Honda Girl

My first car was given to my by my parents at the age of seventeen. I waited a little longer to get my license’s then most kids. I didn’t have a need for that level of independence when my friends had their own cars and parents that would gladly take me places.

Nonetheless at some point I would have to grow up and pass my drivers course. Once I did my parents gave me a red mini SUV. It was a Suzuki Grand Vitara. While I sometimes hated driving the car, it got me from place to place finishing high school and throughout all of college. I didn’t realize I would be so sad the day I departed from my car.

I was however optimistic on getting to Florida and purchasing my new car. I had saved up for months, taken my graduation money and put it towards my new purchase, I was beyond excited to get to my new car.

I purchased the vehicle off my great-grandmother. A 2011 Honda Accord with less than 30,000 miles on it. It really was a car that a little grandma drove only to church and the grocery store.

Fast forward past the first time I drove the car. Fast forward past each time I drove it to work, Fast forward past all the times I drove it to Gainesville for an escape of small town life. Fast forward all the way to the day I decide to move half way across the country to escape a hurricane on a hours thought.

I was sitting in my car with all of my stuff loaded into it. I had no idea how far my car could actually go. I put all of my trust into that little vehicle. I turned off my air conditioning to conserve gas. I knew that my car could go to Orlando and back twice on one tank. I knew that meant roughly 550 miles on my tank. I sat in my Honda telling everyone that doubted me that I could make it all the way to Tuscaloosa on one tank of gas. The number of miles was about 430. I hoped that my horrible math skills wouldn’t fail me and get me stuck on the side of the road hoping to catch a ride out of the hurricane bound state. So I took a leap of faith and went for it.

I had a few factors against me.

1. I had a lot of extra baggage in my car.

2.Gas stations had no gas and I didn’t know where I could find one with gas at.

3. I had a lot of people against me.

4. I had to deal with crammed roads and scared people from a hurricane.

5. I was going to take back roads to avoid the crammed roads, which meant being in places with little access to help or gas.

I told everyone that it would be fine, that I wasn’t at all worried if my car could make it or not. I knew that it could. But over a conversation with my mom I revealed that I was worried, and I was putting on a good face because I wanted nothing more than to leave the situation I was in.

I sat in my little Honda windows rolled down when going under 50 mph, AC off for the drive, and drinking warm sparkling water jamming out to music. I was covered in sweat, dirt from moving, and a fake layer of energy was pushing me forward.

I was driving though small towns, back roads, and monitoring my gas tank closer than a parent with a newborn. With every mile I drove I kept telling myself you can’t turn around now, and each time I told myself that it got a little easier to keep putting the pedal to the floor.

I was almost outside of Tallahassee when I finally saw a gas station with gas. I was right under a full tank and already over a hundred miles out, two hours into my trip. I can’t remember any details about the gas station besides the fact that it had GAS and a huge line of cars. I was on the back roads and I figured if I stayed on them I had a better chance of finding some small town that had gas where the other evacuees didn’t know to look.

I made it all the way to Georgia before I stopped to fill up on gas. I was at 3/4 of a tank and had gone about 200 miles. I started to feel the doubts of others fall off of me and my beautiful car and sink back towards the fearful people of the hurricane. By the time I reached that gas station in Georgia I had begun to see other gas stations without lines and gas. I filled up my car and head towards Tuscaloosa with about 265 miles to go.

The rest of the trip went fine. The last place I filled up was Jackson Mississippi, and I arrived back home almost five days ago. I put a lot of trust into my car to help get me to safety. That trip made me a fan for life. Honda, you have won my loyalty. I did my calculations and I got about 625 miles to a tank of gas. WTF. Who knew my car could get that good of gas mileage. I fell into love with my car at that moment and became a Honda girl for life.

Fleeing Irma

It was only a few days ago that I wrote a post about preparing for my first hurricane. A LOT has happened since then, I feel like I was preparing for Irma at least a month ago.

It all started last Friday, I was supposed to go in for work at noon when my cousin came home and told me I should gas up now since everywhere was running out. I left and went to a gas station a town over since we had none. I had texted my boss to let her know I would be late. She told me not to bother coming in, it was really dead. Unusual for a normal Friday.

