Saturday, May 18, 2013



On the farm it is essential to keep some gas in a large gas can. This gas is used to fuel the Suzuki quad runner and to keep gas in the tank of a Nissan pickup truck we only use for orchard operations. The lawnmower benefits too. Adding gas to an empty tank is an infrequent task, but when we need it, it’s nice to have handy. That is why a large gas can is perfect. It is there when you need it!

When I first started farming back in 1997, I went to a farm store to look over the gas cans I knew what I was looking for. I wanted one that would hold enough fuel to last a good while, but also small enough that I could manage it when it was full. I found the perfect size for me, a seven gallon red gas can and it also had the other thing I was looking for, an easy pour spout. I liked that part because some spouts are a headache and the flow is hard to manage. After purchasing it, I filled it up with gas at the gas station and headed for home. It worked well and was all that I needed to keep the operation humming without too many trips to the gas station, just exactly the right purchase for the need at hand. 

Living out in the country there are always those people heading to town hoping to make it to the nearest gas station while driving on fumes. Sometimes they land at our doorstep, not literally, but next to the road outta gas. They walk to the house and ask if we can spare some gas to help them out. It was just such a day. 

My oldest son was a teenager at the time. He was working outside on a project. A young man came to the house saying he was out of gas. My son mentioned to me that if it was all right with me, he would help the guy out. Of course I said yes. Josh carried the almost full gas can part way down the driveway, mentioning that he needed to return to the task he was completing. "Here, go ahead and use some of the gas, bring it back when you're done." 

Shortly there-after my son exclaimed, “Mom, I think he took off with our gas can!” “My son heard the car roar off. They guy hadn't returned the gas can to him. Josh looked out toward the road from the yard, he didn't see the gas can from that vantage point. He ran out to the end of the driveway. No gas can. Then he went to the shed where we keep the gas cans, maybe the guy had put it away and he had been too busy to notice. Not there. The realization dawned, Nope, it was gone. We’d just lost our gas can. We had been taken advantage of in our helpfulness. 

I was not too happy about it. I was especially not too happy when I returned to the store and could not find another gas can like it. In fact, the manufacturers, probably due to new regulations, had changed the style to different sizes, a more awkward shape, and with a spout that is a difficult to almost impossible to use, in which I end up removing to use a funnel instead. I miss that gas can!

We get a little jaded when good deeds backfire, if we get taken or even mistreated. My brother experienced this when he offered a ride to two young men whose car had broken down on a windy mountain road. The young men decided they needed his car more than he did, taking action in a partner effort to hijack the car through force as they sought to overpower my brother while he was driving. It was a fight for survival in which my brother was able to escape with his life, feeling like Divine intervention helped him. But, that’s his story! Good Samaritans can get hurt or taken advantage of. A person becomes a little less trusting, wiser, and more careful. However, the bad behavior of others can not rob me of who I am. I will continue to follow an inner prompting, to help people when I am able. Only the way in which I do it has altered. What people choose to do has a way of coming back on them, whether negative or positive. We get what we give out.

I still miss that gas can. It was much better than its replacement. However, I have a functional gas can so I won't complain!

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