Be Prepared!


Today reminds me of this abandoned car/truck left sitting in the corner of some field in the Loess Hills of western Iowa.  It looks like an old Chevy.  The back end was “customized” by removing the back seat and attaching a pick-up truck’s bed, half inside the back of the car and half outside, and no sides to the pick-up bed.    A bath tub was sitting on the bed of the truck, and behind the flat truck bed, an old cultivator was attached to the trailer hitch.  The scene at the intersection of two gravel roads looked like the owner might have been transporting the bathtub and cultivator to some other destination when he ran out of gas and never got around to returning.  The “expression” in the car’s grill, a cynical smirk, suggests that the car knew the owner’s promise to return with more gas was a hollow one.  Yah, sure.  You’ll come back with more gas, I’ll believe it when I see it.

So, why does today remind me of this scene?   Its cold outside, single digit temperature coupled with gusty winds, and my driveway is buried under 6″ of snow.  Last October, I got the snowblower out of the shed, started it up and made sure it was in good running condition.  I moved it into the garage, along with the empty gas can.  It was only October and I had plenty of time to get the gas can filled, besides the snowblower’s tank was half full.  Three days ago, I made final preparations for the predicted blizzard: hauled in more firewood, refilled the bird feeder, stocked up on groceries, and made sure my boots, parka and mittens were handy.  I was feeling pretty smug about my preparations … “Be Prepared” as the boy scout motto goes.   

By noon yesterday, there was already 4″ of new snow so I got out the snowblower and cleared the driveway, knowing that more snow would fall throughout the day.  Good, I thought to myself, that should make it easier to remove the rest of the snow tomorrow.  I can spend the rest of the day inside, reading my favorite book, warmed by the fire in the wood stove. 

I cranked up the snowblower this morning to finish the job I started yesterday.  The trusty old engine roared into life, anxious to shake off the chill and get to work.   Out the garage I went, but after about six feet, the snowblower began to sputter.  It was out of gas.  The empty gas can was still sitting against the garage wall where I placed it last October.  Hmmm, I guess you have to actually fill the can with gas, not just think about doing it.   Doh!   As I stared at the empty gas can, I could see the stains on its side start to form into a cynical smirk.

Thought for the day:  The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed, lest Rome become bankrupt.  People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.   Cicero – 55 BC

3 thoughts on “Be Prepared!

  1. I remember that trip and the truck. It is a Chevrolet. And I like the Thought For The Day. Somethings don’t change.
    I was lucky because my snow blower ran the full time. I also did not fill up the gas can and my tank was half full. It lasted for the entire time. Although I only blew the snow one time rather than two. That’s the problem with you retired guys. Putting things off until the last minute, (-;


  2. Larry, I loved it. Not just your photo, but the accompanying “words of wisdom.” You may recall we moved here Oct 2008 and were hit with a blizzard three weeks later. The snowblower and gas can (both empty) were buried deep in our garage which was full of moving boxes. I have since reminded myself each October to “be prepared.” Your photos and your words continue to impress me. Keep up the great work! I really enjoy it. Chuck


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