First, a little background: This story takes place in Fairbanks, AK in the middle of winter. True story.
I came home from work about 4 PM and parked my car in the designated space for our apartment. I meant to walk up to our second story apartment, get the postal slip and in quick succession leave to pick up the package from the post office before it closed.
I left the car running and made sure to have my second key with me so I could lock the doors and get back in.
I hurried up the stairs and went in to look for the slip. As soon as I came in Hephzibah asked me a question. I don't remember what she asked, but in the process of answering I lost track of what I was doing. One thing led to another and I eventually went to bed.
The next morning I woke up, showered, got dressed and started getting ready to head out for the Post Office. However, I couldn't find my second key. I had one, but I couldn't find the other no matter how many coats and pockets I looked through. Eventually it occurred to me that it might have fallen from my pocket into the snow on the way inside the day before, probably right outside the door. So, I went outside to see if I could find it in the snow.
As I searched the parking lot for this frustrating piece of metal and plastic, I noticed that someone had left his engine running. After a few seconds it dawned on me who had left his engine...ME! The key wasn't lost, it was right where I left it... in the ignition! My car had been running all night.
I hurriedly unlocked the door and put the car in reverse to try and drive to the gas station. I soon found out that its possible to have enough gas in the tank for a car to idle, but not enough for it to move itself.
The nearest gas station was about a block away and thankful it was somewhat mild weather at only -20ish. I wasn't wearing gloves or a hat because I didn't intend to be outside more than just a minute, so I had to trudge upstairs to get those. Upon entering of course Hephzibah wanted to know if I found it. So I had to tell her that indeed, I had found it but...
I wasn't nearly as amused as she was, but she wanted to come with me at least part of the way because the gas station was part of a Fred Meyers (its got a bit of everything like a Walmart but three times as expensive) and she wanted to buy some things. So she got everything on and we walked from our apartment down to the Fred Meyers.
She got a shopping cart and told me to come get her when I was done.
I went into the auto section and bought a two gallon gas can.
I walked across the parking lot and pumped two gallons of gas into the can. The walk back to my car seemed much colder than the walk to the store had been.
As I started to pour the gas into the tank, I managed to spill some on my gloves and had to take them off before my fingers could get frostbitten. I hurried to my apartment, threw away those gloves and put new ones on.
Back downstairs, in the parking lot I finished pouring the gas into the tank and put the gas can in the trunk. I started up the car but amazingly the needle did not move from the red line and the idiot light remained lit on the dashboard.
I drove over to the gas station and filled it up before it could run out of gas again and then parked it with the engine running again. This time I knew I wouldn't forget because I still had to go home and also Hephzibah had a way of reminding me of such things in her own way.
But the story has a happy ending because when I caught up to her in the store, she had bought a cup of coffee for me and its warmth was so delicious.
May God bless all who read my ramblings,
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