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Saturday, September 18, 2010

My Gasoline Diet Was Shot Today

My silly budget keeps me off the roads

I budget $20 each week for gasoline. As the prices fall, I can either drive a day longer or just put in another $20 of gasoline and the tank is a little more full. Yes, I know it is silly, but it works for me. As prices rise, I try harder not to  drive and to conserve my gasoline resources in the tank.

Fair Parade

Today is the Fair Parade. The County Fair starts this next week, and all the bands in the county, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4-H, dance studios, hopeful for the Fair Queen, horses, carts, floats, little kids and puppy dogs, three wheelers, and who knows what are lined up on the Saturday before the Fair. The roads to cross the highway are blocked by police vehicles.

Town layout

This town has two highways running right through it, dividing the town into quadrants. I live on the east side. On Saturday, I was on the west side.

Yard Sale

I knew the parade was lining up and deliberately stayed on the west side of the highway, the wrong side. All the time, I was telling myself to hurry and get home. I shop on the other side of the highway, get chicken produce, and today, I just seemed not to be making progress in getting back across the highway to go home. I live on the other side of the highway that is the parade route. Since I was muddling around in a residential section trying to figure out how to get around floats and bands of children and was going to have to travel fifteen miles to get around the parade and to my home, I decided to stop at a yard sale. Big mistake.


Trapped!

While I was shopping, the parade floats, bands, and all sorts of entries started lining up and completely blocking any traffic. Yes, I was hemmed against the curb. As I wailed in frustration on my way to the car, "Oh, no. I am trapped!" My dentist heard me. He was managing part of the lineup or something. Anyway, he choreographed the exit I made, going around telling who to pull forward, who should back up, who should move to the other side of the road, and how far for me to back before pulling forward.

If not for him, I would have spent two hours at a yard sale, trapped in my car with no way out. I love a parade, but where I was trapped, no music, marching or waves would be on the agenda. My car was too far from the parade route to hear music or to see anything.

Uphill both ways

Even if I could have managed to walk the distance to the route, uphill and downhill would NOT have suited my knee. So, as it turned out, I did escape, but damage was done to my budget. No, I bought nothing at the yard sale. But, my car consumed gasoline for fifteen miles instead of the ten blocks I would have driven to reach home.

Fill the tank

Luckily, I had filled the car the day before with its $20 allowance (about 3/4 tank) and so will just be a little more cautious the rest of the week. I know the rule is fill the tank to the top when it reaches 1/4 or 1/2 tank. But, this works for me. If I were going to be traveling any distance from this small town, I would fill the tank.

Silly Diet

This is a silly diet, I know. Some people just plan for two days of driving and make a list of chores. However, I just plan two days, maybe three that will be spent at home. AND, my gasoline allowance for a normal week is $20..It works for me. Happily, sometimes I can drive for ten days on the week's allowance.

How do you manage your gasoline use?

Do you have a way you limit your driving and gasoline consumption with some silly, self-imposed rule? We all know the rules that are standard--batching chores, carpooling, etc. Do you do any of these or something creative or bizarre? Just give me a rule you impose on yourself. I promise not to tell anyone. Honest.

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