Running on Empty

On the way to the Charlotte airport, we passed exit 42 for Troutman, NC. I asked, “Mom, remember the last time we were here?” and we both giggled hysterically. Mom explained the story to Dad, who had not been with us.

We had gone to pick up Grandmother (in SC) to bring her back to our house for one of the holidays. Lori must have been in high school, right? We stopped for lunch, and I knew we needed to stop for gas, but just plumb forgot about it. We were driving along and the car just stopped. There didn’t seem to be any other cars passing by, so we sent Lori to walk to the nearest exit to try to find someone. She got to an overpass and a young man on a scooter rode by, stopped, and hollered down at her, asking her why she was walking along the highway. She explained we had run out of gas and he told her to walk back to the car. He arrived a few minutes later with a can of gasoline.

The rest of the drive home, grandmother kept saying, “I’m so glad Lori was with us, because no one would have stopped for two old ladies like us, Sybil.” (This is the same grandmother who greeted me with, “Have you gained weight? Why aren’t you married yet?”)

From there after, I always filled up the gas tank as soon as it reached half a tank. No more walking along highways for me.

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