My daughter and I were on the way to an adjacent town about 30 miles away to shop. I was just remembering how I handled three small kids years ago on long trips like this. I noticed a woman with three kids in her car next to us.
Texas is a big state and things are spread out. My kids constantly tell me that somewhere I am interested in is “Just down the road, not far”. I soon find my self in a car for 45 minutes to get to this “Not far place”. I realize the kids were raised in this large state of Texas and many things are relative to them that I consider excessive. My husband began to think of distances the same way as the kids.
I continued this train of thought about possible problems on the road as we speed on. Once a mother-always a mother so I always worried about flat tires or other emergency events while seeking these “Not far” destinations. I. usually had presentable clothes but decorative shoes only good for walking on flat, clean floors.
I remember thinking…Boy, would that be horrible if I had to walk a ways for help in blazing sun or pouring down rain in the cold winter with my three small kids if these problems arose.
Once my husband and I had such a problem on a rural road with our camper truck that had a failed fuel line. We tried to think if we had seen any gas stations or buildings but often you just don’t pay attention. Fortunately the weather was mild, but the distance was quite far with nothing on the road to help us as we walked to find help. The kids started ok, but began to fall back soon. We all wondered why there were no cars passing us. Finally we saw a small market that sold a few food items and ran a gas station and repair shop. The kids were so happy and we all collapsed in the shade of the buildings drinking water that seemed so wonderful. The people that ran the establishment went and towed our vehicle to the shop.
Another time a flat tire caused my husband to have to change to the limp tire in 109 degree full sun. The highway was blistering hot. Fortunately I had a bottle of water and could pour it on his head to cool him with evaporation and prevent heat stroke as he worked to change the tire. I decided to have my husband show me how to change the tire if I was on the road with the kids by myself.
These events got me planning. From then on I had emergency equipment in a box in the trunk of each our cars, my husband’s truck or our camper. I had walking shoes, light jackets, rain ponchos, a hat. I planned to carry a lot of water, especially in summer in Texas. I made sure the kids had good walking shoes.
When the family got older, I was teased about my emergency kits. When I went to work 30 miles from home, I continued to have the equipment and that gave me confidence that I would not be “stranded and helpless”.
I wondered if the woman with three small children in the car next to us had made such emergency plans? I hope so.