Who needs a car!
We didn’t have a car when we first married. We were building our house without a home loan and every penny we earned went into living costs and the all-important house. Even after we got the house to a liveable stage we still needed to pour any available cash into finishing it off. Public transport or walking was the order of the day. By the time we had two children and were well used to loading the stroller up with food and cooking equipment and walking miles to picnic down by Narrabeen Lake.
Shopping was hard, I can remember doing it but can’t imagine how I managed. It meant taking a baby and a toddler and getting onto the bus with a stroller and at least one basket. The stroller had to be folded and left on the back space of the double decker bus. Why aren’t mums born with 6 hands? Getting home was even harder because now the basket was full (and heavy) and usually there was a string bag or two as well and the children were tired and cranky.
When one of Bill’s uncles died we had the opportunity to purchase a car from his estate – it was a Volkswagen. We had our first car – we had a beetle! Bill needed to get his driver’s licence…he had never needed one before the beetle arrived. What a difference it made. Thank heavens for the car for shopping by the time I had three children.
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A turquoise blue Beetle
Eventually we decided that our beetle needed a paint job. This was one with a difference. We painted the car turquoise blue with a paint brush – yes with a paint brush. By this time we had three children and we loved camping. Our beetle seemed to have an ability to fit anything and everything into every possible space: tent, poles and ropes, sleeping bags, stove, cooking equipment and food, clothes etc. etc. and yes, three kids and two of us.
I still didn’t have a licence but had begun to have lessons when we set off on one very vividly-remembered holiday. The day before we were due to come home Bill cut his feet quiet badly on oyster shells and wouldn’t be able to drive home. Now where were those L plates? The children thought it was a great lark, Bill kept his opinion to himself and for me it was a nightmare of a trip but we did arrive home safely.
We loved exploring out-of-the-way-places. On one occasion, on a dirt road outback we were rattling along – yes the beetle often rattled – when we lost a running board. We left it by the side of the road but remembered to pick it up some hours later on the return trip.
We have many different cars as the years went by but none can replace the importance and memories created by our turquoise blue beetle.