Hooray! I found a fairy godperson today! I was convinced that there weren't any in California - everyone seems so distant and into their own thing here.
Today at Trader Joe's (where else, right?) I got to the cashier and realized that my wallet wasn't in my purse. Not cool at all - especially when Katie's running amok with her tiny shopping cart. I asked the cashier if he could put my groceries to the side while I went to the car to look for the wallet. Then I walked (dragged) Katie across the parking lot and let her climb around in the car while I frantically looked for it. I found many things, some of them sticky, some of them smelly, but no wallet. So I dragged Katie back across the parking lot (why is it that her legs turn to jelly the instant she realizes I'm in a hurry?) and back to the cashier, thinking that maybe the wallet had fallen out in the cart during my disagreement with Katie on whether she should be sitting in it. No dice. So I had to abandon my groceries, but the manager was nice enough to tell me she'd hold them in the back until later.
On our way back to the car, our fairy godperson appeared. It was the nice lady who had been in line behind us. She saw me struggling with a squirmy, escape-happy toddler and a round pregnant belly, and she offered to buy my groceries for me! Wasn't that the sweetest thing ever? I thanked her profusely but told her it wasn't necessary. It was only a few items, and we'd just go get my wallet and come back later. But still - faith in humanity restored! It also made me realize just how desperate and bedraggled I must look, but that's another story.
When we got home, I cleaned out my car while Katie looked around for trouble in the garage. Cleaning one's car while 7 months pregnant is easier said than done. I tried to crawl around and look under the seats, but I'm just too big! But it felt great to get all those layers of junk out of there. My goodness - the back seat looked like an episode of Hoarders. And, truth be told, it didn't take THAT long to clean it all out, so why do I let it get so awful before I finally do something about it?
Anyway, still no wallet, which means it's probably at the car dealership, where we were last night. We leased a new Nissan Leaf, for some very specific, strategic reasons. The primary reason is that the Leaf is one of only a handful of cars that qualifies for a carpool lane sticker in California. That means that Anthony can drive to work in the carpool lane, even though he's by himself. He commutes 25 miles each way, and the traffic is so bad that it sometimes takes him over an hour each way. So we'll see what a difference the sticker makes. I hope he gains at least 30 minutes roundtrip. Who couldn't use 30 extra minutes in their day? Anthony wants to spend every single second with Katie. :)
The second reason we got the Leaf is that it was insanely cheap! There's a $7500 federal tax credit that the dealership can collect for every Leaf they sell, so they are offering crazy-low monthly payments and very little down. We'll save money on gas, too, because there are free charging stations at Anthony's work. He'll only need to do half of his charging at home. The dealership says (so I'm taking it with a grain of salt) that it costs about $1.50 for a full charge. Even if he had to charge it fully at home every day, that's still better than the $8/day he was spending on gas. Depending on how good the battery's range is (dealership says 110 miles, real-life users say 75) he might be able to skip charging at home altogether! Woohoo!
And the third reason, of course, is that I'm sorta crunchy and I like the idea of supporting greener technologies. Of course, I realize that the batteries in these things are far from eco-friendly, and that electricity is not necessarily a green energy source. I think people forget about that. According to California's online Energy Almanac, only 14.6% of the electricity we produce in-state comes from renewable sources. But, I still think the electric car is a step in the right direction, and I hope that our purchase makes an impact (however small) on improving infrastructure and encouraging innovation.
So, hooray! New car! Now let's hope the dealership has seen my wallet...