Friday, April 21, 2006

The New Balance Express

Gas prices are out of control. Around here, they range from $2.74/gal to 2.93/gal. With two cars, one of which is driven almost 150 miles daily, my gas budget has been totally blown. According to AAA, the end may be in $3.00/gal by mid-summer. I know some people on the coasts are already paying three bucks for gas. You have my deepest sympathies. In this one-income household, though, some serious belt-tightening, gas consumption behaviors are in order.

Yesterday, Lizzie had piano lesson two towns over (about ten miles away). Normally, I pick her up from school, drop her at lesson and Madhubby picks her up on his way home since her lesson is an hour and a half. Actually, Madhubby has to go past the exit for our house and then double back once Lizzie's all loaded up. Yesterday, we tried a new method in the interest of saving gas: Madhubby came home from work early and we went in one car to pick up Lizzie from school. We then dropped her at lesson and parked the car until she was done. It was actually quite nice. We walked about eight blocks to the lovely outdoor mall and let Olie play in the kids area. We grabbed something to drink and got back in time for the end of Lizzie's lesson. We used no gas, got some awesome exercise and had fun. Imagine!

I plan to walk or bike as much as we can this summer to our destinations. The kids will do their usual activities, swimming and tennis, but they will be doing them much closer to home. The pool will feel that much more refreshing after they've hoofed it there in 90 degree weather. And, who knows, I may even be able to drop the 40 extra pregnancy pounds that I've been carrying around for the past two years.

The next major change that I am seriously considering is changing the girls' school. Right now, they attend school in the same town where piano lessons are held -- about ten miles away. However, there is a neighborhood school half a block from my house. I feel like an idiot for not enrolling them both there. We have schools of choice around here and we chose to put them in the "best" school we could. I never considered the impact on my budget. I'd hate for them to leave their schools and the friends that they've made, but I can't justify driving forty miles every day because school A has marginally better test scores than school B.

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