When I was a kid, having “no less than a quarter at all times” meant to always have at least a quarter in my pocket for an emergency – you know, so I could call someone on a pay phone if I needed to. That’s not what this is about. Yes, it’s about keeping at least “a quarter”, but it’s not about making a phone call. This quarter is about being able to go where you want to go when you need to. Having gas in your car is one important aspect of being prepared.
When I was pregnant with my first two kids (which were born in hospitals), they said “always make sure you have gas in your tank, because you don’t want to have to stop for gas on your way to the hospital”. Can you imagine? Having given birth and knowing how it feels to be in labor in a car, I cannot imagine having to stop for gas along the way – or running out of gas along the way!
Nowadays, we still should always have gas in the car. But it holds true for me now in a much broader sense than just worrying about getting to the hospital as quickly and as safely as possible.
It may not be for a special, quick run to the hospital (although, it could be), but haven’t you noticed that the time you are most likely to be running low enough that you have to stop for gas right now is when you are in the biggest rush? It’s usually when you’re already running late – you’re on your way to the airport to pick someone up, or you’re on your way to work or school. At the most inconvenience time, you’ll find your tank so low the “E” is lit up and the “ding, ding, ding” of the “go get gas NOW” alarm is going off.
Can you imagine having an emergency happen – like a natural disaster which we know can take out our utilities and other fuel sources, including gas stations – and not have enough gas to leave your town if you want to? Can you imagine getting into your car, turning it on, and seeing that all-too-familiar light telling you that your car’s gas tank is almost empty? Not to mention knowing that you may not be able to get more gas at all? That would be an awful feeling.
Instead, let’s you and I both resolve right now to never let our gas tank get below a quarter of a tank. That will be a great thing – that is just a little thing with great consequences. Think of the peace of mind that knowing you have gas in the tank can offer.
When I was young, the idea to always have at least a quarter with me to make an emergency phone call was a good one. Nowadays, have a quarter (and even more money is better), but also have at least a quarter of a tank of gas, too, okay? (Bonus points for having a car kit, too!)