This summer, we have become regulars at the gas station near our house. The Chevron is to us what Cheers was to Norm and Clif. We go there like clockwork in the late morning where we follow a routine which includes a) peanut butter cups, b) bubble gum, c) 32 ounces of happy bubbly (mine, keep away).

This daily sugar and sugar substitute run serves several purposes, including rewarding one behavior-challenged kid for listening and obeying, giving mom her raison d’être, and giving another bored son an outing to look forward to. 
My Summer of Suffering has compelled me to find the little things which bring me happiness and rejoice in them. I heart the Chevron.
I noticed this week that they now have all the fixings for a dirty Diet Coke, or dirty Dr. Pepper. This is reason enough to stop, even without the guys in tow. But stop with the guys we always do. We’re gas station people. We can’t help ourselves.
When I was young, my family got one thing at the gas station, and it went in the gas tank. There was no snacking, people! After I married Jeff, he always stopped for snacks on fishing trips with my dad, where he learned that while my dad scorns stopping for junk food, he will happily take over and polish off someone else’s bag of corn nuts or salt and vinegar chips. Easy enough for a savvy son-in-law to handle: he simply bought extra snacks so there was always plenty to go around.
But our family’s most memorable gas station trip took place about twelve years ago at a bustling Flying J in a rural town. Jeff stood in line with his purchases when a guy came charging in the convenience store and loudly said, “Um, is there supposed to be a horse galloping around the gas pumps? Because there is. It’s running all over the parking lot and it almost jumped on top of my girlfriend’s Camaro.”
At this point, everyone in the joint swiveled and looked out the window, where indeed! a horse was totally galloping around, inadvertently threatening to stomp on some woman’s bad-boy car.
Jeff left that day with a big drink and an irrepressible urge to see a horse leap a Camaro. He also won for Best Gas Station Story, hands down.
We also heart random.

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