I still needed to go pick up my check so I went in just to grab it. I decided that I would talk to my boss. She cut me for the whole weekend and told me that it was iffy if I would work the next weekend. I was already leaving at the beginning of October to move back to Texas. She told me that the hurricane had put Ginnie out of season and it was okay if I wanted to leave early.

I went home not knowing what to do. Should I stay even though I won’t have any work. Should I go and risk the possibility of horrible road conditions. I had no idea what I should do. So I asked those closest to me what to do, should I stay or should I go? The consensus was come home to Texas.

I decided that I would just pack one box, the next thing I knew half my room was packed. I felt so clearheaded. Everything was pushing me towards Texas. Things had completely fallen into place. I packed up my belongings in about an hour and a half.

I set out on the road. My car loaded with my stuff, a full tank of gas, and an uncertain road trip plan. I was making decisions about three minutes in advance. Uncertain if I could find gas on the way I drove in the hot Florida sun without my air condition on to conserve gas.

The drive was about fourteen-ish hours away. Luckily for me I have some really good friends in Tuscaloosa Alabama. One of them works for the Bama football team. He told me if I could get in early enough he would get me a ticket to the game with his wife. I arrived in Tuscaloosa at midnight. The next day I went and saw the Roll Tide Roll. I got to catch up with friends, and then drive the last part of the way home on Sunday morning.

I’ve been meaning to write this since I got home Sunday night, which was less than forty-eight hours ago (but feels like weeks ago). But I have been so freaking tired. I had mono in college and all I wanted to do was sleep for days, that’s how I feel right now. I have no idea how people drive such long distance by them self. It was hell. My whole body felt like it was seizing up. My legs started to cramp and all I wanted to do was go thirty over the speed limit.

But I made it. I made it back home to Texas and I’m here to stay for a little while. I have no idea what I am going to do, where I am going to go. I have some plans, things I want to do. Being an adult is hard and sucks. I’ll just keep making decisions three minutes, three days, three months, three whatever in advance.

 

Preparing For Irma

I just recently learned, as in yesterday, that the Hurricane Irma that everyone has been talking about is actually coming right for Florida. Currently I am living in north central Florida, but I am a Texas a girl. A north Texas girl to clarify.

In case you do not know and have seen the recent news about Texas and Harvey, I lived in the DFW Metroplex. That is about a 5hr drive to Houston. Most people could drive out-of-state in that much time. When a Hurricane has impacted Texas, what mostly happens in DFW is a shortage of gas, food being sent down to the affected areas, and some rain. Nothing near what people had to deal with in Houston, Corpus Christi, and other cities along the coast.

Mostly we deal with tornados in north Texas and you can’t predict much about them several days in advance.

But with Irma people have been talking about her for what seems like weeks, even if it hasn’t been that long. I had no idea it was even a thing until I got a call from my grandmother telling me that I needed to prepare. Seeing as how no one in the area had been freaking out and I hadn’t heard anything. I blew her off, oops!

I first realized that something might be going on when I went into an office supply store and was asked if I wanted to purchase a case of water. The girl probably thought I was being bitchy when I looked at her like she was asking me the weirdest question ever. Who buys water from an office supply store?

Afterwards I went to a frozen yogurt place where I asked the kind lady at the counter what the deal was with this hurricane. She was really helpful and went over a few things. I sent out texts to some other people asking what to do. And even asked some people in person.

So far the advice I got was lots of water, lots of non-perishable food, electricity could go out for a week, really strong winds, and the idea of having to wait inside for days without electricity or gas to take me places.

All this preparation for something that might affect me seemed really crazy when people first started talking to me. I have never been through a hurricane and I figured I was far enough north and inland that it wouldn’t affect me. seeing as how I am about the same distance from Miami as I was from Houston in Texas.

I’m not really sure what to expect, only time will tell. But I have stocked up on lots of protein bars, snacks, beef jerky, sweet peas, and tuna. So hopefully it won’t be as bad as people are saying but I’ll go ahead and expect the worse.