Thursday, November 19, 2009

Family Transportation Logistics

Our FTL (Family Transportation Logistics) is complicated. We have one patriotic blue short-bus minivan, AKA "the mini" AKA "the Blue Eagle". We also have one red 1994 stick shift, heat only, bench seat, Ford F150 with working tape cassette. Remember those? It is affectionately called "Clifford".

One gets around 24mpg, seats 7 people, has room for our children and all their crap, and I can drive it. The other gets 11mpg, seats 2 people, (3 if you want to get really friendly with the stick shift) is questionable whether it can accommodate car seats, and I can't drive it. I tried once, in New Bedford, with cars parked on both sides of the street, where around every corner is a new game of chicken. It wasn't pretty and I don't think my husband will allow it again.

We have always gotten by with a lot of walking. We are less than 500 feet from Addie's school, and only about 2 city blocks from our sitter's house. But our unpredictable schedules have led us to question if this will continue to work.

The logistics are as follows:
Addie needs to be at school by 8am 3 days out of the week. If I'm working, I'm out of the house with the only car I can drive with the car seats. So Hubby has to walk the girls up to school, and then walk Emily to the sitter, and then walk back, get in his truck and make it to work by 9. Usually works okay, except for those days he has to be to work earlier. On days Addie doesn't have school, one of those days our sitter has to take two kiddos to school, so she walks them up. We don't want to add 2 more kids for her to drag up there or leave with her husband/mother-in-law, so he waits until after 8 to bring them to her, again walking. Then there's pick up at the end of the day.

Enter winter... in Iowa... blowing snow, freezing rain, and 30 degrees Fahrenheit... oh, 30 degrees BELOW ZERO! Add to that no sidewalks in town and walking on the edge of the road made significantly smaller by the addition of snow banks, and those 2 measly blocks seem like an epic battle.

So here we are with essentially one vehicle to share. We need a new one, but we also need a second bathroom, so we're not sure what our financial priority is. We could shove a car seat in the truck, and a booster seat in the middle, for that 2 block time, which isn't technically illegal, but I'm a rule follower, so I don't know. Not to mention the time it takes to get kids into car seats and out again is going to be close to the same amount of exposure to the cold. Logistically speaking, anyone got any ideas?


Sarah said...

hmmmm sounds like maybe you need a 4-wheeler. then you can just buzz them up an back. lol

Anonymous said...

I am surprised how many people have golf carts in this town. I see them parked on main street and at the grocery store. I suppose that doesn't help in the snow... I know a good mechanic if you find a different beater that needs fixing up. :)

Anonymous said...

Totally unrelated; just wanted to share when I came across this idea. There's easier ways to do this with construction paper on a paper tree posted on the wall too. I think that is the way I will go.

carrie said...

honestly i have put my kids in a pickup truck before and as long as there aren't any airbags its safer than walking. it might not be the perfect solution but sometimes we have to settle for "good enough". i have a tough time with that. that being said this is probably a great time to buy a car if yo uare going to since the dealerships are struggling you might get a great deal. plus you won't really need a second bathroom until the girls are about 12... but it is good equity in your house... sorry i guess that wasn't very helpful after all.