Thursday, June 5, 2008
Pam’s Expedition had a half a tank of gas in it Sunday afternoon. We’d been on the road for another baseball tournament.
We stopped and filled it up for $41.
It doesn’t necessarily help your pocketbook, but it helps your morale if you do that versus waiting until the tank is empty. Then it’s $80 or $90.
Plus, I’ve found I can get more mileage out of the top half rather than the bottom half.
Once the hand on the gasoline meter gets below halfway, it seems to drop much faster.
So, it’s my goal to start filling back up at a half rather than empty.
These gas prices are ridiculous, discouraging and very upsetting.
My family is definitely watching its driving budget. We’re a three-vehicle family, and thank goodness Emma will be away at camps and other activities for several weeks of the summer. That means her Blazer will stay parked.
We’re taking fewer trips – even the shorter ones. And we’re all riding together more often.
Sunday night I might have come up with the perfect way to spend my economic stimulus check from the Internal Revenue Service.
Earlier that day I was reading an area daily newspaper and saw the headline – “Drivers are ditching their gas guzzlers for fuel-friendly bikes.”
It focused on how area motorcycle shops are booming with buyers.
“A motorcycle,” I told Pam and the children. “That’s what I can buy with the stimulus check.”
Surprisingly, no one shouted, telling me I was crazy.
And normally Pam frowns when I talk about getting a motorcycle and letting her ride on the back.
I still don’t think she’d ride on the back. She’d stick with the Expedition.
But the motorcycle would get me back and forth to work, to church, to ball games and maybe even on an occasional out-of-town journey. Most of our gas is burned up stopping and starting around town anyway.
I grew up riding motorcycles. I started with a Honda 70. It was great.
Then I graduated up to a 125, I believe, and then a 250. I think one of those was a Yamaha.
Some of my friends in the community had motorcycles, too. We had a blast – from the trails, to the dirt roads to the highways.
We went on camping trips, taking the motorcycles deep into the woods where no other vehicles could go.
If not for my motorcycle, I might have never developed a love for baseball.
My dad died when I was 10.
When I begged to start playing summer ball, my mom was working a full day and more. My sisters were busy, too, but they often helped.
However, some days I simply did not have a way to practice or the games.
We lived 12 miles from town, probably 14 or 15 miles from the Hamilton, Ala., ball parks.
Illegally I guess, I hopped on my motorcycle and took the back roads to the ball field. Because I traveled off the main highway, my ride was even farther.
I remember doing it in 90-plus degree weather and in some steady rainfall. Sometimes on the return trip it started getting dark.
Once I got old enough to drive a car, my mom bought me one. We sold the last of the motorcycles.
But those motorcycles hold wonderful memories – some of the best of my life.
The dream of buying another at age 46 will likely remain a dream. But don’t be surprised if you see me around town driving a two-wheel vehicle rather than a four-wheel one.
I saw a few adults on bicycles last week in Holly Springs. I already have one of those down in the shed at home, collecting cobwebs.
Maybe I need to take that route. It would help with two problems – crazy gas prices and my weight.
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