Commute conundrum

While sitting in traffic yesterday for a combined two-and-a-half hours on my way to and from work thanks to traffic accidents, I contemplated the pros and cons of my commute. Here are the top items I could come up with:

Pro: I have an awesome 10-year-old house on a quiet court with an open field behind our yard.
Con: The drive between our house in St. Charles and the office in Creve Coeur is 40 minutes each way and gas costs almost $4 per gallon.

To add insult to injury, I drove past my former residence in Maryland Heights on the way to getting my hair cut after work on Tuesday. How long did it take me to get there? Twelve minutes (yes, 12!!!). I can’t imagine what it would be like to leave for work at 7:45 a.m. and get home around 5:15 p.m. Imagine what I could do with that extra hour each day. I’d probably feel more energized as well.

I may have to start looking at house listings and just not tell Sarah about it. You know, find the perfect house and then spring it on her. I don’t know what else to do. I simply will not live in the St. Louis city limits, and I’m stuck on the west St. Louis County area. However, those areas are pricey and I’m still in the early stages of my career.

Any thoughts or suggestions? What’s your commute like?

74 thoughts on “Commute conundrum

  1. Now is probably the best time to buy closer to the city while prices are down … to get the best deal, you might need to put some elbow grease into it. There are some older, yet well-built, homes in Creve Coeur that would probably be more reasonable than you think, but would need some fixing up.

  2. Um..I have the perfect house for you: your old one. Seriously, Jason and I are thinking about upgrading in the next year or so and the commute to UMSL is high on my list. Right now it takes about 15 minutes which I love. When we move it’ll be in Creve Coeur, Maryland Heights area, just because the school district is great.

  3. My suggestion is move back to Florissant and go back to work at UMSL…then you’ll only have a 15 minute commute!!!!!

  4. The first place we looked before deciding on St. Charles was the Creve Coeur area. The houses just needed a TON of work. We ended up paying significantly less and getting a sparkling new (OK, 10 years is not THAT new) house with a lot of amenities and few problems. Maybe we can just have our house dug out of the ground and air-lifted to the 63141 ZIP code. That (or a helicopter and flying lessons) would be the perfect solution!

  5. I don’t know how you do it everyday!! I was upset when my commute went from 8 minutes to 12 minutes. I truly believe in settling for a smaller, more expensive house in an area you want to be in. On the other hand — your house is fantastic!! Love you wither way!

  6. wait just a darn minute. Does Sarah not read your blog???OK, having done what you’re doing with the commute for eight years or so, I’m telling you: MOVE. Don’t waste your life with windshield time. Or, negotiate to work from home more often. But get outta the commute. And move before Oliver starts school.

  7. No brilliant suggestions here but I think it’s funny that you write as if Sarah will never read this blog. Seriouly? If Ted had a blog, I’d be reading it ALL.THE.TIME.Oh, and I won’t take your “simply won’t live in St. Louis City” comment to personally. We love our neighborhood but it would be a terrible commute for you to TSP.

  8. I know it’s probably too “city” for you guys, but Richmond Heights has a lot of really charming homes and they’re in the Clayton School District.

  9. My commute’s only about 20 min. from Westport to North County … NorCo’s not looking so bad, eh? Come back to your roots! :)I want to scream when I drive from work to Dave’s (Chesterfield). I get so mad thinking of all the gas wasted while idling on 270.

  10. Maybe you could telecommute a couple of days a week? That would save you some gas and driving time.

  11. Look at it this way…when you’re in your car, stuck in traffic, tired of listening to the same crap, pissed off and smelling the cigarette from someone smoking in front of you, gagging on the toxins of waste products given off by the burning of fossil fuels, sweaty from wearing a damn shirt and tie all day…whatever positive spin I was thinking of writing has disappeared. A 35 minute drive SUCKS…deal with it!!

  12. I had a commute from St. Louis City to St. Charles for 7 years. Yikes. It was a reverse commute, yes, but I do feel your pain. What kept me sane? Audiobooks. Or download episodes of “This American Life” on your ipod, if you have one. The library district in St. Chuck is great for books/cds on tape, and you’ll get to listen to fun stuff you may not otherwise have time to read.

  13. That’s a good idea. Sarah actually listens to audiobooks all the time (her commute is about as long as mine). Her latest thing is to download them onto her mp3 player. Then she can listen to them in the car or while around the house. Similar to the “non-music makes the drive more tolerable” mold, I have transitioned to 99 percent talk radio in my car. The old man in me shines through during my long commute. I’m sure Oliver’s going to love it some day.

  14. our office is moving from hanley industrial court (6 miles from home) to olive and spoede (a considerably different distance – and once the othe end of fourty closes, i’ll have to be super creative in getting there from st. louis hills…

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