Every Drop Spilled

Our neighbors, Fred and Rae, went to Eureka Springs on Friday to celebrate their anniversary. They left me in charge of taking their dogs out a couple of times during the day. We love their rescues, Mikato and Gus, and of course, I have no problem spending time with a couple of extra dogs.

They also left me their 4-wheeler (ATV), as it looked like rain and I really didn’t have time on Friday to walk the mile down to their house and back. It would also save me from getting out the Baby Blazer and putting it back in the garage soaking wet and dropping mud all over Dale’s clean garage floor.

I was a little nervous about taking out the 4-wheeler.  Our plan had been to buy one when we moved here, mainly so I could take it up to the Big Box to get the mail, but I had only drove an ATV twice in my life. Both were test drives and Dale was with me.

Shortly after I finished my lunch at home (I told Fred and Rae they should have their meal at DeVito’s, a great Italian place in Eureka Springs), I gathered my courage and headed for the garage.

It took me only about 2 minutes to get used to turning and by the time I hit the road, I was having a pretty good time.

When I reached Fred and Rae’s, I let the boys out and told them, “Let’s go for a run!” and they were all over that. I took them another ½ mile down the road toward the point. I think I had more fun than they did, but we were all three having a pretty good time.

Rae had told me I could take the 4-wheeler back up the 2 miles to the blacktop to the Big Box and gather our mail. Dale usually just brings it in when he gets home from work.

I didn’t think I would have my riding legs that quick, but after I made sure the boys had a treat and fresh water, I took the ATV all the way up the mountain. The views were awesome and the feeling is that of those I’ve heard describe riding a motorcycle, exhilarating.

I know it isn’t very green and I really did fell guilty for having such a good time on the 4-wheeler. Especially with news of the terrible damage from the Gulf Coast oil spill.

While riding the 4-wheeler down to Fred and Rae’s house probably used less gasoline than the Baby Blazer would have, I really didn’t need to waste the gas riding it up to the Big Box.

Our dependence on oil and reckless use of it has been causing the loss of human and animal life and destroying our planet for too long.

The time when we watch disasters such as that and are allowed to believe it has nothing to do with us personally, are over.

Do you think about using gasoline more these days? How has it affected your daily life?

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10 Responses

  1. MarthaandMe says:

    I have been thinking about. Sometimes I contemplate walking to the post office instead of driving, but it is hard to find the time in a busy work day.

  2. Totally. I try to use less energy of all kinds. I love that I only fill up my newer, fuel efficient car so much less (like once a month). I’m completely obsessed with my gas mileage computer on board. I’m constantly watching it as I drive and trying to adjust my driving style to get better mileage.

  3. Kathleen Winn says:

    My suggestion is that we go back to horses! They are beautiful and it’s much more fun to ride one than drive a car. Everyone would have free fertilizer for their gardens and riding is good exercise too!

    Seriously though, I think all of us could probably do a lot more walking and less driving, if we just thought before mindlessly hopping in the car to go to the drugstore or post office (with the exception of those who live miles from either of course.)

    Europeans have been dealing with high gas prices for a long time, and are much farther ahead of us in terms of public transportation and bicycling or walking, in lieu of driving. My daughter lived in England two different times, never had a car either time and got around just fine. In fact, when she came home, she missed being able to rent a bicycle for the day or hop on a train to go across town. Hopefully, Americans will continue to work towards the same kind of conservation minded approach to our own transportation.

    • I agree with you on Europe, Kathleen. When we visited Germany 3 years ago we realized just out of shape we were because we either had to walk or bike most places. Our German daughter gave up her car a few years ago and like your daughter, gets around Munich without any problems. The best we can do here in the country (other than going back to horses!) is combine our trips and try to be mindful of how we use “recreational” gasoline.

  4. Cindyt says:

    I do think about using less gas these days and making one trip for multiple small errands. Back in the day when I commuted to work, I easily put on 15-20000 miles per year on my cars! Now I am so happy to get by on filling my car up once per month or so. Many days go by and the car doesn’t leave the drive. I do love hitting the road for an occassional trip to see the kids or going on a Texas Wine Tour…and 2 friends and I car pool for that 🙂 Working from home has really cut down on my dependence on oil. I am Loving it.

    • kerri says:

      Cindy, Weeks go by when I don’t see the Baby Blazer. I had a similar situation to yours when I commuted. We leased vehicles and always had to get the extra mileage package as I put so much mileage on them just getting to and from work. It is great working from home. We also combine trips to town. On Saturday, we were gone 7 hours getting everything done in one trip, which is what we usually try to do.

  5. Alexandra says:

    I do. I had to drive two hours to a conference this weekend, and I certainly did think about all the people out in their cars every day. I think it is good that we are becoming more “aware” but there is still a long way to go. The only alternative would be taking a bus, and that involves a four-hour trip each way. I used to take the bus when I was younger. Now I get tired more easily and knew I had to save my strength for the conference. Alternatives work better for young people ….

    • kerri says:

      Alexandra, I think awareness is the first step, but I’m with you, we’ve been in this “awareness” mode for far too long. The Exxon Valdez did not teach us, 9-11 didn’t stick with us, the nearly $4 a gallon prices of 2008 hasn’t either. I wonder if we will ever learn?