The Frugal Traveler in Nicaragua


We have an EZ-Pass that allows us to pay tolls by slowing down to fifteen miles an hour, or on some highways, without slowing down at all.  Our EZ-Pass shaves some minutes off our trips and saves a bit of stop-and-start gas consumption, so I am glad we have one.

But like with so many other electronic items in our lives, we lose something when we lose a human interaction.

Which brings me to a sweet memory that came to me the other day as I got on the  Massachusetts Turnpike at the entrance I used to take to go to work.  I always went to the same toll taker.  He was very polite and we exchanged pleasantries every morning.  I liked him, and sometimes wondered about his life and if he enjoyed what he did. 

One day as I was leaving for work, I stopped to pick some daffodils from our garden.   When my toll-taker put out his hand, I dropped in my coins and the bouquet of daffodils.  He grinned from ear to ear, and I felt good all day.

That doesn’t happen with an EZ Pass.


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Mary Ellen Nessmith

Mrs. Kugel:

I love to read your blog every few days. I believe I came across your blog through the NYT The New Old Age... but I am not sure about that. Thank-you for such a wonderful point of view. I began reading your blog a few weeks and realized your connection with the Frugal Traveler. I enjoy reading both of you so much. I have been working in the "Aging Field" for about 8 years in Atlanta, GA. Most of my clients are families dealing with emergency situations while caring for parents and loved ones. Although, I enjoy my work very much- it is so nice to hear your stories and perspective on aging in a way I would chose for myself. I have shared your blog with many of my co-workers and family. Thanks and keep writing.

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