Dispatches from Spokane Transit

Johnny

We set up rules at the beginning of the year for every purchase we make. We said every dollar we spend would be put through the filter; used, local, homegrown, or homemade. It has been an exercies in saying, "What about this...", and "What about that." Some things we are still sorting out. One of those is fuel consumption for our cars. How do you buy local gas? I've heard about running used cooking oil through a diesel engine, and I know that there is some bio-fuel being produced from canola in Eastern Washington. While these are intriguing ideas, we've had enough on our plate just figuring out how to avoid scurvy, so we decided to hedge a little and live with one car.

Thursday, Nancy took the girls over to the coast to be with Grandma, and she took the car with her. Living with one car has its challenges, living with no car brings it to a new level. I rode my bike to work yesterday and nearly lost my ears to frost bite. I dropped my bike off at Argonne BIke Shop for a tune up and got a ride home from a neighbor who was at a meeting with me.

My ride to work fell through this morning so...I walked. I never would have considered walking the 2 miles to work if I didn't have a car, but to my surprise, I ended up really enjoying it. Having that extra time to reflect and get a little exercise got the day off to a great start. This afternoon I took the bus for a downtown appointment. It’s definitely not the fastest way to get around but I'm learning that slowness has its virtues. There is something therepeutic about sitting on the bus. It's like the baby who is hypnotized by the low hum of the engine and steady vibrations of the road. Best of all I made some new friends, including Johnny, pictured above. Johnny walked onto our packed bus with a carboard box bursting with a bag of potatoes and a meat pack from Sonnenberg’s market. He gave me the low down on his big meat purchase and got me thinking that I need to write a post about local beef.

Living without a car is ineffecient, but I guess my lesson for the day is that a little inefficiency in life can be good for the soul. Some ear muffs for those early morning bike rides would make it even better.