Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Costs of living

I learned to drive when I was eleven; operated a motor vehicle on public roadways, without a license, when I was twelve.

I paid for my first automobile, a 1947 Oldsmobile manufactured in Michigan the same day I was born in Ohio, with money I earned doing odd jobs. I sold that car, and two others, before I secured a driver’s license in 1963, and in the forty-five years since, I have changed vehicles, on average, every three years.

I am as much a gad-about with automobiles as I am with jobs and places; being able to move about as I please has been an important part of my life for almost half a century.

You need to know all of this to understand the enormity of the adventure I have begun. I am no longer driving on jaunts around Seattle; last Friday, I bought a King County Metro Transit pass. I have stopped being the driver; I am now one of the driven.

It’s not that I no longer can drive; it’s still fun and I’m still good at it. But with gasoline prices at four dollars a gallon, and still climbing, riding the bus is the economic thing to do; if my calculations are correct, we’ll save fifty to one hundred dollars a month. Over a couple of years, that will pay for a cruise up the coast to Alaska.

I’m working on Rachael, too; trying to convince her that she should hop on the bus, as well. She shows signs of relenting. She likes the idea of a cruise; it will stretch the life expectancy of our six-year-old X-Terra, too.

So, wish us luck, and look for tales of on-going adventures in transit land.