So I don’t know about you, folks, but here’s what everyone I know is talking about: low gas prices!
Yes indeed, like a benevolent Ghost of Christmas Past, below-dollar-a-litre prices have arrived in Central and Southern and Eastern Ontario, and people are some happy. (I hasten to add that I include myself in that number.)
I guess the somewhat discouraging thing about this otherwise delightful state of affairs is how incredibly dependent we are on gasoline to get through our daily lives. Way more so here in the new life that Raymond and I now lead in Queensborough than when we were living and working in the big city of Montreal.
I mean, people will grumble about high gas prices wherever they happen to be, and when they’re almost $1.50 a litre in Montreal all drivers, and certainly all cab drivers, are crabby. But in Montreal lots of people take public transit, and are thus far less affected by gas prices than are drivers. In addition, even if you choose to drive around the city, chances are good (unless you’re a cab driver) that you’re not travelling anywhere near the distances that the average rural Eastern Ontario driver covers in a day, or a week. When you live in Queensborough and have to travel at least eight or nine miles to do almost anything – buy milk or bread, go to school or work, get your hair “done” (now I’m seriously dating myself, though please don’t think that I get my hair “done” – that was my mum’s generation) or go to the dump – well, you burn a lot of gas. And the even sadder part is that, things being what they are, these days you really couldn’t live in Queensborough, eight or nine miles from all services, if you didn’t drive. Bring back our general stores, I say!
But anyway. Tonight I just wanted to share the news that the gas prices are making us all here in rural Ontario quite happy. “In Oshawa it’s 92!” shouted a woman to a total stranger at a gas bar in Port Hope where Raymond and I happened this morning, as the two of them both did a little happy dance about filling up at 97 cents a litre there. And I had to smile at the chap I spotted at the Ultramar in Madoc who, when the price had gone down to 99¢ a couple of days ago, was filling up not only his vehicle but, obviously, every gas can, old and new, that he’d been able to rustle up from around his property.
Well, the reality of rural-Ontario life in 2014 is, as I’ve said, that you have to drive. In an ideal world that won’t be the case; there will be not only transportation support and services available for non-car-owners, but also the ability to buy food and other necessities right where you live, just like we used to be able to do in the good old days of my childhood here.
But we’re not in that ideal world just yet, and so: Merry Low Gas Prices, everyone!