Thursday, September 25, 2008

gas and no gas

My baby's got gas.  My car's got almost NO gas.  I can't do much about my baby's gas situation.  I can't do ANYTHING about my car's gas situation.  Trust me, I've tried.

If you can find a gas station in the Charlotte metro area that actually HAS gas in their pumps, consider yourself lucky.  And if you only have to wait in line for less than a couple hours to actually GET gas from that pump, consider yourself even luckier!

Last night, Patrick called me from work at around dinner time and asked how much gas I had in my car.  I told him that it was around an eighth of a tank.  He said that people were leaving the office to try to find a place to get gas because apparently all the gas stations around town were running out.  The lines were wrapping around the blocks and were hours long.  Many stations were only allowing you to put in $20 worth of gas, which is only 5 gallons!  Of course, with three girls here with me, there was no way I was about to drive all over town looking for gas when there wasn't even a guarantee that I'd find any.  I couldn't afford to waste the little that I had.  They even canceled all the activities at church last night so people could conserve their gas.

So this morning, I loaded the girls in the car to take Kendall to school.  My little gauge in the car that estimates how many miles I have left to drive on the current tank read "30 miles."

to/from school = 5 miles

So now we were down to 25.  I thought I'd check one spot on my way home that I thought was a little-known station. . . maybe they'd still have some gas.  Nope.  We went home.  There were lots of errands I needed to take care of, but there would be no errands today.  We stayed at home, and Berkeley looked at books and played dress-ups while I fed the baby and searched the internet for people posting about where they had found gas.  I called around to lots of local stations and everyone said they were out and had no idea when more would be coming.  One station even answered the phone, "BJ's Independence.  We have no more gas.  How can I help you?"  At about 2:00 pm I heard there was a station that had gas just a couple miles from my house.  I grabbed the two little girls and drove over there as quickly as we could.  I heard the lines were backed all the way down the street, but as we approached, I saw there were no more lines and I knew that was NOT good news.  They had received a shipment of gas and had run out in less than an hour.  I flipped around to drive a few miles away to another station I heard was selling gas.  When I got there, the lines were backed up about a quarter of a mile on each side of the station.  There at a least 50 cars in front of me in line.  I had already called a friend who said she'd pick up Kendall so that I could wait in line, but it was ridiculous.  No deal.  There was no way I was waiting that long.  Once again, we drove back home.  And after all that, the gauge read "16 miles."

At 3:30 pm, we went to pick Kendall up.  As we drove past a gas station just down the street from her school, I saw that a line was starting to form, meaning they had just gotten some gas!  We rushed over to get Kendall and then immediately drove over to get in the line.  By that point, the line was already backed up so far that we couldn't even see the gas station from where we were.  We sat and sat and sat, and about every 5 minutes, we would move up a car's length.  Since I needed to conserve every ounce of gas I could, I only turned the car on when I needed to move.  The baby was crying and Berkeley was whining that she was hungry (and Kendall was just oblivious to anything cuz she was reading her new fairy book in the backseat).  Just in the nick of time, some employees from a local pizza place started walking from car to car handing out free pizza slices!  Hooray!  That calmed Berkeley down.  A little later, a couple people were walking around handing out Red Bulls!  That really perked Berkeley up!  (Just kidding-- we declined that one!)

After waiting in line for 45 minutes, the line started moving really quickly.  You might think that was good news, but no-- that meant they had run out of gas.  After wasting all that time, we drove back home.  The gas light came on.  11 miles left.

I was done.  I don't know when I will find gas but I'm just glad I'm not one of the people who waited in line from 7:00 pm till 12:30 am last night to fill up.


Stephanie said...

Okay maybe I am dumb, is there a reason that you have no gas there?

jan said...

We went through this in Boston in the late 70's. Paul would get up really early and go wait in line for gas. We had to plan ahead for everything and that is when the church went to the three hour block of meetings. I wonder what the next solution will be? Home Study Church?!!!! Glad you are at home and not stranded on the road side. love you, j

Lori and Matt said...

We have gas in Rock Hill. I don't know how far that is for you. Call before hand, but the gas station at Wal Mart on Dave Lyle has gas for $3.71. Good luck!

Oh, by the way, I'm Meredith's, friend from high school in Texas. I saw your blog from her site.

stampgirl said...

Holy cow! That is crazy. Though I can't understand why you wouldn't give a preschooler Red Bull. ;)

So what happened to cause this problem?

Kathy said...

Troy was able to fill up at one of those places that allowed $20 max. Good luck. I guess you'll have to pull out the jogging stroller and start running everywhere.

Corrine said...

that is insane! do you have gas in a can for the mower?

Can Kendall ride a bike to school and you jog behind??

Kerry and Dave said...

That's unbelievable! Is it somehow due to the hurricane in an indirect way? How are people getting to work? Keep us updated and hope you have a grocery store within walking distance!

jessica, jessie, or jessi said...

Justin had to use our lawnmower gas to have enough to make it to his bus-stop yesterday. He's also now worked from home twice this week to conserve fuel. (Which for me is a love/hate thing...It's really frustrating knowing he's home, but unable to help out. On the bright side he doesn't have an hour commute at the end of the day.) Luckily I filled our other tank last week and just haven't gone anywhere! This shortage is just ridiculous!

And I hope little Miss Emery's gas problems resolve quickly! :) Mylicon and/or Gripe water worked well for us. ;)

Mirien said...

Wish I could send you some! Hate to rub it in but I just filled up for 3.50 a gallon with no lines. I had no idea you were experiencing a shortage!