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Ready or Not #42: Toilet Paper and Road Trips

Updated: Dec 31, 2022

Three years ago, my family and I went to California. It was a last minute trip that we really didn’t know we were going to take until the day before. A good friend of mine died and I felt that we really needed to be with his family. It was good to see our friends and I am really glad that we went. Thankfully we were safe going and coming.

Of course, even though I was at work before we left, I was still bound and determined that this trip would be well ORGANIZED! And it was, but only because of my daughter. I gave her a list of things to do, and she had them all done by the time I got home.

She had made 24 sandwiches (ham, chicken, and roast beef). She cut up apples and oranges to snack on along the way and she got the ice packs to keep the food cold in the cooler. She also made sure that we had plenty of bottled water to drink. She is on her way to becoming an organizational genius! (And remember for your HOME STORAGE, you need two gallons of water, per person, per day, for a two week period.)

We were on our way. We missed the snowstorms (just barely) and all of the car accidents that we saw along the way. I was able to keep the car on the road in spite of gale force winds and I even kept my composure when the semi-truck in front of me almost tipped over because of an especially bad gust of wind. What I found disconcerting, and later on hilarious, was what happened when we went to a gas station in another state, in a small town with a name that starts with “B” and ends in “W”.

We were following our MapQuest™ directions and we had our son’s GPS. We even brought our book of maps of all 50 states (I told you we were prepared). But never having gone to California on this route before (oh, pick up your jaw off the floor and don’t look so shocked), we really didn’t know where we were and we didn’t want to get off of our appointed path too far because I didn’t want to have to stop and ask for directions.

The only problem was that there was only one gas station that we could find that was operational. The other two that we had passed had closed a long time ago. The gas station that we stopped at to fill up and refresh ourselves was right at the turn that took us in the right direction. That was good enough for us, but when my son-in-law went in to use the restroom, he found that there was no toilet paper. He told my daughter that there wasn’t any toilet paper, and she went to the cashier and told her that the restroom was out of toilet paper.

Now this is where it gets good. The cashier’s comment was, “I know. There hasn’t been for a long time.” Then she just stared at my daughter. Dumbfounded, my daughter came to me and relayed the story that had just transpired, and she was starting to look a little desperate!

Not to worry, Preparedness Mom to the rescue. I always carry a couple of rolls of toilet paper in the car at all times. (There is a story behind that, but I don’t think that it needs to be shared, just trust me when I say that it is good to have toilet paper in the car.)

Well, we furnished our own toilet paper and all was well, but woe to the next unwary traveler that is not so prepared. We all walked out and sanitized our hands before getting into the car and going on our way. (If the owners weren’t concerned about providing toilet paper, you can just imagine how concerned they were about the cleanliness factor.)

The moral of this story is: 1) always make sure that you have trained your child to do all the hard labor for you that is involved in going on vacation, 2) take hand sanitizer with you wherever you go, and 3) never, ever, go ANYWHERE without your own personal back-up supply of toilet paper!

Maybe next time we will just fly.


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