I have Hope's car this week. This morning, I went to the ATM, the farmer's market, the post office, the library, the co-op, and Harris Teeer, in 3 hours. It would have taken all day on the bus and close to it on my bike, not to mention hauling the stuff home.
I'm still deeply ambivalent about cars and driving, but I do have to apologize for some of the snarky things I've had to say in the past when people say "Oh, Americans like their cars, and they like being able to go anywhere they want whenever they want." It was so nice this morning to be able to just go and get stuff done and fairly quickly. And it's a luxury we can keep, if we start working on cars that get better fuel economy and run off of alternative fuels and don't cost an arm and a leg, but that's another rant for another day.
This was the furthest I'd operated a car on my own with no one else in the car in, um, 7 years? Traffic was light - which was why I got out and about so early - but I dealt with traffic as it picked up and watched my limit lines and merged and changed lanes (my big bugaboo, changing lanes was how I got into my really nasty wreck in 2000) and even ventured onto Wendover, the major arterial through the city. I only overdid a couple of turns. I parked next to another car (another big deal, I HATE parking with the fiery passion of 7 burning suns) and even backed into the driveway. It's going to be a long time before driving is second nature again, but I've been driving a lot more lately, and it's beginning to feel a lot better. I'm starting to see how I'm going to get past the point of "just don't let me kill anyone" to actually being a good driver.
nolly was right about something she said many moons ago - biking really has helped. Biking has gotten me used to being on the roads, negotiating stop signs and lights and other hazards, and paying attention to what's going on around me.
So, yay. I'm done with the errands, though. It's time to put away groceries, and get a nap, and then get some work done.