It’s a Gas


Gas, Edward Hopper, 1940

The end of the road begins here, disappearing into an already darkened woods. It is not a very promising locale for a gas station. The last car seems to have already passed by long ago. The lone attendant is shutting down his pumps for the night, soon he will turn off the lights, lock up and go home. Like a last outpost, the station sits at the edge of civilization, surrounded by wilderness, at the moment of twilight between day and night. All that is missing is a hand painted warning sign, No Gas – Next 50 Miles. The brand new then Tokheim 39 pumps stand as sentinels, with their illuminated lamps held high, ever watchful for any last minute traveler. They stand silently ready to dispense the magic elixir that will then speed these lonely individuals to their eventual destinations.

I mailed one letter today and tomorrow will mail another. Each one dispensing another car from my fleet. In little over a year, we will have gone from owning four vehicles to soon only one. Dan’s car died in LA. Living now in Brooklyn, he is doing without. With the letter I mailed today, Dave will take ownership of his car in Boston, clearing it from my books. Tomorrow, I’ll mail the title to Anne’s ancient automobile off to NPR and I expect that within a couple of weeks and hopefully, before MSD comes calling, we’ll be a one car family again, with only the Prius owned. It has been a while since we were a one car family, a long while, but think about how much gas we will be saving. Our fleet average will jump to 50 MPG. Jockeying schedules are already stressing this plan though. If it eventually breaks down that will simply present us with a buying opportunity. I would gladly trade a new car for one that is 22-years-old.

I succumbed to reality and broke out warmer wear for bicycling in the park. There is a chill in the air now. Shadows, even at noon are longer, as with each passing day the light turns further away from us. While the crickets still chirp at length, soon only the ants will quietly toil. GoT to admit it, winter is coming. 😉

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