Bikin’ it

Bikin’ it

Originally uploaded by carrollers

Well, it’s been a while since I posted anything, but that’s the way it is. When I finally get time to check out my friends’ blogs I tend to get an attack of the little green monster when I see how often they’ve posted and how they have such wonderful philosphical questions and insights to type down. These are the times when I have to remind myself that oftentimes (not every time!) those blogs are written by folks who have a) no children or b) one child. And if you’re saying “hey! one kid is a lot of work!” That’s true, it is. But you’re still finding time to write those blog posts 🙂

Well, finally my computer is running fairly normally again although it’s only a matter of time. Yes, we’ll have to finally get another one, though I’m not sure how that’s going to happen. This one’s on it’s last leg and I know there are some people out there (a.k.a. grandparents) who wouldn’t be happy if we were off-line 🙂

I thought I’d give you a quick snapshot into our transportation right now. I didn’t realize that so many people don’t know that we haven’t had a car for over a year. Like usual, I assume that people know things even when I don’t tell them, but I guess it also didn’t seem like such a big thing to tell. Our main mode of transport is the public transportation system in Dresden and I gotta say it’s pretty good. We have a subscription for monthly tickets, which is cheaper and they come in the mailbox. And when the weather is nice we ride our bikes. Olivia and Chris are pros now and Alex rides in a seat on the back of my bike. Some of you might be passing out from the thought that a family of five does not have a car!!! I have gotten that response (nearly always from Americans 🙂 ) many times and it always makes me smile. Sure, there are times when we’d like to go somewhere outside of Dresden and it’s not easily accessible by train or times when we are running late and it would be nice to hop in and punch the gas. But we have really enjoyed being car-less for several reasons:

1. Excercise! Whether we’re biking or walking to a bus stop, there is just more excercise on a daily basis. Sure, nothing to brag about, but the heart is getting excercised regularly just the same.

2. Finding lost time. When you’re sitting on the bus or tram, as we sometimes have to do if it’s cold, rainy, or across town, then we find ourselves really enjoying the time to chat with the kids. We’re sadly on the go quite a bit and we keep finding more and more things to do, but those times where we have no choice but to sit and wait have turned into some really good conversations with the kids.

3. Fun. Riding our bikes has been a lot of fun, even if we’re headed to work or kindergarten. We have a wonderful ride through Dresden’s biggest park named the “Grosser Garten” on the way to the church building with green lawns, wooded forest and a palace with a fountain out front for a view. As you whiz on into the park, all of a sudden the street noise stops and is replaced by the soft “zzzz, zzzzz” of roller bladers and cyclists making their way through. It’s a nice experience.

4. Becoming street smart. Living in a large city can be unnerving with small children especially when you’ve grown up most of your life on the outskirts of a smaller town. But travelling by tram, bus and bike has forced us to prepare the kids for walking and riding next to the streets, reading the signs at crosswalks, judging car signals (watching for cars pulling in), watching out for trams, reading the bus schedules and most importantly, mapping out routes–as in, knowing the way home in case of an emergency!

5. Environmentally friendly. Yeah, yeah, if we could afford it, we might have a car anyway, but not having one has made us think about how we could cut down on gas usage and possible even checking into alternative fuel.

6. Money saved! I’m not one to just blurt out stuff about personal finances, so I’ll just say that we’re definitely saving money right now, which is a blessing. Insurance, GAS!!, and car maintenance were costing us three times more with a car.

Well, there it is in a nutshell. Living in the States would not afford us the luxury of living without an Auto, but we’re enjoying it while it lasts. Hope this post has inspired you to dust off the ol’ 10-speed and take a fun ride around the block 😉

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One response to “Bikin’ it”

  1. Josh Maxwell says :

    Great Blog post. I am going to bookmark and read more often. I love the Blog template if you need any assistance customizing it let me know!

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