I actually have to remind myself to check the gas gauge in my car once in awhile. I should put a post-it note on the steering wheel or something. I actually remembered to check it yesterday while on my way to the grocery store and it looks like I'm fine for awhile longer. Whew! I cannot remember the last time I checked.
I could say that it's such a long time between fill-ups because my car gets such amazing mileage, but that would be a big fat lie. I drive an SUV so no. I get terrible mileage. And yet the last time I filled my gas tank would have been perhaps early March? This is May. So I get perhaps two months to the gallon? Something like that?
It just illustrate how very rarely I drive anymore. And it's a good thing too! I read an article in the newspaper just a few days ago about how gas prices are going up again. Humph! This is not front page news. Of course gas prices are going up. They always do this time of year. Summer is the time of year most people are on the road. The law of supply and demand is a real thing. I have no reason to believe that the chunka change we will be dropping at the gas stations will be hovering around the four dollar a gallon range again any time soon, but still prices will be higher than they are right now.
And it doesn't really affect me much. As far as my car is concerned I mean. But when gas prices increase, so does the price of everything else. Almost everything we purchase comes to us from somewhere else. Those transportation costs are incorporated into the sale price. When transportation costs go up, so does the price tag. That is just how it works.
And it's always been that way. Way back in the middle ages, for example, there was travel between countries, even continents, and goods were exchanged. But when the costly silks and teas arrived on ships from China, only the very wealthy could afford them. The cost of transporting the goods was far too expensive for most people. It's kind of starting to feel like that to me with every grocery store visit.
The last time I bought a package of chicken breasts, I nearly had heart palpitations when I saw the price sticker. I believe I even said, out loud, "I guess chickens are now on the endangered species list because that is the only way you can justify this price" and I eyed the guys behind the glass working in the meat department with a bit of a snarl before putting the package back in the case. I feel like every single time I go to the store, I leave with fewer items in my cart while having paid more for them. I find that very odd.
My first experience with price increases was when I was a kid. I used to get a quarter allowance weekly. Ten cents of it went to a new comic book, five cents to a lime popsicle and then I had a dime left over for my little bank. All went well until one sunny day I strolled into the drug store (which is where a person back then would buy such things) and the comic price was suddenly twelve cents. "What the heck?" The comic wasn't any bigger. It honestly wasn't any better. It just cost more. Soon after, the price rose again to fifteen cents, then twenty and then a quarter. My entire allowance for the same comic. It didn't seem fair then and it still doesn't now.
I remember one particular instance with my middle son. He was still quite young and he was considering which candy bar to spend part of his allowance on. He was debating between two different choices and looking very dissatisfied with the product. He then checked the price twice because he was so surprised . "Hmm", he said out loud to nobody in particular, "Twice the price. Well at least it's half the size eh?" He is smart guy, a little sarcastic maybe, but who could blame him. He wasn't wrong.
Perhaps I'm merely feeling a little disgruntled today but it just makes me wonder where this will all go. I know that there will always be people who are struggling to get by. But that number is increasing. And more and more of them are people with jobs and families. People who made good choices, not foolish ones. People who thought that they had a secure financial future and are now finding out that, maybe they don't.
I've been around long enough to know that things change. Nothing stays the same. Prices go up and they come back down. A style is popular and then it's passé Eggs are good for you, then bad for you and now good for you again. (The egg itself has not changed by the way.) It's hard to keep up and it's even harder to prepare for. But there are a few things in life that you can always count upon. Water is wet. Fire is hot. And gas prices go up every year just before summer vacations start.
Gentlemen and ladies, start your engines.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.