|the note I left my kids|
There isn't exactly a gas shortage, it's just that Hurricane Sandy wiped out power for nearly 1,000,000 customers on Long Island, including gas stations. There's stations with gas, just no way to pump it. So, for the remaining stations with power, the lines are long. Really long. Like more than a mile long, and then they run out of gas.
I knew I was going to spend the day getting gas, I just didn't know where. I checked Facebook since our local news channel has been asking residents for tips on what stations have gas. That was at 7:10am. One comment, posted 8 minutes prior, stated that my Hess, a 2 minute car ride away, had gas.
Well, "the bitch lied." I was sitting in front of a pump at 7:15am. No gas except diesel. My husband called about 2 hours later to say a Shell station about a quarter mile away had gas, but another long line. Well, I couldn't get out of the spot I was in and I was also afraid to drive there, wind up on a 2 hour line only to discover that they ran out of gas as well. That excursion would have left me with NO gas. So, I stayed.
|my new lucky #|
At about 10am, the latest update was "a PM delivery." Since you're there 3+ hours already, do you leave and come back? I was sitting right in front of a pump. Prime real estate, for God's sake! Once the delivery came, all I had to do was pay and get the hell out of there! So, I stayed.
I sat with the same people for hours. I had a clean rest room and the Hess store stocked with coffee and food (to purchase). I had my Kindle, iPod and a notebook and pen to keep me occupied. I wasn't expected anywhere and the only thing waiting at home was more cleaning and continuing to get upset over the news coverage of the hurricane's aftermath. (I told the clerk we were going to become best friends between purchases and requesting the bathroom key. Thank God for the bathroom.) People were leaving their cars and going to get food. One guy came back with a pizza box. (Wish I would've known he was making a pizza run!) Another guy's wife brought him McDonald's. The same guy who got pizza wound up calling a cab and having his teenage son picked up and brought home. Even my sister came around looking for me to bring me provisions, but I was in the bathroom! No one was leaving. We all stayed.
Every time I heard air brakes I jumped. Could it be? Nope. Just a Boar's Head truck getting diesel. I saw tons of trucks getting diesel- bastards! Although, it was nice seeing at least 5 cherry picker trucks from Ohio filling up, here to help us recover. They were a sight for sore eyes. Thank you Ohio!
While talking with other drivers, it seems the clerk was telling everyone different stories. One guy said the tanker was leaving NJ at around 10am, so hopefully by 3pm it would be rolling in. I was told it was delivering in a town about 20 minutes away at 2:30pm. That sort of fell in line with the 10am departure story. Then the girl in front of me said she heard it had been in a different town. I wasn't going anywhere anyway; it just would have been nice to get a ballpark figure.
Charlie kept calling to see what the progress was. He was checking up on the kids for me all day since they were home from school again because of the storm and my cell phone sucks. He eventually got home from work, made sure they had dinner and then walked over to the station to sit with me. It was nice to have his company (and he brought me my much needed cough drops!).
Surprisingly, the time went by rather quickly. The reason I don't think sitting there, in my car, for that long, waiting for a gas delivery was so bad? I still have the luxury of sitting in my car. I have the money to pay for the gas. My kids were safe and warm in our perfectly unharmed home with all of the food, electricity, cable and internet they needed. We didn't lose a thing in this hurricane, unlike so many others. I have nothing to bitch and moan about. So I waited. Big deal.
Well, at about 6:30pm, the most beautiful tank truck pulled into the parking lot and deposited 10,000 gallons of sweet gasoline into Hess Station of Shirley's tank. Thank you Lord! I felt bad for all of those people waiting on the long line that snaked through the neighboring side streets and worked it's way another 1/2 mile down the highway. I hope they all got the gas they needed. I ran into the station and paid and by the time I got out Charlie was filling the tank. Suffolk County police were there to stave off any rioting that might have ensued. Rumors were flying that people have been beaten up and shot at other stations.
|There was a lot of whooping and hollering when this baby pulled in!|
We managed to find our way out of the station and pulled into our driveway at 7pm. Mission accomplished. Nearly 12 hours. I'd do it again if I had to. It doesn't compare to what the millions of people without power are dealing with, or the tens of thousands of people who lost their homes or the 109 Americans who died because of this storm. I hope and pray they get the help they need soon and that they all manage to recover from this devastation.