I’ve been living with guilt weighing on me for several days. It’s winter, and though the weather has been unseasonably warm, I know better than to let my gas gauge go below half. This is a winter weather driving rule drilled into my head at an early age by my wonderful grandfather, Milon. It has been a year since he’s passed, and it’s been a year since I’ve heard that reminder. Nevermind, it is always on my mind in the winter. He always told everyone to fill their tanks when they have half a tank left (and to add a can of Heet. I have not done this yet. And I do feel guilty). His reasons were 1) cars are more likely to start and 2) If you are stranded somewhere, you have enough gas to keep the heat going for a long time (another Milon car trick–if your car won’t start, turn on your lights, count to ten, turn them off, and try again).
These tips come from someone who lived on a farm his whole life, miles away from town and I’m sure they helped out tremendously in bad snows. Living in the city, or better yet on a busy street like I do, feeling the need to keep my tank full may seem a bit alarmist, but nevertheless, I cannot go through winter without keeping the tank full (kind of like how I cannot sleep in a bed that doesn’t have hospital corners. I have my RN mother to thank for that. Somehow she’ll know if my bed isn’t made properly). While I have been stuck in the snow, it’s never been in a circumstance where I could be stuck for hours without another car driving by. But you never know. So, with a possible snow storm on its way, I filled up the van today. Guilt erased (except I didn’t put in a can of Heet. Sorry Grandpa).
Along with filling up my van, I bought an obscene amount of groceries. Anytime the forecast calls for more than four inches of snow, my inner eighty year old German woman urges me to hoard food. All kinds of food for all kinds of scenarios. Nothing is safe from my cart. And much of what goes in the cart aids and abets in baking, slow cooking, stewing. Along with this food hoarding comes my urge to cook ALL DAY LONG. I’ve already mentally made cookies, breads, roasted whole chickens, made homemade stock, and anything else. I don’t know why. Now, if we do get the 5-7 inches of snow predicted, my street will be plowed rather quickly, and my driveway will be cleared. I will be able to get to a store if needed. But, I’m stocked up on milk, Zach’s soy drink, diapers, apples, bananas, bread, meats, cheeses, all of it.
Somewhere encoded in my DNA is the gene to be prepared. I’ve never gone without, we’ve never been stuck at home with no food in a blizzard, so it’s not my own experiences that drive me towards this. I’ve heard stories of my grandparents from the Great Depression, but any other time of year I don’t have two refrigerators stocked with food. In the winter I do. There is an unexplainable pull to buy as much food as possible, and cook as much as possible when snow is on the way. The kids love it, because I’m likely to make brownies and cookies. The old German woman also encourages them to eat, Eat, EAT!!!! Maybe I’m trying to pad them up a little. Something must have been selected for genetically to give me this urge to prepare, from past generations who had to do so to survive. Whatever the cause, it’s funny when it happens.
So, the moral of the story is I’m ready if we get a lot of snow tomorrow. And because I’m ready, we’ll probably get nothing. Your welcome.