Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Never a dull moment

I had a lot that I wanted to get done today. I've been doing battle with a sore throat for the past couple of days, and it has slowed me down a bit, so I was hoping to catch up. The morning was already committed, so I planned to try to get some running around for the silent auction done this afternoon.

I headed out, deciding at the last minute to wear my wool jacket over the top I had on with my jeans. That turned out to be an extremely good decision.

I have been driving one of our minivans, because the fan in my car isn't working and I'm waiting for Colin to look at it. Today I was driving the Silhouette, which is right at 190,000 miles, and has a few quirks. The gas gauge hasn't worked for a while, but I just use the trip odometer to keep track of how much gas I have.

Apparently I lost track.

As I was pulling up to a stop sign--on my way into Jefferson Pointe, for those of you familiar with Fort Wayne--the van started running roughly. When I accelerated to pull away, the van died. In the middle of the intersection. My initial assumption was that the van was dead; I didn't even consider that I might have run out of gas.

So I sat there, flashers on, door open, trying to figure out what to do. I wanted to get it out of the way, but obviously couldn't do it alone. I managed to push myself backward with my foot so that I was at least back out of the intersection. A few people honked at me, before they figured out that I couldn't move. Most just ignored me. Finally a lady stopped to see if I needed help and offered to push. As soon as she stopped, three more people did, and I was shortly pushed into the JP parking lot.

I started thinking, and remembered that Monday I had only put in $10 worth of gas because of problems with the pump. Duh! So I walked across the four lane road and the Wal-mart parking lot and bought a gas can. Then back ascross the parking lot to the gas station for a gallon of gas. Then back to the car.

I could NOT figure out the gas can. After about ten minutes of messing with it--and after getting gas on my hands--I finally worked out the secret, and got it to work.

Got into the van. Prayed that the gas was the problem. Turned the key. It started and died. Tried again. Started and died. Again. Waited a few minutes. Again. This time after I started I really stepped on the gas. And it kept running.

Needless to say, I drove straight to the gas station and filled it all the way up.

At this point, I had lost over an hour. I had been in the wind and my hair was flat. I was sweaty from walking. I smelled like gas. I was no longer in the frame of mind to go beg for donations. So I went home. Afternoon wasted.

Now the good things about the afternoon. I wore the jacket. The van died less than a block from a gas station--with a nearby store that had gas cans--where it could be pushed into a parking lot, not by the marsh, or out by our house, or on the highway, all of which could have easily been the location. There were several people willing to stop and help a stranger. It was a beautiful sunny day for a walk. All in all, a fairly painless reminder NOT to forget how much gas I put into the car.


Dakotapam said...

Our quirky vans keep life interesting as well! Hey, at least they are paid for!

CarolD said...

I had a car with the same gas gauge at IU. It ran out on campus, at about 15 degrees, driving Eric to a FINAL. He had to walk the rest of the way and I had to walk to a station that loaned me a can. I never did get the gas out of my gloves!