cafe mama

finding magic every day

car diet update (a.k.a. 'how to be cute') . august 16 . 2006

now the photoI told you we were going to be on the BBC... and here's the link! The video online is grainy and I look like a pixelated crunchy Trimet mom (Portland's version of a soccer mom, yaknow). But I have a feeling we look SUPER cute on the BBC2. And look! There's kitty coming in the window, right over the pinwheel blankie Larissa made for Truman. And look! There's Truman stuffing his face with brownies. And look! They only used the segments where I basically said *exactly what they asked me to say* (which was entirely true, but not entirely my own words). Awww...

Anyhow. We'll be giving out lessons in how to be cute any day now. In the meantime, I've been mulling over what to say about the car diet now that it's officially over, but we're still not driving and, in fact, planning to sell our car (want a Mercedes ML320? Leather seats, moonroof, CD player and, oh, the windows in the front don't go up and down. But it's well loved. And CHEAP).

I think what I want to say, it's this: using the bike, my own two feet, and the bus instead of driving a car has changed me utterly. I was always healthy, always concerned about the world around me, always trying to be better. But now I am better. When I hear reports on NPR (or the BBC, natch) about war, or fuel crises, or energy shortages, or global warming, I feel panicky and hopeless for a moment. Then I remember: hey! I'm actually doing something about it!. We've taken our car off the road. We're no longer contributing to global warming. When we go out in the world, we make it better, not worse. We don't even use hairspray.

I know it's such a small impact. We're only one family, with only one car off the road. But hopefully some of you will read this, or see us on the BBC, and be inspired to make a change yourselves.

The thing is, it's not just the environment I care about (or whether my husband will end up deployed in Iraq to fight for the rights to that oil). It's how I connect to the world around me. I've been thinking about this for a long time so I'm going to bold it. I'm no longer travelling through the world, but living in it.

The other day I was biking to the cafe au playdate. It was a long way from home and I had the boys in the trailer, we were moving slowly. I kept passing people in their front yards gardening, on the sidewalks, biking past me. And instead of gazing at them briefly from the inside of a lovely SUV, I engaged with them. I would smile, or say hello, or just watch the lovely way that woman on NE 9th Avenue had with the wildflowers. It was both liberating and connecting and I felt entirely at peace.

My family has converted to the low-car lifestyle. Won't you join us?

paying the bills

state fair knitalong update: in over my head with knitting and sewing and baking, oh. MY. . august 13 . 2006