I’m on the cusp of getting a replacement car. Today I paid for my new auto insurance policy which becomes effective on Friday. I returned my business to State Farm. They gave me the best quote: $79 a month. I got a discount for being a safe driver for over ten years. I’ve been with that company since 1993, when I lived in Portland. That premium is for the bare minimum. The car I am getting is a 2005-a Pontiac-and its a private sale so, I don’t have to have full coverage even though the people who are selling it to me are letting me make payments. I am signing a payment contract with them, which is smart. If I were doing the selling I would do the same thing.
I am so grateful.
The lady selling me the car is, Tara, a friend and former co-worker-yes, she paroled herself from Walmart-lucky lady. She is one of my beautiful, “ass haulers,” who have been driving me everywhere I needed to be.
Friday we are going to DMV to do the registration. I still have the auto tag from my Beetle. That will save a ton of money. Tara and her husband are so awesome they are paying for the registration and adding it to the price of the car. Honestly, this is probably the only way I was going to get a car.
Again, I am so very grateful.
It’s not the VW Tiguan I visualize owning and driving but that does not matter. It’s transportation that is in good condition and is dependable. I will have a huge boulder removed from my shoulders and I can concentrate on gaining more income because I will be able to drive myself to job interviews. I will be able to make doctor’s and physical therapy appointments and not have to constantly reschedule because of a transportation snafu.
As soon as the State Farm payment got processed over the phone this afternoon I felt a slight surge in energy. For Floridians a car is an absolute necessity. Mass transit almost everywhere is horrible. The singular bus route that runs close to my home will take me to University of Central Florida (UCF). That’s about seven miles from my employer. And there is no bus stop anywhere near there.
This whole experience of lacking personal transportation has me wistful for Portland. If this breakdown would have happened out there, it would have been zero problem.
We lived there in the 1990’s. For several years I worked for a local company called Coffee People. When I first began working there Brian, my then husband, and I lived in SW Portland and I mostly worked in Motor Moka (the first drive thru coffeehouse in the US) in NE Portland. I did mostly drive there but, when I worked day shifts I took the bus. It was never late and it was great to sit and read while Tri Met did the driving.
It didn’t take long for me to be asked to transfer to the new flagship Coffee People on the corner of NW 23rd and Hoyt. By then Brian and I moved into a restored one-hundred year old apartment building in the NW district of Portland. We lived about three blocks from my new store so, I walked to work even at 5:15 am. No car necessary; we walked to the neighborhood grocery store. Right after beginning my tenure at Coffee People, we we traded our 1991 VW Fox for a 1982 diesel VW Vanagon which mostly stayed parked in NW Portland because we took buses and the MAX train everywhere. We used our Vanagon, which we named Dubs, on the many road trips we took around Oregon and other Western states.
After a few years I quit Coffee People and began working in the Anne Hughes Coffee Room inside Powell’s Books, also in NW Portland. By then we had moved across the Williamette River and into NE Portland. For almost three years I took the bus to and from work at the coffee room. Only when I got out of work at close to midnight did I drive Dubs but, I could have taken the bus because it ran even later than midnight.
That doesn’t happen in Orlando. Having no car and no dependable mass transit is a real hardship I faced and one that countless others in this area still face. I am not going to miss having to constantly live in the future to plan ahead and find a ride to or from work. I am not going to miss being unable to drive to Publix to shop on my own rather than having to plan my shopping around someone else’s schedule. I won’t have to arrive hours early to work or stay late to catch rides and my drivers won’t have to do the same just to help me out. I will be able to drive myself to work. I will be able to drive over to Palm Coast and visit a very dear friend or go the opposite direction to visit another friend on her farm near Dade City. I can go to St. Pete to the Dali Museum or to Tampa to see friends at Skipper’s Smokehouse (where I worked when we moved to Portland) and eat some great shrimp and oysters. It has been extremely stressful living without a functional vehicle. I won’t miss it.
I am going to cry like crazy when I begin to drive away from the DMV office on Friday.
I am very grateful to these people:
Tara, Vickie, Debbie, Alex, Darrell, Christina, Abby, Subhana, Cathy, Janet, Roselyn, Brittany, Drew, Jon, Rose aka my roommate, Joanne and Jackie, who offered to drive me home one evening but ended up not having to. I hope I didn’t forget anyone.