One of the nice things about living on the fringe of the Funkstown community is our convenient proximity to the local postal branch. The traffic is light and neighbors are friendly, in sharp contrast to our former residence on a busy route near the main post office building.
Trips to mail my artwork once involved stressful bumper-to-bumper congestion and driver road rage… other drivers’ rage, not mine.
You could park along the busy street, and risk getting mowed down by a harried motorist as you attempt to exit your vehicle… or else face a stand-off in the crowded parking lot, and watch your back in case somebody isn’t watching theirs, and slams you in reverse.
The lines of customers inside the building were often very long, unless you visited early in the morning. It wasn’t unusual for these trips to take almost an hour.
The building was less than 10 minutes away.
Last year, we crunched some numbers in our budget and decided to become a single-car family, with Joe using it primarily for commuting to work. We juggle all our personal appointments around his schedule, and I’ve started walking again.
My autumn walk in the rain, to mail my “Queen of Cats” painting to her new owner, was taken while he remained at home with our children.
I’ve never liked dragging my children on errand runs, and after two botched attempts to bring them along while conducting bank business, I realized it was easier to wait until Joe came home during his lunch break… so they could be left behind.
Taking the kids anywhere has always been a circus act, with the usual performers: leaking sippy cups, forgotten baby wipes, hats and shoes that get stripped off and lost, toddler mood swings, motion sickness, and the myriad of toys and games that insist on tagging along.
Mia gets crabby after 10 minutes in a car seat, and Jacob loathes being strapped into a stroller…
They are both too impulsive to walk safely beside me on the sidewalk.
But I don’t like relying on Joe’s flaky work schedule… what if he gets detained in a meeting, or is required to attend a court hearing that lasts all afternoon?
It was important and necessary for me to reclaim my independent mobility. And my freedom came to me unexpectedly during an after-Christmas shopping trip to Toys-R-Us.
The answer to my prayers came in the form of a red Radio Flyer, with two fold-down seats, a storage trunk, cup holders, and a detachable canopy top.
Yes, this is my alternative to the mini-van. ;)
I purchased it on sale, brought it home, and let the kids grow accustomed to it by allowing them to pull each other around the living room. But they were looking forward to testing it on the open road.
The weather finally climbed into the 60’s (F) this week, and a recent customer’s art purchase required a trip to the post office. They were excited to ride down the sidewalk in their new Mommy-fueled convertible wagon!
Of course the highlight to our afternoon outing involved the detour we took afterwards. We passed the Memorial Park on our way home, and I took a right hand turn, guiding the wagon towards the spiral slides and monkey bars.
Mia showed me her skills climbing the curved ladders, and Jake discovered a deep mud puddle.
As an off-road vehicle, through melting snow and over rough terrain, the flyer’s rugged wheels navigated beautifully.
They may eventually grow weary of this novelty, but for now, we’re looking for more excuses to take walks into town.
And even without errands to run… who can resist a trip to the park for fun’s sake?