Thursday, February 15, 2007

There is nothing like a full tank of gas. I'm talking literally, here, though of course there is a moral lesson. No, I'm talking about real life--being a student, not having a lot of money, trying to make every penny count. Part of that means really hoping for good gas mileage. And calculating every new tank. Lately I've gone down by up to five miles a gallon. I even got new tires--which weren't really in the budget, but extenuating circumstances (read NAIL) called and it really was time. Unfortunately, my spiffy new Costco tires haven't solved the gas mile problem, and I really didn't think I was pushing it too far with my low gas this morning. I think my car barely crawled into the gas station--my favorite in Fairfax, with usually much lower prices than elsewhere.

Luckily, I made it. Now I know, my sweet grandmother has always worried about me and has taught me to always have a half tank of gas in the same breath as to tell me to say my prayers. And I've always kind of laughed that off, thinking I'm a poor student and that I live paycheck by paycheck. Plus, there's something adventurous about living on the edge. But mark my words, there is nothing as beautiful as the relief that comes after I do make it, and my tank is full. I mean, with a full tank, I could drive all the way to Jamestown and most of the way back. Or just last about a week and a half on my student budget.

Last night, when I knew my tank was very low, I drove with my cousin and aunt on a little night tour through the District. We took my cousin's car so the boys' car seats would fit in the back, but I drove because I've been here the longest (and I can proudly drive into the District without getting lost). I noticed, though, driving my cousin's car, that her tank was full. And I realized how safe I felt. It was a huge relief--I knew that I could handle driving anywhere--or at least be clearly safe to make it to a gas station and refuel.

So yeah, I think from now on I'm going to follow my grandmother's advice.

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