Okay, so this might not be freedom for all of us, but I’m one step closer to not going positively insane. I’ll soon have the ability to go out places, even if it is just to the grocery store. We’ll have transportation for Oz to go to work. Best of all, it’s entirely free once you get past the repairs.
I’ve been looking on Freecycle for things we might be able to use. Yesterday I finally got something that will be of more help than anything else we’ve seen. Sure, there’s tons of other stuff we can use, but we won’t be able to get most of it. This was close enough to be good for us, and incredibly useful. I’ve finally got my own bike.
This bike isn’t the greatest. The seat needs replacing. The gears are rusted. The rear breaks need a good cleaning to function right. The chain is rusted to the point of being worthless. The tires are both flat and probably need new rubber and tubes. However, that bike brings the promise of freedom. I can do all the repairs for a minimum investment, much less than a car. I can put a rack and some saddlebags on the back to increase carrying capacity. I might even be able to talk the guy into the neighborhood into making me a cart to attach on the back of it so I can have extra space and do all my grocery shopping by bike. It certainly would beat walking all the time.
Coming on the tail of the mass-eviction of half the families in the trailer park, I’ve got to say this makes me feel better. Sure, we can’t spend a lot of money on getting it fixed up, but we also don’t have to worry about asking for rides.
This comes with an added benefit. We can also teach the kids about caring for and maintaining a bike. This is kind of important for us because we don’t want the kids to get bikes and learn after that point. We can’t afford for them to see what happens by not taking care of your bike as a result of neglecting it. It’s better to get a neglected bike in the first place so they can see what happens and fix it up.
All our problems won’t be solved by this. We’ve still got a lot of challenges ahead of us, especially with all the people leaving. It’s especially going to be hard on the kids. At the same time, I think it will be better in a lot of ways. Maddy came over today and pretty much announced that they’ll be gone soon. We’re not sure what’s going to happen to our neighbors. All in all it’ll be nice to have a little peace and quiet for a while.
This is a good time for something positive too. Oz has finally tracked down his ex-wife. He’s finally found a picture of his son, and now he’s even more determined to be a part of his son’s life. However, his ex-wife doesn’t want to allow him the chance. Her boyfriend has been “raising him” for a year. Oz’s son calls this guy Daddy, and while Oz doesn’t have a problem with that, he does think that his son deserves to know the truth. Most states feel that a mother cannot deny a father access to his son, but she somehow seems to think she has the right. He’s been trying to do this the friendly way, but I have a feeling we’re going to have to appeal to the state to get Oz his visitation rights. He’s not even talking about having his son a lot, but at least being able to send him Christmas and birthday presents, give him a chance to know who his biological father is. He’d also like to see him for Christmas and maybe even his birthday now and again. Honestly, I don’t think that’s too much to ask, but his ex-wife (who has gone out of her way to prevent Oz from being able to contact her in the past) doesn’t seem to think he has the right. I have a feeling this is going to get messy.
The whole thing with Oz’s ex-wife is really tearing him up right now. Every time he has contact with her it destroys him. In the past I credited it to the fact that it was still too new and bitter, but time has passed. He’s paying child support, which is taking away money that our family could really use to support ourselves right now. It’s hard on him.
Having a bike might not make a huge difference in his mood, but it gives him a sense of freedom coming soon too. He can go further to get a better job without having to rely on a ride. Grocery shopping becomes easier. It’s really something we need right now. It might not be much, but something’s better than nothing.