How I Lost $20 And Saved My Life

When I left work today I realized that I had to get gas or my car would run out before I got home.  I wasn’t being stupid about it, but I didn’t stop this morning because I knew I had time to do so after work.

My mind was racing because, well, that’s what it does.  My brain was filled with thoughts of the workday and a meeting about the school year for next year and then I was thinking about home and lesson plans and my blog and genealogy and, and, and…

I pulled into the gas station, ran inside and gave the guy working there “$20 for pump 10, please.”  Then I power walked back to my car, got back in and continued to drive home.

Have you noticed the step I forgot to take in my madcap pursuit of the afternoon?

About 10 minutes later I looked down and the yellow you-better-watch-out-because-you’re-going-to-have-an-empty-gas-tank-soon light was shining brightly up at me.

AAAAUUUUGGGGHHHH!!!!!!!!!

I never put the gas in my car.  I paid for it and then just left.  WHO DOES THAT??

I raced back praying that a miracle had occurred and that no one had pulled up to that particular pump.  But it showed a previous purchase of $86.02.  Obviously, $20 of that had been my $20.  But what kind of a vehicle holds that much gas?

I ran inside and explained what happened.  They felt sorry for me.  So I handed over the $15 I had left, walked slowly back to the car and with the precision and stealth of a jaguar, I put gas in my car.

Well my prayers were answered, but not in the way I expected.  I had prayed that no one had used my $20.  Then I tried to let go of the feeling that I was an idiot.  Everyone makes mistakes and it’s not like the shock of the century that I lost focus and forgot to do something.

On my way back home, there had been a 5-car crash.  An SUV was on it’s side, facing the wrong way.  Two different front wrap-around grills (that’s not what they’re really called but you know what I mean) were in the road.  Glass and stuff from the cars were strewn everywhere.

However, I was not strewn everywhere.

Had I not had to go back to the gas station I would have been in that very same spot at roughly the same time as the accident.  My prayer was answered, but in a different way.

Losing $20 possibly saved my life.

About Barb Knowles

The things that are important to me are family, friends, teaching, writing, languages and using my sense of humor to navigate this crazy world. Please join me on this blogging adventure...
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49 Responses to How I Lost $20 And Saved My Life

  1. That is scary! Glad you are ok.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Barb Knowles says:

      I’m sure lots of people go past accidents and think if I were here just 5 minutes earlier that could have been me. But today it seemed like it really could have been me. But what a knucklehead to leave without getting the gas. Have you ever done that?

      Liked by 1 person

      • In truth, no. Mostly because I worry obsessively about running out of gas and never even let it go below half full. I have done lots of silly things, though. Like once trying to pay the rent the day *before* payday–the people in rent office were quite confused. Or the time when I lit a firecracker in my hand. (Granted I was 11 years old at the time, but still…)

        I’m sure I can think of more. I’ll post them when I do.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Barb Knowles says:

        Or when I put a knife in the toaster….

        Liked by 1 person

      • I once was unplugging a power strip from an outlet and accidentally touched the metal prongs before they were completely out of the outlet.

        Strangely, it didn’t really hurt–felt more like a wave of warm water went up the inside of my arm.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Barb Knowles says:

        oh no! I don’t know which is more terrifying. That it happened, or your description of it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Melinda Irizarry says:

    OMG. I was talking to you when you pulled in! Didnt you call me when you left the gas station too#

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Paul says:

    It pays to be forgetful sometimes. Glad you’re ok, Barb. In Canada, we pay for gas after we fill up the car, like normal people.

    Like

  4. gingerbread76 says:

    We still have a few gas stations around here that don’t force you to prepay. It’s Tarzan’s pet peeve that gas stations automatically assume you’re a thief. I have never paid for gas and forgotten to fill up, but I have forgotten to unhook the gas pump and drove away, pulling it off the machine. The better story is about the time I almost left the house without pants. This really happened.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Barb Knowles says:

      POST THAT STORY!

      Liked by 1 person

      • gingerbread76 says:

        Good idea. I am keeping a list of blog entry “topics”… I’ll add that and move it to the top of the list. It was years ago, in 2011 I think. I’m pretty sure I made a Facebook post about it when it happened… I’ll have to go back and read it to remind myself exactly how it all went down. If Tarzan hadn’t stopped me, I’m 100% certain I would have left the house without pants.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Barb Knowles says:

        When an idea occurs to me, I write it down as well. This one just happened today. As I was driving home, I thought this one I’ll write tonight.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Carrie Rubin says:

    So glad you weren’t involved in the accident. It’s kind of like a quote I love: rejection is God’s protection. Though you weren’t rejected in this case, it’s along a similar theme. Something good came out of something bad.

    But I have to admit, I did get a good chuckle over what you did. I’m so glad I’m not alone in these things. Though I’ve never forgotten to pump my gas, I have forgotten bags at the grocery store. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. sabaambr says:

    So scary but I’m glad you are okay. And yes, I believe things happen for a reason 😱❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Celestial says:

    Amazing how God works. We never know what he’s protecting us from.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. soberinvegas says:

    yikes!! so glad you are safe!! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  9. That was close. It’s amazing how things work.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. lorriedeck says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how a tiny decision – or a tiny mistake – can have a powerful impact on life.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What a story, Barb! This is a classic case of things happen for a reason. It wasn’t meant to be. Glad you got out of it. That 20 bucks was worth it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Good thing you don’t sky dive.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Ann Coleman says:

    Dang, that was far too close for comfort! Glad it ended well. Certainly twenty dollars well spent!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. WOW and WOW again! What an amazing gift and a reminder that all our answered prayers aren’t necessarily answered in the way we want them, but perhaps in the way we need them. I have to say I almost wet my pants when I read the first part of this. I did this very thing at a McDonald’s but it only involved a cup of coffee :). Thanks for sharing this fun and uplifting story. Love your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Barb Knowles says:

      Haha! I like it when people get a kick out of my writing, but I’m glad that you didn’t go so far as to…….really funny comment. And thanks not only for reading and commenting on this, but also for the compliments!

      Like

  15. God works in mysterious ways

    Liked by 1 person

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