When we first arrived in the States, someone very thoughtfully said to me 'It's a real privilege to have a car'. It is a statement I have often found myself going back to and finding a little bit strange, as while it is most definitely a privilege to have a car, living here in Coshocton, it is even more than that ... it's a necessity.
Here, there is no public transport, no buses, no trains, no sidewalks on a lot of roads and very limited cycle paths. However the local population is really spread out over the Coshocton area (many of my friends live a 15 minute drive away, out of the town) and to get to the one main big Walmart superstore ... you HAVE to drive.
The 'drive-thru' culture is definitely thriving here too. For example, without leaving the comfort (and warmth in the winter and AC in the summer) of our vehicle, I can mail/post a letter, withdraw money from an ATM, deposit money/cheque's with a bank teller, drop off library books and pick up a prescription from the pharmacy ... as well as get snacks, lunch or drinks from numerous, doughnut, fast food and coffee shop retailers. Seriously!
As an aside ... I still fail to understand why there would be braille on the buttons at the drive-thru ATM! Think about that for a minute ... if you can't see the buttons, should you really have driven a car to get you there?!
When we first arrived here, we considered attempting to function with just one vehicle but with Mark leaving for the hangar at 7am or sometimes earlier, it just wasn't sensible to get the family up and out at that time of day especially on the FREEZING cold winter mornings ... or to remain at home without a vehicle every weekday, with multiple errands to run and two children.
At the point where we were looking for a second car (something really basic and cheap just to get Mark to and from the hangar), we were blessed with a generous gift from one of our supporting churches in the UK which was exactly the amount we needed when converted into dollars to buy the car below. God obviously had it all planned out!
A couple of weeks ago, after a very short drive into town the engine started smoking and we knew something was wrong with it. Thankfully it wasn't as catastrophic as we had first anticipated but it made us evaluate the usefulness of running two vehicles now, with Mark finished full-time in the hangar and only three months to go before we leave the country anyway.
Having had it in the garage for a week before making the decision, we realised that with some adjustment and forward planning, functioning with one car wasn't going to be too difficult, save us some money and mean that we will have one less thing to deal with in a few months time while we're packing up everything else. We weren't too disappointed to bid it adieu last week ... both vehicles we have here were cheap and fulfilling a purpose, rather than being our first choice of make or model and both have served us well. We're quite happy to be a one car family again!