• Vernalee

RUNNING ON EMPTY

By Vernalee

For the first time in over fifty years, I ran out of gas! Yes, you read it correctly! When it occurred, embarrassed was not even the word! I was beyond embarrassed!

“How did it happen?” you might ask. Simply and honestly, I deviated from my habitual routine. When traveling from Columbus to Cleveland, without fail, I always stop at the same gas station for fuel replenishment on Interstate 71. I have done so for years!

On this particular trip, as I was driving a rental car and was totally engaged in a “juicy” conversation on my cell phone, I did notice the flashing fuel warning light, but because the conversation was so engaging, I passed my usual stop and decided to go to the next exit for fuel. Unfortunately, not being completely familiar with the rental car, my continued travel was a huge mistake! When the car suddenly started hesitating, I knew that I was in trouble! Still on the phone, I immediately stopped talking as I coasted the car to the emergency lane.

“Unbelievable,” was my initial thought!

Although I can reasonably explain just about anything by providing logical explanations and excuses … this would be a stretch!

This incident took me back to the late 1960’s. When I was a teenager, my parents gave us kids a gas guzzler 1963 Pontiac. We were thrilled to have our own wheels! Identical to the pictured green vehicle, I loved that “boat of a car!” We could place a number of passengers inside for our joy rides, and we did! Though my entrepreneur Daddy owned a service station, we were always running out of gas!

That doesn’t make sense! Does it?

How can you logically explain that!

Why? How?

I’ll gladly tell you!

We could not get free gasoline for our pleasure rides; we had to earn our keep and pay for fuel.

“What a shame! How uncivilized of our parents,” was my then thought that I wouldn't dare mention to my Daddy and Momma! I could think it, but I knew better than to say it!

Money was hard to come by for me in those days so I quite frequently pushed that Pontiac to the limits (much to the displeasure of my Daddy) always hoping that I could make it to the next stop! At the time, paying 30 cents for a gallon of gas was a lot of cash! I didn’t have that type of money!

Life has a funny way of teaching us lessons. Fast forwarding, when I became a Mother, I would lambaste my then teenage children for riding around with their gasoline needle on near empty. “When you run out of gas, don’t call me because I’m not coming to rescue you,” came out of my mouth every week!

Never in a million years would I have thought that I would be so careless or preoccupied to do the same thing!

I still can’t understand why my now adult children will not always fill up their gas tanks, but that’s none of my business; right? Time does bring about a change of viewpoints.

As for me and my recent mishap - running out of fuel, I can only say that mistakes can happen to the best of us! That‘s my story and I am sticking to it!

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Mother, Granny, Entrepreneur, Author, Columnist, Speaker, Blogger. Ohioan by way of Glen Allan, Mississippi.

 

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