A few weeks ago, I filled up with gas before driving roughly 60 miles to the Omaha airport. After my trip, I drove home. The next day I drove 20 miles to work and back. The following day I drove 370 miles to Willmar for meetings.

When I was 38 miles from the office, my car told me I could go 50 more miles before running out of gas. Plenty of margins, right?

I had an important meeting that night, but instead of driving directly to the gas station, I headed to my brother Justin’s house, 2 miles from the office. My plan was to get gas before I went to see my parents’ new house. The gas station is precisely between the two houses, eight blocks from each place.

Guess what?

I ran out of gas roughly 100 feet from the gas station.

Our family is evenly split on the issue. My oldest daughter, Anne, and Son, Mike, tend to push the limit of the gas tank.

As soon as it happened, I thought two things. It’s ok to call my brother because he is constantly pushing the limits of his car’s gas tank. He claims to have once driven his car for 12 miles after it hit “0”.
(Plus, when I left his house, he was in his garage and has a gas lawnmower. So, he had gas to bring me.)

My second thought was, I will never hear the end of this from My wife, youngest daughter Sara, and son-in-law Jon.

I was on the phone laughing with my wife when Justin pulled up two minutes after I ran out of gas.

After putting some of my brother’s gas in my car, I went to my parents and then to my brothers. I got gas the following afternoon before heading home.

I am in the middle of 90 days when I will either be away from home, or somebody is staying at my house for 70 days. Trips to Michigan, Tennessee (Twice), Texas (twice), Colorado, Florida, Minnesota (four times), Oklahoma, and Arizona, United Airlines canceled my trip to Maine.

Is there any surprise I literally ran out of gas during this stretch? I caught the symbolism, folly, and parallels to how I was living about 10 seconds of my car chugging to a stop.

As you can guess, there are times when I ran out of energy in my tank during the 90 days. Sue didn’t think any of those moments were funny.

My car has warning lights I should be paying attention to while I drive. My physical and emotional self can give signs, but they aren’t as easy to read or pay attention to as I move through life.

I don’t plan to push the limits on my car’s gas tank again. Let’s hope I’m smart enough to never push the limits on my life again.