Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Hump Day ramble

Instead of three bus-driving assignments yesterday I had four. My wife's car again stayed in the shop overnight, adding a late-afternoon trip to pick her up at work. As a result, we also made a return run to drop her off early this morning.

Tuesday involved lots of sitting and waiting, of course, as well as logging even more miles than we had the day before. None of us loves this unpredictable road show of ours, but it is what it is -- two days, 18 gallons of gas, fifty bucks.

If there's a bright spot, it's that my TrailBlazer got almost 19mpg on that tank, the best everyday mileage I've seen since adopting this used SUV last October. With gas prices high and climbing, hey, I'll take my good news wherever I find it.

* * *
The wild raspberry canes in our idle garden are loaded with ripening fruit. Unable to wait for them to reach maturity, I've sampled a few.

Tart and earthy treats. Great stuff.

By this weekend I hope to get into my rhythmic
battle with the birds and reap some riper, sweeter rewards.

* * *
Speaking of the garden, last year's perennials are presenting us with a modest bounty.

Early-season oregano, thyme and chives complement the patches of wild garlic that dot our property. A couple of mint vines threaten to become the Kudzu of Ohio.

I really miss our basils, fragrant and fresh from the garden, but since it's an annual it wouldn't be ready yet anyway.

* * *
Trolling in Lancaster the other evening, we were surprised to see a full-service gas station -- and I mean nothing but.

Seriously. No self-serve pumps.

The sight prompted several minutes of tag-team reminiscing by my wife and me. We recalled a time when pulling up to the pump resembled a NASCAR pit stop -- two or three uniformed attendants swarming the car to wash the windows, check under the hood and fill the tank. In those days, there wasn't much in the way of mechanical work that couldn't be handled by the filling station on the corner, from changing tires to major engine repair.

Our trip down memory lane -- ding-ding! -- had us smiling. The spawns either didn't believe us or didn't much care.

The latter is more likely.