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.