I have a few seemingly random “rules” in my life’s routine. I keep my minivan’s gas tank at least half full. I like all my electronics to be charged or close to fully charged at all times. The gas tank is mainly because it’s such sticker shock to fill it. That vehicle has a big tank, and when gas gets close to $4 a gallon – let’s just say it’s not good for the blood pressure. I like the laptop computer and my phone and my camera to have a charge in case I need them – and I need them a lot.
Wednesday, that icy weather day, I failed. My minivan had a quarter of a tank of gas in it. Ironically, I’d kept putting it off because of the weather. It was cold. It was windy. It was just not self-service gas station friendly weather. Note to self: it might get worse before it gets better. Fill the tank.
My phone wasn’t charged. I often charge it under my desk at work or in the kitchen overnight. This particular morning, my phone had no charge whatsoever. I went in to school after the two-hour delay (the delay I saw on TV before the power crashed) with my dead phone in hand. I was greeted by two teachers saying, “Oh, Daisy didn’t get the phone call. We’re closed. Too many schools have no power.” Note to self: charge it. Always. On this day, after charging the phone in the minivan (the one with a near-empty gas tank), I found the voice mail from my boss saying “We’re closed! Don’t come in!”
My camera had a little charge left, so I took a few pictures. A few, I said. When the power came back to us that night, I plugged in the camera battery.
Procuring fuel was harder than we thought. We passed three shuttered gas stations on the road and several of our favorite restaurants totally in the dark. We eventually ended up at iHop, and then with full stomachs headed down the road again to feed the minivan. We picked up batteries for the boom box so we’d have radio if we needed it, invested in a Hershey’s chocolate bar with almonds and a Reese’s peanut butter cup for our mid-afternoon snack, and charged our phones in the van.
And here we sit, a few days later, reminiscing and making notes. Note to self: keep phone charged no matter what the weather. Keep minivan at least half full of gas – also no matter what the weather. As for the camera, well, if the phone is charged, the camera isn’t necessary, but let’s not waste phone time on pictures. The ice day was more of a tough spot and less than a true emergency, and I felt the lack of preparedness. Note to self: tornado season is on the way. No more excuses: channel that inner Girl Scout and Be Prepared.