Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Commute This!

This is our commute from home to day care to work:

It kinda blows. Sure, it's not as bad as some people's, but this is about me, not them.

We try to reduce our overall environmemntal impact, and I always have. There are the simple "3-R's," (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), which I have been practicing for many years, and I was concerned about global warming and sustainability long before Al Gore made me cool. (Who would have thought in the '80's that Al Gore would make anyone cool?)

We had always tried to minimize car usage; we took the bus to work or we rode our bicycles. Then we had a premature baby who was living in a hospital in Minneapolis. We live in Saint Paul. We had the option to move him to Children's Hospital in St. Paul, but we thought he was fine staying just where he was, and we should not move him for our convenience. As it was, since we work in Minneapolis, it made sense to keep him there. For awhile over the summer, I struggled with finding a way for us to still bus to work, but two to three trips a day to the hospital did not allow for it. I had to accept that I would have to make up for our expanding carbon dioxide footprint after he came home. At tax time last year, I figured out that we probably put roughly 2,000 miles on the car going to and from the hospital, home, and work.

During the time Finn was home with me, we stopped using one of our cars. Pete still wound up driving to work often, too often, but we had cut down from the 30 miles a day. Still, not back to our normal car usage.

I figured that when day care started, we could get ourselves back onto the bus. We would look for a day care that was either close to home or close to work. And we did. One of the recommendations was for a "crazy" day care that would be cool with cloth diapers, plus it was near the U. I looked them up, and I definitely thought we would fit in there. Pete called, and we went to visit. It's nowhere near the U. It's farther away from Children's Hospital. They've moved since the days of the recommender's experience. And it was the only day care we really loved. Really, truly loved and felt comfortable with. And, of course, it's the day care we chose.

Man alive.

It's worth it because Finn will turn out to be a really good person due in part to our choice, and he loves it. It feels like family. But Sweet Furry Pan. It takes us half an hour to get there and half an hour to get home. It's 8.2 miles from the house, and another 4.4 to work amounting to 12.6 miles one freaking way. 25.2 miles round trip. We've been driving all this time because I could not get my crap together to organize anything else. More than an hour a day in commuting time does not leave much room for organizational error or dawdling, and Pete's not the fastest moving homo sapien in the universe.

But I vowed that when I started back full time, if not before, I would get it together. And I did.

For all of the last two days, one of us drops the boy off in the morning and catches a limited stop bus to the U. It's only 2.5 blocks from the day care. In the afternoon, whoever did not drop him off takes the same bus back to day care where the car sits waiting. It will save us almost ten miles a day. Doesn't sound like much, I suppose, but that's 2600 miles, 96 gallons of gas, and 300 dollars a year. I'll take it. Plus, we are using our bus passes again, and I get some knitting and eavesdropping time.

Current Work in Progress: Finn's Second Winter Sweater. (Vestee on Knitty, for those in the know.) I am almost done with the second sleeve.

Latest conversation: Second wave feminism and television programs, including an interlude about homo-social roles in "Sanford and Son" and more than I wanted to know about the third season of "Mad Men" (I have to wait for the DVD).

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