Walking the Walk–Literally

I have long been extolling the virtues of choosing to walk or ride a bicycle rather than driving everywhere. When the Lenten season started, one of the vows I made was, as soon as we turned the clocks ahead and it was light enough out after work, I would start walking to and from the dealership. This probably doesn’t do much for auto sales but I have always walked to the beat of my own drum–no pun intended. And it’s all for a good cause.

However, I have not lived up to this vow…until I got pulled over by a policeman coming from the local grocery store. Now I had just pulled away from the traffic light so there was no way I could’ve gotten up to “speeding” and I did not peel out. Lights are working. Turn signal was on. I admit I was stymied.

The car was unregistered. (What?) It seems I have been driving around in Mom’s uninsured and unregistered vehicle for over a year now. (How the heck did I dodge that bullet for so long???) Though we had a current registration and insurance card sitting in the glove box, the DMV had dropped the registration after Nationwide dropped our policy for lack of payment. Mom was also mystified. She’s been making payments. What happened? Sadly, Mom was a recent victim of ID theft. Payments, of roughly the same amount, have been going to a cellphone company for someone in California. Mom saw the payment coming out but did not notice the name of the organization pulling the payment. And Nationwide did not send her notification that she was falling behind. A trip to the DMV revealed we cannot renew the registration in Mom’s name because she can no longer drive with her cataracts and does not have a valid license anymore. So I’ve been “grounded” so to speak…until we can find a way to get this thing valid again. And, as if that wasn’t enough, the car will not start. We suspect the battery. So we have a few obstacles to overcome. But it has also been a good turning point for me in this campaign to reduce my carbon footprint.

We live in rural CT so the roughly uniform city block is not a part of our immediate world. However, as The Herbal Hare Homestead sits just on the edge of the business district of the town, we are close enough to my work, the feed store, the post office, the library, town hall, church, and even the local Walmart so that this walking thing isn’t really so bad. The toughest part is the huge hill that leads from my neighbor’s farm down into that commercial area. It’s mostly downhill on the way into town but I am finding myself woefully out of shape traversing that uphill climb on the way home.

But I’m not complaining. When all is said and done, I should have lost this extra 30 lbs. I’ve been lamenting, improved my circulation greatly, saved money on gasoline and wear and tear of the car–because I don’t intend to start driving locally even after this glitch is resolved–and, yes, reduced my carbon footprint on the world.

The good Lord works in mysterious ways. I’ll admit to a bit of an “Oh, Lord, why me?” reaction after this citation (and, yes, the nice officer did cite me but, coming from a family of police officers, it’s all good; he’s just doing his job and it’s good to see). Now I am seeing some of the benefits of it. Even Mom asked me last night, “Isn’t walking or riding a bike part of homesteading?” Who-hoo! Yes, it is.

May God bless you & keep you!

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