Monday, May 16, 2011

A wake for Serenity.

Greetings Bloggies.

I did something big this week. I became car free.  It was a long time in the making andit was the natural thing to do.  I had owned a 1999 Subaru Legacy for four years.  In April of 2007 I had cash from my North West Territories gig and was needing mobility in a bad way.  I was splitting my time between Nakusp and the Okanagan and the north. The car was needed to get me around and back to the airport.  In those days I was effectively homeless but had lots of places I visited.   I named it Serenitybecause well that was also the year I fell in love with Firefly.

I was never a car person. I came to driving late, not getting my license till I was 26.  A car is a black box fossil fuels go in momentum and green house gasses come out.  I was bad at taking care of it.  My values never placed putting money in to its up keep a priority.  Though a few things played out against it.  In October 2008 I got laid off and repairs slipped in my priority list as I clamped down on spending.  I also never took the time to find a shop.  I was absent minded about simple things like checking the oil.  Three times I drove into things costing me money to fix the bumper.  The third time cost me my signal light which I never fixed, I taped it up and it still worked, but I figured why fix it I will ding it again any way. Countless times I completely over revved when shifting and made burnt car parts smell.

In the country I loved driving that car.  Between the springs of 2008 and 2009 I made many trips over the mountains from Nakusp to Nelson and Castlegar. I enjoyed those drives, the zigs and the zags.  Put me in traffic and I my attitude goes down hill quickly.  After I moved to Burnaby to attend BCIT I used Serenity a lot less.   Once a week became the normal mode.  Then Twice a month.  Burnaby was big enough and I was far enough from things to make using make some sense.   Last august after using Serenity to drive a way from the worst job EVER, I moved in to the Hobbit hole in East van.  This move saw a major drop in usage.

Moving in to the Hobbit hole lead to a spike in driving as repeated trips to IKEA were need to make the hole livable.  That period passed and usage dropped to once a month or less.  I still live in the Hobbit hole and am planning to stay there for some time.  I know of more neighborhoods where I can find a pedestrian lifestyle and I have no desire to change that.  In some ways this is a return to my families roots as most of us have been dutch city dwellers.

After the moving in phase I knew getting ride of Serenity was a goal.  I knew from my time in Burnaby that I did not drive much in the city.  I also knew that my location was better then I had in Burnaby, I am closer to the trains and right out on two major bus routes. At first, I thought about selling it online, but got distracted by work or looking for work.  I also held the belief that once I had a steady income I would fix it up.  Time when on and I realized thats not my game.  Its sad to say but the truth is my car declined in condition because I could not be bothered.  Perhaps I would have used it more over the winter if I had not left my snow triers in the Kooteneys but thats speculation.  More recently I made a half hearted effort to sell it.  I did not want to pass a lemon on to honest people.

I reached a compromise this week.  I donated it to a Kidney charity.  It got transported from here for free.  They will make an effort to sell it and I get a tax receipt which will help me out with my plans for this year.  I was a little saddened to see the thing go.  4 years is a while.  It played a huge role in my personal life in the Kooteneys, with many a good and a few bad memories attached.  It was something I proud of at first.  It was a grown up thing to have gotten, but I stopped being proud of it as my neglect added up.  The last few times I drove it the exhaust system was getting really loud and I felt ashamed to be in it.

1 comment:

Ien in the Kootenays said...

It has been weighing on you, you removed the burden, so this was the right thing to do.
It reminds me a bit about what I was telling someone about efficiency in the garden. (where else, :) Yes, I know it can be done better, but not by me.

You are an early adapter of the Post Peak Oil life, that has many advantages. I am majorly looking forward to a time when ATVs and snowmobiles, except as bona fide work horses, become impossible to afford. As for Seadoos, the sooner that satanic invention becomes an oudated luxury the better.