CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith from a Place of Winter For the Years of Winter…
We are a one car family again. It’s like being newly-weds. Slow, forgetful, decrepit newly-weds.
At least it was like being newly-weds in 1959, when you were lucky if one person had a car to bring into a marriage. Now it is more likely that each person brings a car to the union.
We became a two-car family very quickly when our babies came. A preacher is gone all day in a car, so a mother needs another car to take the babies to the doctor and to get groceries. Two cars was the minimum necessary when the babies got drivers licenses and Helen commuted to work. Our two cars were usually not new, and never expensive, [except that all cars are too expensive] but we were a two-car family for over fifty years. Now we are not.
We are enjoying our new status, sort of. It gives us a reason to talk to each other. “I’m thinking about taking the car to have coffee with Paul next week. Will you need it?” “No, I’ll need to go to the grocery some time, but I’ll probably do it this week.”
That’s why we sold our “Inferno Red” PT Cruiser to our daughter; we really don’t need it anymore. We rarely go out unless we’re together. And Katie does need it. They have three drivers in the family, one a teen-ager, with another only a few months away from a license.
It was time for us to go to one car. Still, it seems strange. Part of it is that I miss PT. We’ve had it for thirteen years. It was “my” car. I knew it was always there, any time I wanted it, in all its Inferno Red splendor. [We paid an extra $200 to get that paint.] Part of the strangeness is the realization that our Cream [interior] and Crimson [exterior] 2012 Ford Fusion is probably our last car. When it has run its allotted miles, we’ll become a no-car family.
We spend so much time building up our supply of stuff. Just when it seems we’ve got all we need, for whatever need arises, it becomes obvious that those needs aren’t going to arise now. We have to start ridding ourselves of the stuff we spent so much time accumulating. That’s strange. That’s life.
There is so much room in the garage now. That’s freedom.
John Robert McFarland
The “place of winter” mentioned in the title line is Iron Mountain, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where life is defined by winter even in the summer!
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