People take snow days seriously around here. We aren’t wimpy, necessarily, (though some are, of course), but there are a few things that people know to do. You have to fill your car with gas, for one, and be sure you have cash. There aren’t many places in town where you couldn’t walk to buy food if you needed it, so you don’t have to go stock up on TP and milk unless that’s just your nature, but if the power goes, you want to be able to get out of town if you need it. And that means gas and cash.
The line at the gas station was about 15 deep. I waited for over 30 minutes. Were there not a storm on the horizon, I would have given up. I was half full, as it was, but just in case, I wanted to top it off. My daughter was at after-school program, happily twirling in her ballet class. I listened to music, and held out.
In front of me, a car idled. I could see two kids in the back seat. One faced forward, but the other, a curly mop topped girl stared out of the back window. I waved and smiled at her, before I realized that she couldn’t be turned around unless she was out of her carseat. She looked to be three or four. She waved back, grinning widely.
Their car limped to the pump. One tire was completely flat. The mother got out and filled her tank. She leaned her head against the car as she waited for the gas. Inside, the little girl waved and smiled, trying to catch her mother’s eye. I turned my car off and got out. I hadn’t gone more than two steps before a man approached her. He got her to pull over to the side, and was replacing her flat with his own spare while I filled my own tank. The kids stayed in the car, though, and the little girl was still waving and smiling at me, as I drove away into the frosty night.