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Tuesday, May 27, 2008


We’ve just had our first holiday weekend since the price of gas has reached $4 a gallon. My unscientific study of what Washingtonians did is that most stuck near home. Normally the Long Beach Peninsula feels crowded at holidays, but this weekend while there were tourists there they did not seem to be in the numbers of other years. Perhaps the best indication came on the way home Monday. When we stopped in Montesano at the Chevron station there, I was the only one pumping gas (and at $4.09 very little),and there was no wait at the bathroom where usually there would be a line. Our son and daughter-in-law had to travel via Olympia to pick up a car and planned to complete the trip through Shelton since the end of a holiday weekend can be gridlock on I-5. Not so on Monday. They said there were a few slow downs, but not the accordion stop-and-go that is the norm on summer and holiday weekends.

So what are you doing to curb your car’s thirst and what are your plans for the summer? Day trips to parks with a picnic packed from home may be the order of the summer. Are you seeing the rise in prices at the store that I’m seeing? Are you cutting anything from your shopping list or planting a garden to offset the bite food is taking from the budget? Having raised four children largely alone I think I’m good at making a penny scream, but the current state of the economy seems to indicate the need for more creativity than ever. We are cutting out dining out and out of the house entertainment. If it’s not on sale at the grocery store it doesn’t go in the cart.

6 comments:

JosephMcG said...

Most thoughtful... I travel a lot by plane and am accepting that I shall have to put out money for extra baggage... I don't do freeway and have discovered that most taxi cab businesses have gone out of the shuttling to Sea-Tac work, and those who are making that route are charging a pretty penny... and I am wondering how many couples, across the country, are going to be able to affor the weekend cost for the retreats I work on... the possibility of enrichening their relationship is incalcupable... but when it comes between getting away to share time with each other and putting food on the table...
tough times indeed

Kim Thompson said...

For summer, we are doing the good old "staycation." We are lucky though to live in the area that we do, because when the weather is just lovely, there are many, many things to do and explore (especially with young kids) that require little gas. One thing we are going to work on this summer is catching our own fish and doing some crabbing. That will definitely save LOTS of money (fish is expensive) and it's fun, too.

Stephanie Frieze said...

I've heard that railroads still move freight more cheaply than air or trucks so I'm wondering if more people will begin to use the railways for travel in the future. It might be an opportunity for them to take a bite out of the airlines revenues.

Kim, you are right that we are lucky to live in the Puget Sound Area where so many types of diversions are available.

With the bridge toll going up another dollar and gas headed to $5 before the end of summer, jigsaw puzzles in front of a fan may be a viable summer amusement.

Lorraine Hart said...

Joseph...check out the Kitsap Airporter shuttle. It stops in Purdy, then Gig Harbor, and then the Denny's at 6th. and Pearl. It's a great deal, compared to taxis and limos. I've always found the drivers to be wonderful and friendly.

Well Stephanie...I'm sooooo glad I live in a place that gives me such peace...and I've got sooooo many miles tucked under my belt that I'm happy to stay home and save the gas. That having been said....hoo-boy.

We're really struggling to make ends meet and put gas in our cars...while oil companies keep reporting profits that would make a small country blush. Has the outrage been chemically numbed from us? Have the kahoneys to affect change been taken?

I've got nothing against people making money...but the core idea of democracy, as it was properly practised, is that no one gets ahead by leaving anyone behind. That's supposed to be the inner compass to sail this ship...by conscience, not orders.

Stephanie Frieze said...

Last night I saw a segment on the car companies' efforts to make alternative fuel sources viable for people that give me hope that the oil companies' hold on Detroit will be loosened. If the environment won't make people make every trip count, the price of gas certainly will. I heard that it will be $5 by the end of summer.

M. Sugimura said...

Stephanie -

I've been meaning to comment on the photograph you ran with the blog - it's hysterically and unfortunately true at the same time. We've been lining up all our errands, visits, and destinations for some time which combined with energy-saving cars (Prius) helps a great deal.

I've looked at seeds - but would have to clear what's left of my backyard of the weeds just to see if there's any soil.. the perils of blogging, etc.

As for vacations regional and local area mini-breaks and one day trips look like this seasons dream trip, as picnics dinners (mentioned earlier) and lower-cost drive-through fare.

Meanwhile my hubby gets continual congratulations from his faithful spouse on having the good sense to put last year's anniversary trip to Europe on the calendar when he did.

I make it a point to tell him every so often what a stroke of genius it was. As I don't use that word very often in the 3 decades we've been hitched, he gets a kick out of that, and the free compliments don't cost me a thing! Besides, it really was a stroke of genius.