I mostly write about the everyday things that happen around our house and with our family; the things that I want to remember when I'm an old granny. This next story is one that makes a pretty funny story in retrospect, but is not one I'd want to repeat everyday!
We have friends that live about eight hours away and we decided to take a trip to see them that was mutually beneficial. His mom had given him her piano and he could get us a deal on bushes for our landscaping project. We figured we could haul the piano to them and pick up bushes for us to bring home. It was a great idea.
Since Tim's resourceful he borrowed an enclosed trailer from some church friends and loaded up the piano and we trucked it to our friends. We got it there and in the house with no problems. Then we got the bushes we ordered and at the end of the weekend filled up the trailer to head home.
Our battery has been on the fritz and while loading up to go back home we had the back open and needed a jump to even start the journey home. Then it was about “snack time” so I was handing back crackers to the boys, including Jesse, for a while and fiddling with them in general. When they had eaten all the snacks I turned around and settled in. But then it seemed like the road was not familiar so we called our friends to see if we had missed the split of the two interstates, indeed we had so we turned around and headed back. That cost us about half an hour.
We knew we would have to get gas in the near future but wanted to make sure we were safely on the proper highway first. We got back on track and then decided we’d stop for gas soon. We were driving in mountains and were trudging up a particularly long hill when the SUV started to lurch. I looked at Tim and he looked at me and we both said, “What was that?”
I turned around to the boys and said, "All right boys it seems like something's wrong with the car, so let's pray." We all bowed our heads (except Tim) and I prayed for God to watch out over us, protect us, keep us all safe, get us home safely, and let nothing be wrong with the car. We all said "Amen" and then Noah said, "That was a good prayer Mom!"
Something still didn't feel right. I glanced at the gas gauge. It showed low but not on completely empty. It lurched and sputtered again. Tim said, “It sounds like we’re running out of gas.”
“I know, but how can that be?” I ask.
“I don’t know, but I think that’s what it is,” he says as we’ve slowed down to about 30 by this point. I’m worried we are running out of gas so I say, “Well if we are, you’d better get over!”
Tim pulled over and we sputtered on for a little bit and then the car died. He tried starting the car again, just to be certain that’s what it was. Yes. Out of gas. Nice.
Very quickly Tim and I decided to get everyone out of the car and on to the hill beside the interstate and he took off for gas. We didn’t want to split up, but really didn’t have a choice. In retrospect we should have just called 911 to get a trooper or someone to bring us some gas, but we haven’t run out of gas for years and didn’t even think about that until much later.
As Tim was running away and I was settling in with the boys I noticed that Eli was crying. I pulled him close to me and put our foreheads together and told him Daddy was taking care of us by getting gas and I was there with them to keep them safe. It was still daylight and it was a beautiful day so if we had to break down it was pretty good conditions. He was still upset but saw that I was not upset at all and he snapped out of it. He was trying to tell me that he had tried to tell Tim to get gas since he can see the gauges from where he sits, but I told him it was no one’s fault, the gauge must not be working properly.
The only thing we can figure is since we were pulling the trailer it was sucking a lot of gas and since we were on a hill not enough gas could make it to the engine to keep us going. There was enough in the tank since the "low fuel" light never came on but it just couldn't get to the engine. Now if we could have made it to the top of the hill and leveled out, it probably would have been just fine, but it turns out, if the gas can't get to the engine you can't get to the top of the hill/mountain.
Just a few minutes later while we were all just messing around, Eli said, “Here comes Dad.” I looked, and sure enough Tim was running back to us. It had only been a few minutes and he didn’t have any gas so I figured he had found a house and had gotten someone to help us. Relief washed over me.
Turns out, a family saw us sitting on the hill and figured we were just taking a break but then saw Tim on up the road and figured we needed some help. Even though they don't normally stop, they stopped and talked to Tim and told him it was about half an hour by car to the next gas station the direction he was headed. They offered to bring us some gas and told Tim to get back with his family. Which was good since I didn't like sitting there without Tim.
When Tim was back with us it was much better, we got out a blanket and sat on it, I bandaged up Simon and Noah who had fallen down when they went off to pee, I gave Jesse some teething tablets to ease his teething pain, we ate our leftover pizza from lunch and just waited. We had several other people stop to offer to help. God was taking care of us.
After a while they came with our gas and when Tim tried to start it up, it wouldn't start.
To be continued...