I knit. And I cook, write, take pictures. All for one low price.

Thursday, July 31, 2008


I saw it coming, but it feels like a slap in the face nonetheless.

The huge huge profits.

We were going to move out of Albany this year, partly to be in a different schooldistrict for our daughter. We were looking at houses for a few months before we realized: these gas prices are going to take the joy out of living in the country. My husband and I would have to commute about 15 miles each day each way. While that is not a big commute by a lot of standards, it was going to be too much for us.

Right now, we live close enough to our workplaces to bike and even walk if we have enough time in the morning. Our daughter will be able to walk to her new middle school. How much sense does it make to move out of the city, when we have everything right here?

Sure, I had dreams of a vegetable garden and a compost heap. More open sky. Country roads to ride our bikes on. But then I started thinking about what I'd lose: a great neighborhood where everyone watches out for each other. The guy with the snowblower keeps going right down the street and cleans up 3 driveways. If you're going on vacation and your fish needs feeding, the kid across the street will do it.

Just last Saturday, we had a graduation party for Tall Son for our friends and neighbors, and it felt like a mini block party. We all hung out, ate good food and talked for a few hours. Even neighbors that used to live here came.

So we are staying in the city for now. We do have a nice big garden, I just can't grow vegetable in it. (It's too shady. It floods. It is owned by squirrels.) We are waiting to see how Crafty Girl's schoolyear is going, and by February we will re-evaluate and see what we want to do.

Meanwhile, we have one car, which gets decent mileage. Dear Husband bikes to work during the summer session he is teaching, and when we have errands to run, we try to combine them into one day.

How are you trying to save on gas?


leah said...

gotta love city living!

magnusmog said...

Oh dear, fuel prices are biting in all areas. I'm glad you still have a lovely place to live and good neighbours to share it with.

We're getting new extra good double glazing in a few weeks which we're hoping will cut the heating costs.

All around us people are staying put and improving their houses instead of moving....

elise said...

Good for you! I understand the lure out here to the "burbs, but it does take a chunk out of the gas mileage..let me assure you. Also, you just did all that great renovation on your house, so you should at least reap the benefit of it some time.
We are trying to make fewer trips in the car..combining errands on one day, riding bikes when possible.

Kristine said...

I heard the numbers on VPR this morning, and nearly cried.

As far as saving on gas, I take the bus whenever I can, which isn't often an option, since my entire state is in the freaking country, and so public transportation is spotty. But at least two, sometimes three days a week, I can take the bus. If I'm just going to the library, I walk, with Lucy.

One day, I took the bus to the farmer's market and bought local cucumbers. I was happy with that day.

Knittingchick said...

I think you might be glamorizing the country road bike riding thing. The last time I tried to ride my bike here (lots of people think Glenmont is in the country) I was almost run off the road numerous times by the cell phone using drivers!

To save on gasoline, I call Ron at work and have him stop at the grocery store on his way home. He has to pass by at least two on the way, so it's not an extra trip. Otherwise, I just figure I have all that extra time when I would have been going out somewhere, to stay home and knit!


Leslie said...

I drive 74 miles round trip 5-days a week. Groceries are done after work at a store much less expensive than the one in-town. DH is retired and may take the car out one day a week to a club or the doctor - or not. Some weeks it stays in the garage and collects dust. I still end up going out on local trips Saturday and Sunday - milk, pharmacy, library or just to visit friends or lunch.

Country living is NOT all it's cracked up to be. If your own veggies are that important to you, can you thin/cut down some trees? Use raised beds or movable containers?