Unexpected Trip Cancellation

We were pretty dismayed and spurred into action when we learned last week that there was an impending gas shortage. Let’s face it – nobody with any conscience drives a 6-miles-to-the-gallon, gas guzzling RV across the country for leisure when other people need that gas to get to their jobs.

It was just a week ago today when we learned about the shortage while we were parked at a campground in far northern Michigan. We’d just paid $2.99 a gallon (to fill our 75-gallon tank!) and Richard was sending out the WritersWeekly issue while I was scanning the news and discovering stories of stations already running out of gas. Even though we were just a day’s drive from Richard’s mom’s house in Wisconsin, we made the decision to turn around and head straight home. Richard finished sending out the issue and we took off. We drove past a gas station a few minutes later and were shocked to see the gas had jumped $0.56/gallon in just 5 hours. We drove 27 hours straight, taking turns driving and sleeping. (Boy, sleeping in that RV bed while it’s on the road is really relaxing!)

We made it home on Thursday evening and were thankful we’d only encountered really high gas prices but no closed stations. We knew we’d made the right decision when we watched the news and learned some gas stations in Wisconsin had run out of gas that very afternoon.

I admit I was pretty depressed because it looks like I’m now going to miss my 20-year high school reunion. (Hey, now you all know how old I am!) But, I looked around me and realized we have a dry, comfortable home, electricity, running water, and no missing family members. I then logged onto https://www.redcross.org and made a donation. Please, if you haven’t yet done so, go to that website and give what you can.

We’re all counting our many blessings now and are happy to just sit tight, pray for the victims, and hope the crisis ends in the next few weeks or months.

We are searching for one person who we hope is just out of touch and not missing. Max’s swimming teacher, Ashley, whom he absolutely adores, moved from Maine to New Orleans just before the storm hit. She was going to attend graduate school at Tulane and had just rented an apartment in New Orleans with her boyfriend. I’ve tried emailing (no response) and calling her cell phone but it just instantly rolls over to voice mail. I gave up and finally contacted the alumni office at University of Maine (where she recently graduated) and asked them to locate her parents on our behalf. We are sick with worry about her.

Ironically, one of the last things I said to her was, “Well, you don’t have to worry about blizzards anymore. Now you just have to worry about hurricanes.” We had a good laugh about that at the time. It’s not funny now.

UPDATE: Ashley called yesterday morning! They arrived in New Orleans on the Saturday before the storm hit. They didn’t have any cable TV nor a radio so they didn’t now how much danger they were in. They got the UHaul and truck unloaded and their neighbor casually mentioned, “Sometimes they cut off the water. You might want to buy some.” They drove to Walmart…which was out of water, so they stocked up on soda. They then received a phone call from a relative telling them to leave immediately. Ashley admits she didn’t think it was a big deal and was angry about leaving. She said, ‘I’d only been there one day!” But, her boyfriend made her leave. And, yes, they took the doggie with them.

They spent that night in Mobile, Alabama (not safe there, either!). Sunday morning was bright and clear and she said, “There’s not a hurricane coming!” Still, they kept going, ending up in Savannah, Georgia, where her parents are right now. She only planned to be gone for the weekend and only packed three outfits. Now, along with her dog, that’s all she has. She has no college (Tulane cancelled fall classes), no job, no money, and no belongings. But, she is very thankful to be alive.

Ashley reports her landlord didn’t tell them anything about the storm and no signs were posted for residents who may not have had any idea about the impending danger.


P.S. Want to read real query letters that landed these contracts? Woman’s Day – $2,800; Redbook – $3,500; Ladies Home Journal – $3,000; DiscoveryHealth.com – $2,000; Lifetime Magazine – $3,000; Life Extension Magazine – $6,480; Natural Remedies – $11,300; and many more! See: https://www.writersweekly.com/books/1409.html