Saturday, October 25, 2008

Approaching Phoenix

Back in 2003, before the days of $2 gas, we took a drive to Phoenix. As we inched our way westward, gas prices inched their way upward, with the price at each gas station just a bit higher than the one before.

By the time we were leaving Tucson, we were in the danger zone on our gas gauge, but we soldiered on, insanely, inanely, impossibly fantasizing about cheaper gas to come. Hoping was an exercise in futility, and when we arrived in Phoenix we were running on fumes, but we made it safely to our hotel, where we were met by my nephew Ry.

That morning at a pit stop, we had discovered that one of D's shoes had fallen out of the van at an earlier stop, so we were obliged to make a late night run to MoreMart for a replacement pair. Ry offered to accompany us. We told him we desperately needed gas before we could go anywhere, and he directed us to the gas station across the street.

"We don't want that gas," we told him.

"Why not?"

"Well, DUH! It's $1.95 a gallon!" we pointed out.

Ry shook his head and laughed, shrugging his shoulders, and we went reluctantly across the street to buy $1.95 gas. We had not at any time on our trip, or ever before for that matter, paid that much for gas. But Ry was right, and for the duration of our stay, sure enough, we paid $1.95 (or more) for every gallon of gas we bought.

Over the years since that trip, gas prices have reached unreachable heights, and we have often reminisced and laughed about, and longed for, that $1.95 gas in Phoenix.

After a high of almost $3 a gallon for the last several months, gas prices, for whatever reason, have actually been in decline the last couple of weeks and this morning on my way through Lampasas I was giddy with excitement to see that the gas at MoreMart was $2.11! It killed me not to stop, but I was on a tight deadline, so I zoomed on by only to discover $2.04 gas a few miles down the road in Marble Falls!

The crowd at the gas station reminded me of the lines of 1974 when the first gas "crisis" came along, but fortunately, the line for gas on the passenger side of the car was only two deep, so my wait was short. I happily filled up my tank and went on my way.

I spent the afternoon enjoying BB2's birthday party, and when I reached Lampasas on my way back, the $2.11 gas had become $2.07 gas! So I filled up again.

It's a bit scary to think how easily we can be conditioned to think of something outrageous as "normal." All "they" have to do to make us happy to pay for overpriced $2+ gas is to hike it up to $3 for awhile, and then when it starts to come back down, we think we are getting a good deal.

Who knows how long it will last, but that's where we are now, and no doubt about it, $2.04 gas is a relief. The price is inching down by the day, slowly approaching Phoenix, only this time that $1.95 gas looks really good.

1 comment:

50s Housewife said...

Yes, $1.95 gas DOES sound really good! :) It's falling almost every day here lately and it is amazing how much difference it makes in my weekly gas budget.