photo by farid askerov on unsplash

It was the dark of night on a road turned dark at sunset, each motel, restaurant, store, and gas station we passed was also dark, making Christmas Eve 1978 look not so good. My sons were with their father for the holiday; Bill’s daughters were with their mother.

Without children in the house why bother with Christmas so we decided to drive west from New Jersey so I could see the snow covered Rocky Mountains for the first time. All day on the road, passing cars piled high with brightly-wrapped presents, brought us here, west of the Mississippi River, where we were beginning to have second thoughts.

Down to less than a quarter tank of gas we spotted the brilliant light of a 7/11 convenience store like an oasis, or maybe a shining star approaching Columbia, Missouri. With hot coffee in hand, we read a sign leaning against the gas pumps at the station alongside that said, “honor-bound, pay your money in the box” we just knew a motel with a vacancy would come up next.


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21 responses to “SSS-OASIS

  1. What a cool Christmas story. And yes, a 7-11 can be an oasis when traveling at night.


  2. UP

    Any convenience store is a beacon of light in the dark when tired and travelled out! Happy Thanksgiving.


  3. D. Avery’s been stealing my lines all day! LOL
    Excellent story/Six, Arlene. Love how it ended because, yes, after honor pay gas, there was definitely a room for you with the light left on 🙂


  4. Still life in words
    very enjoyable Six


  5. Pat Brockett

    Reading this brought to mind the Tom Bodett Motel 6 commericials. 🙂
    Your SSS was so easy to visualize and to remember some very long days of travel and the exhaustion one feels when calling it a day.


  6. dyannedillon

    I’ve been on that stretch of I-70 and know exactly what you’re talking about! Our family had a similar story about driving at night when there was a huge power outage of the entire eastern seaboard. Scary when it happens to you!


  7. Missouri folks are a special sort of cheerful! Glad you found a place to snooze. Nice six.


  8. I like how finding that gas station brought back a sense of trust and being guided through the night.


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