40s WW2 "Hangar Dance!" There was an amazing 40s big band there, and all the people were dressed in costume fr the time period. My husband got us hand corsages.

    A little while into the evening these very old wonderful gents came up to my daughter, and with tears in their eyes told her "Honey, you take us right back to back when we were young men. Thank you!"

    Then they started asking her to dance.

    About halfway through the wonderful evening we found out there was a "Best Dressed" contest- and she WON! And an older gent won it for the fellas......because he was wearing his REAL uniform that he still fit in!!!!! Then they had those two slow dance for photo ops.

    This was before camera phones and before blogging so I don't have anything to show you, but she looked amazing. : - ) Sorry so long, but wanted to share. Hugs.

  10. Hi Deborah,

    I just love being home and can find so many wonderful things to occupy my time. I do think I could manage without a car (for a while). Groceries would be the only need I would have to get. Sometimes it is good to take a step back. It makes us appreciate so much more what we have today. As much as I love technology sometimes I think life was better without it :-)

  11. I got rid of my car when my husband and I retired early we don't need 2 it was just a waste of money.

  12. Hi Deborah, Love this post and yes, being without a car is just fine for me it I had to give it up. There was a time in our marriage that we only had one car and it did not cause any problems for me as I enjoy being home. Like you said, you just plan around your appts. when the car is available.
    The sacrifice you are making for your son to use your car turns out to be a blessing for you being home.

    I love 40's music too and would love to look into that radio station. It sounds interesting.
    Enjoy your back in time moments at home and looking forward to hearing all that you are up too.

    Have a nice holiday weekend,

  13. Deborah: Did the exact same thing when my son needed a car away at college and did it again when son #3 occasionally needed my car for college. I, too, felt so resourceful and old fashioned! It was no trouble at all to schedule whatever I needed to do around using my husband's car or even taking him to work if needed. I firmly believe that we have become accustomed to thinking everyone of driving age must have their own car. Especially young stay-at-home mothers could probably benefit from sharing one car and saving on expenses, at least for a short while. All in my family are now adults and everyone has their own car, and many days mine never leaves the garage!

  14. We only have one car and I usually have it for work (my husband is at home and retired). If I didn't work, not having a car would be manageable but a pain for things like grocery shopping and trips to the hardware store etc... as these things are not close by and I would need to rely on the bus service which isn't great. Also my younger son doesn't drive so I do trips for him which does make a car quite important. There are some modern advancements I am very happy to keep and computers, washing machines, telephones, irons, vacuum cleaners and cars would have to be included in my need list.

  15. Ooh, I'm a little bit jealous, Deborah. I love being home too. I need a car though to transport my two teenagers around. And you probably know, that means I'm on the road a lot! My husband does his share of transport after work, but I'm on duty during much of the day. It'll get better when they go back to school--

  16. It is nice to have a car handy when you need to run a quick errand, but sometimes mine will sit in the garage for up to three days. Love tinkering and being at home as well. I'm sure your son appreciates you being so nice and letting him borrow yours!

  17. Dearest Deborah,
    Very smart decision and indeed at times it is relaxing to go back to a time without a car. Enjoy a lovely Labor Day weekend!

  18. This post hit home with me Deborah, because even though I have a vehicle ( a little pick-up truck), I rarely go out in it unless my Mr. is home. I used to run, run, run when I was raising the kids and working, visiting my extended family and caring for my parents, but now they are gone, the kids all grown and there is nobody around to rescue me if I ran into trouble, like a flat tire. I live in the country and there are long distances to travel on lonely roads, so staying home just seems right for me. It was a little difficult to get used to at first, but now I plan my shopping list to last the whole week and I have found that I have much more time to do the things I have to do (and want to do). Everyone works during the day, so if I want to go visiting I do that in the evening when my Mr. is home or can come along. I love life in the 'slow lane' and I think you will, too. xo Karen

  19. A great way to embrace the joys of just being at home and feathering your nest, Deborah! I'll bet I don't get behind the wheel in my truck more than 4x per month myself. I can absolutely understand how you could inconvenience yourself to the benefit of your dear son. Mine just moved to NYC to attend grad school, and sold his car, so I'll probably be in your shoes in another year or so when/if he decides to relocate. I'm sure I'll accept the inconvenience as gracefully as you, at least I hope so!

  20. Right there with you, my friend. I first shared my car with my children when our son turned 18 (2007), and it slowly became less and less mine through the years. Before that, I made many sacrifices in order to be a full-time homemaker since 1992, including many seasons where I was without a car. Oh, if you could only see how God grew me. As a young mother, I used to have tantrums, the kind you kick and cry on the floor...I kid you not. :) When I look back and see how God transformed me to the point of being joyful during the times I did not have a car (such as now), I marvel. This from one very independent free-spirited only child. Amazing Grace.

  21. PS, I love to listen to Swing, and often play it while at home, so I'll be checking out that station soon. :) Thank you for sharing.

  22. I have the same memories of My Grandmothers and Mom.Walking to the corner market daily to buy ingredients for dinner.Walking to the Dentist and Doctor ect... There were times years past when We only had one car too.All part of My sweet memories of a wonderful life years ago.

  23. Oh yes Deborah how I would love to get back to the era of having no car! I think you have pinpointed so well the reasons why this was a far less stressful time. I find driving one of the most stressful parts of my life and often end up with a headache when struggling through traffic. I just love the days when I can be at home with no need to dash anywhere. So glad you are enjoying knitting. Another theme we have in common-love of the 1940s! Thank you so much for the link-I will be checking it out!
    Alison xx

  24. From June 2009 until March 2010, our family had only 1 vehicle, which my husband took to work. If I absolutely had to have the car, I could take him to work, but for the most part, I was home each day, without a car. And you know what, I loved it! I am very much a home body, and I loved HAVING to stay home. There is a convenience store within walking distance of me, so if I really needed something, I just walked there.

    I journal, and I wrote an article back then, entitled, "Living As My Grammy Did." She rarely drove but, instead, walked to the local market when she needed something.

    Now, we have a 2nd car, but with a son who also drives that car, there are many days when it isn't home. And that is fine with me.

    Fun post!


  25. I forgot to mention that you won my fall giveaway. I'll be sending the hot-off-the-press autumn issue of The Cottage Journal to you (along with the recent summer issue as well).

    Please email me with your address, so I can get them in the mail. My email address can be obtained through my Blogger profile.


  26. In NY mother would walk to the grocery and back pulling a little grocery cart we had. I went to the store for anything, or to the drugstote, etc. Now, I do enjoy the day without a car when it goes to the car wash.
    The thing is I need it to take my mom to the Dr., dentist, etc. and I do go 'everywhere' on a car, lol!
    I like it that you could knit.
    Have fun sweet lady, and
    enjoy your week ahead,

  27. Funny your should ask! When we are here in NC, we share a car. And even though we are retired, when I spend time here 'sharing' a car, I realize why we are not ready to go to only one car. heehee! I like having the freedom of going places when I want to. But for a month or two, I can survive and it sounds like you can, too. It makes you think about the past. My mother couldn't even drive when I was little! Enjoy your day! Hugs!

  28. We've been down to basically one car for a year or two now. We have a 2nd car that doesn't run yet, and my hubby is working on it. He's a pastor, and I homeschool, so we're both home a lot, and we just juggle the one car between us. But yes, I stay home a lot. And we ride our bikes around the village. And he walks a good bit. It's good for us. I love your description of how it has slowed your life down -- slowed your pace and your heart down, in a good way. It does feel good to be home, doesn't it?


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