I have gas! And no, I haven’t been eating home made chili, I meant in my car. What a silly thing to be so excited about, but it’s been about a year since I filled my tank completely full with my own money. Friday, I was finally able to pull into the gas station and just fill her up! It’s been stressful living so tight for so long, and between the Beast (my well-worn yukon) and the big ugly van, I drive some gas guzzlers. I am the queen of calculating exactly how many miles I can get on empty and I am not above using pennies for gas (although I’m sure the gas station wishes I was)! Pull up to the pump and put $5 in one of those things, and the attendant always smirks, as if they know, I’m not getting very far on that! I can’t even count the number of times I emptied our jar of quarters (the one we’re supposed to be filling up for a vacation) in order to avoid pushing one of my dinosaurs down the highway. But this morning, I cranked her up, and there it was, still 3/4 of a tank full. Oh happy days!
One thing this recession/depression/just crappy economy has done is made me consciously conservative with every dollar, but I can’t lie, I dream of days where frivolous wasting is affordable. Not that I would do it everyday, but who doesn’t dream of loading their kids in the car, and saying “yep, we can get pizza, what else do you want?”
I remember being a child and seeing my great-grandmother rinse off tin foil to reuse it. I would laugh at this ridiculous practice, and my mother would remind me that Mama Jimmy had survived the depression. She said even the Texas oil bust couldn’t compare to the poverty they had lived through, and I couldn’t even imagine a world like that. Well, my dear Mama Jimmy, I have rewashed the red solo cups, more than once, and I have rationed out the breakfast cereal!
Yep, it’s been bad, but really, I can’t complain. So we didn’t have T-bones on the grill, but we never went hungry. We had to go generic on shampoo and laundry detergent, but we’re nice and clean. We didn’t get a brand new car, but we have something comfortable to drive, and now we even have gas to fill her up with!
So how did our first weekend with gasoline go? Something like this: Friday night: up til midnight getting ready for Blondie’s big audition. Saturday: 5am – 5pm with Blondie for the big audition… we had to drive to Austin, and yep, we even filled up her car too! Now as much as I love being the one to go with Blondie to her auditions/gigs/studio visits, I would love to be a fly on the wall on just one of these days when Daddy is left in charge of the zoo crew! I dream of seeing him in action. I wanna know how he handles the day without being able to yell “Honey, where do we keep the milk?” Sunday: running on a mixture of adrenaline and exhaustion, I took 7 kids back to Austin and we went shopping! Now you know you’re quite the spectacle when you cause the people around you to start Tweeting what they see…. We spent the entire day going from store to store, waving at people on the freeway between stops, and purchasing all of the items we’ve been needing but putting off. Best buy of the day? New car seats! New car seat smell is much better than new car smell, this I promise! Monday: Oh no, NOT a 3-day weekend? By Monday, I was out of steam, but at least I wasn’t out of gas…
Did I mention that somewhere in here my son’s bicycle was stolen? Yep, right out of our yard, which is not a common thing to happen around here. I assumed neighborhood kids were playing with it, so I spent some time Sunday driving around looking for it. Monday I finally called the sheriff and reported it missing. When the sheriff left, he said “if you see it somewhere, give me a call.” As if I believed that would ever happen, then, in a strange turn of events, my older son swears he found it- at Wal-mart! Well, of course it would be at Wal-mart, we bought it there, but my son swears that it’s his little brother’s exact bike, so I went to look, and sure enough, it looks like it has been returned! Mud on the tires, rust on the chain, a scratch on the side, and a sticker on the front that would typically be put on a returned item. The sheriff is checking the video surveillance and I can’t wait to see how this plays out. One funny thing from all of this? The sheriff asked me how my son would know that is his bike. My answer “the same way I can tell my Yukon from all the other red Yukon’s in this town!” Mine’s the one full of car seats, the one that after a year of running on empty is finally full of gas!
Where to next Blondie??