Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Gas prices causes us to stay home

I’m not sure how most people are handling the expenses in today’s living, but I think I’ve changed some habits just a bit. My wife and I, for example, are not taking an annual vacation trip to Pennsylvania because of the price of gas, and other elements of the trip, like food. We have enjoyed long summer vacations, usually a trip to Lancaster, PA, where there are three different theaters we enjoy, and another to some other part of the country.

Occasionally we go to Florida. I have a need to visit the Pinellas County area once in a while to visit my parents who are buried there. Besides, I like Florida. It has changed just a wee bit since I lived there in the 1950s; but while I was there, I had the chance to attend the University of Florida where I became a Gator. I enjoy many of the places in the state. I love visiting Cape Canaveral, Orlando, The Keys, and, of course, the West Coast, primarily the St. Petersburg area.

You may have noticed that information all included a lot of “I.” Simply and kindly, my wife hates the state. She knows, however, I need to go there occasionally and is very sympathetic to my needs.

We have travelled in every state except Hawaii, and it looks like our chances of being able to say, “We’ve been in every state.” is slipping away. We’ve had two trips that tie for “favorite.” One was a National Parks tour in the Western states, and the other was a cruise/land tour of Alaska.

We have none of those kind of trips planned for this year; and so for the first time in many years, we’re staying home. We will have one difference this year: our son and his wife and daughter will be visiting us here. Our decision to stay home is based solely on the increased costs. I suspect the lesson we’ll learn is that one must recreate to maintain happiness and some sanity.

But motor trips around the country aren’t the only way we’ve changed our habits. Our cars remain garaged as much as possible. About all MGD uses hers for is to go to her part time job three days a week. Mine stays home except for some occasional shopping. Even then, though, we have a list, including our stops, and rarely vary from it. There is an exception to that…we have a monthly trip to Harmon’s for hamburgers. And I go monthly to a meeting with a bunch of fellow retired folk.

Six months ago I had my oil changed in my car. The company put a little sticker thing on my windshield that told me when to return along with the mileage. I have driven 3100 of the 5000 miles so far. As you can see, I’m not kidding about having changed my driving habits. I am getting just a little tired of being more or less housebound.

Not much here today, but I avoided discussing the horrendous weather expected tonight and tomorrow.


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