28 August 2010

ever run out of fuel in your car, i've joined the club . . .

Greetings all,
OK, so one of the dumber things i've done in 17 years of driving . . . with my reserve fuel tank not pumping into the main in the Landcruiser 4WD for a couple of months, i've been living off one tank & until now, haven't mismanaged the distance i could get on the fuel light!!  I thought i'd wait until i was halfway between children's parties in Canberra & Bowral, with 4 children sugared up on lolly bags, as the perfect time to try it.  I know, i said dumb!!
  Better yet, i did it in style . . . with a dying mobile phone & just 2km from the service station i was going to fill up at, next to the Big Merino Rambo in Goulburn.
Small mercy that i literally konked out at an emergency phone & pull over bay where the children could play & wait patiently.  I was advised there was a 2 hour minimum wait, so i mentioned i had 4 children . . . the operator asked "did you say 4 or 5 children??" & i responded "does it matter??"  I waited 3 hours, hmmmmm . . .
So i put my feet up, relaxed & watched the children catch tadpoles, go exploring, make nice with the new German Shepherd teddy i bought my son yesterday & waited to see who was first to misjudge their leap over the creek & fall in.
One by one they'd come back to the car for a rest, warm up, blow some bubbles (only time i've ever been glad that bubbles were included in a lolly bag) & i have to say, there was the moral dilema of whether i use the water bottles i efficiently packed for the trip, to wash their sticky lolly fingers or save them from dehydration!!  I loathe lollies, i loathe sticky fingers even more.
So while i pondered life's big questions - who is this French VC that this rest stop is named after, i should research him; i really should polish my boots & take better care of them; what is Bear Grylls real name; which of my children will end up the tallest; did they ever find Miranda from 'Picnic At Hanging Rock'; my husband would never run out of fuel; my husband would never have a flat mobile phone battery; why doesn't anything ever go wrong when my husband is around; i should lose some weight; i could just doze off to sleep in this sunshine; why did my eldest daughter happen to have the SAS Survival Guide on her (thanks Sindy) & say so matter of factly "mum, i knew you'd have us stranded one day & we'd have to survive somehow". . . before i knew it, the NRMA man was here with fuel. 
So i put it to the children, should we continue to the party (for my nephew) & arrive 3 hours late, or go home??  Well there was no way they were missing out on seeing their cousins or telling them their harrowing tale of survival on the side of the Hume Highway, so we journeyed on.  I had used the last breath of mobile phone battery to call my sister to explain my situation - yes, i called her before the NRMA, you know, priorities & out of courtesy.  Very glad we did, 'twas a lovely post-party-early-dinner with the family & smooth 200km trip home. 
Let this be a lesson to all of you, the fuel light doesn't come on just to look pretty!!  Love Posie

14 comments:

Sally said...

Oh my goodness - what an exciting day you've had. Very very exciting indeedy!
... good thing you were all psyched up for a sex talk too with all that time stranded in the car ;)

Brenda said...

I love an adventure, I bet the kids had a wonderful time exploring!
I think the only thing that would have annoyed me is not having any hand stitching to get on with while waiting for three hours......I like to keep my fingers busy!

The Handmaden said...

Welcome to the club (blush!)

Quilting in My Pyjamas said...

Even in the midst of an annoying life event you have the capacity to poke fun at yourself and consequently get me giggling.

Thanks for sharing your random thoughts. You sound exactly like me. I have dialogue running through my head like those questions all the time.

Glad "tragedy" was averted and the NRMA man arrived (albeit three hours later) . Oh and next time tell them you're driving a school bus of children. You'll go to the top of the list!

Heidi said...

You are such a nut, as organized as you are you poor thing! I can't let my gas tank get under a 1/4 only because in Alaska your always away from a gas station somewhat!
Now these people were total SCARY drug people....So when you said have lunch I had to laugh, Only if you came with me....Phil would not let me call him because He did'nt want to open that door!!

Little Ted Canvas said...

Wow, 3 hrs!! Nothing like being stranded in the middle of nowhere with a car load of kids hopped up on sugar, you did well. Sounds like it all ended nicely too, what an adventure!

Kylie said...

Oh honey - wonder how long they would have had you wait if you had 6 children??? Hugs - I cant top that - yet to do it with Children, Sick husband in Canberra - drops me at work and then doesnt check the fuel light and runs out of fuel - had to pump the tank opps oh and Dad's car just stopped on day and I was in my PJ's with pink fluffy socks LOL.

Glad to ear that you all had a great time when you got there - and what is Bear's real name -Tim assures me hat it is Bear and he would like to go exploring with him :) men!

Megan said...

oh no! 3 hours of waiting!!! eek. at least it looks like everyone had fun waiting, or rather didn't get too bored and crotchety, and you got in some very valuable thinking time. i too have pondered the thought of what is bear grylls real name.

Knicky Knacks said...

Whilst that could have been a harrowing moment which Mrs glass half full, you managed to completely pull off, may I just say "all power to you for driving 200km with 4 children in the car in the first place". I totally avoid long drives with my two kids because they drive me to absolute distraction. So well done to you.

beck said...

I had to laugh at this as it is something I would do. And I loved all your musing's as you sat and waited. Especially the question of Miranda! Glad you made a frustrating situation into such an adventure, your kids don't know how lucky they are!! Have a great week x

Amanda said...

Oh well the kids probably didn't have too bad a time. Hope your hubby doesn't rub it in even more I know mine would not that he even carries his mobile phone so he would have been worse off in your predicament. I am with Brenda on that one it would have driven me nuts not having some sewing to do.

Corrie said...

that is one of your funniest blog posts ever! oh dear so funny. I love you pondering life's questions but really that would be my worst nightmare and thank goodness your kids are big enough to get out and run around!

I'd say you've learnt your lesson!
corrie:)

Stacey said...

I've done it once, in a company car. When I finally got back to the office, the car's regular driver said "oh yeah, I forgot to tell you the fuel guage doesn't work." Grr.
Bear? Edward. It's Edward. I'm surprised you didn't ring me to ask.

Tania McCartney said...

I love this, and you handled it so well. Life is so busy... sometimes it's worth running out of petrol just so we can lollop in the sunshine and appreciate the moment. x