The list of errands to run and projects to complete this morning before leaving town was longer than I had time to complete, but I was able to rearrange and combine a few errands and finished the most important ones. My house isn’t as clean as I would have liked, and the car was only on a quarter of a tank of gas when we pulled out of the driveway for our trip to La Grande, Oregon.
I had it all figured out though, Dr. Carter said I had to stop every hour and run around the car twice to prevent blood clots in my legs, and Ontario was an hour away and I knew we had enough gas to get that far. Since we had to stop anyway, we could get gas and I could walk. Perfect Planning.
Only that isn’t the way it happened. Somehow, neither Brad nor I saw a exit sign for Ontario, and neither one of us wanted to go Weiser, and we still had about an eighth of a tank of gas, so we just kept driving, sure that there would be another opportunity to gas up soon. I looked up a gas station on the GPS, and figured we would get there with about 20 miles to spare. Brad spotted the Texaco sign and we pulled off, only to discover that that station was no longer functioning. We drove another half a mile to discover that we were on our way to nowhere..
After turning around, we began to get worried. We were still 30 miles from Baker City, and we had no idea if there was a gas station between here and there. The GPS could find gas stations within a radius of about 5 – 10 miles, but when I programed them in I discovered that it would take me 20 miles or more to get to them, because we had already passed them, and would need to go to an exit, turn around and go back.
I had been silently praying for awhile by this time, worried that it was my fault that I hadn’t gassed up the car before we left, worried that Brad was worrying and feeling like it was his fault, and pleading for calmness, that this experience wouldn’t cause us to get upset at each other.
I asked Rebecca to explain the situation to the kids and ask them to pray. Kevin offered the prayer and we continued on our way. I encouraged Brad to slow down, and to coast down the hills to try and conserve gas, while I pulled out our travel club card and called to find out if they could locate a gas stations that was closer to us. The operator told me that the nearest station was Baker City, which was what we already supposed to be the case. He did confirm that if we ran out of gas they could deliver gas to us.
We continued driving, and I was texting my Mom and asked her to pray for us as well. I was thinking about asking Brad if we should pull off at the next exit and call for gas, so that we didn’t experience technical difficulties when the car ran out, when Brad spotted a very welcome roadsign. A freeway sign, indicating that gas was available at the exit in 1 mile. We were almost afraid to believe that it might really be true. We had already passed the vacant Texaco station.
Yet, we soon passed another sign indicating gas ahead in Durkee. We were hopeful, and prayerful that there would be gas available. Right by the EXIT their was a huge sign – GAS – and we could see the ancient looking gas station, and 2 cars in front – it looked promising. I told the kids the gas station was older than I was – the gas pumps didn’t even accept credit cards, but they did pump gas!
We got out to stretch our legs and use the restrooms (ancient plumbing and automatic towel dispensers). As we climbed back into the car we had a family prayer of thankfulness, we had been greatly blessed with a gas station, right when we needed it. In answer to my Mom’s text of “Where are you?” I was able to text back, “Durkee and full of GAS.”
I think we will all remember the lesson learned on this trip of the answer to our prayers, and to fill up with gas before leaving town.
My parents paid attention on their way through Ontario the next day and reported that the Ontario exit was not well marked, there was only 1 sign, under and overpass and immediately before the exit. I think that made Brad feel a little bit better about missing Ontario. Off course, my Dad wanted to tell me that Ontario had disappeared off the map.