“We’re on E! And the light is on!”
Yesterday saw my boss and I on a field trip to Lexington, KY to speak to their DREs and principals before launching our program there in the Fall. It’s a beautiful part of the country, and although it’s long day to go there and back, it’s not a bad drive.
On our way up, we were running tight on time, so we decided we would stop for gas on the way home. We had half a tank, after all.
Somewhere between Elizabethtown and home, Sister noticed that we were on “E”. Whoops.
“How long has the light been on?!” I asked, whipping out my phone to pull up iExit to see where the closest gas station was.
“I don’t know! I think it just came on?!”
An exit appeared: Bonnieville. “There aren’t any gas stations off the highway here,” I protested as she pulled off, looking at my handy iExit app.
But we decided there had to be a gas station nearby, right? Where was Bonnieville, after all?
We drove down a country road, nothing but trees and fields on either side of us. But very soon we came to a T with signs of life. “Bonnieville is on the right,” I instructed, checking my map.
Sure enough, there was a big sign: “Gas and Food – 1/4 mile” with an arrow to the right.
We pulled up to the gas station, which seemed bustling with cars and a couple of motorcycles. The two pumps at the station were the kind with the rolling numbers, so no credit card machines here. Sister headed inside. The woman inside asked her how much she wanted. “I don’t know, however much it takes!” Sister responded, leaving her card with the lady and coming back out to pump.
She looked around to find the nozzle, but couldn’t find it. The man on the other side of the pump took it out of his car and handed it to her. “Here, ma’m. I was using it.” Sister joked that she wondered how she was going to get the gas in her car.
“It’s magic. That’s the way things work here in Bonnieville,” the guy joked. Clearly these people knew we weren’t from around these parts. He drove off without capping his tank, but realized it before pulling out of the parking lot. He got out to cap it. “I was distracted!” he joked to us.
Yeah, I bet you were. So you’ve never seen a Sister in a full habit before?
Sister finished pumping and came to the car, reporting that they had soft serve ice cream. We had been in search of ice cream earlier, and this seemed as good of an opportunity as any. We headed into the market.
There was a man sitting on a stool at the food counter, next to a sign that advertised hamburgers, hot dogs, bologna, and other delicacies. The prices were dirt cheap.
“Do you work the ice cream machine?” Sister asked.
“No, m’am. She does,” he responded, gesturing to the woman working the cash register. As soon as she was finished ringing up a few customers, she came over to get us our ice cream.
A man walked in the door and greeted the man on the stool by name. It seems that the residents of Bonnieville all knew each other. And we were clearly not residents of Bonnieville.
Maybe my red blazer and pencil skirt gave us away. Or maybe it would have, if the fully-habited “nun” hadn’t already given us away.
We got our ice cream and paid for our gas. Sister commented to the woman that she was busy, and asked if it had been a busy day today.
“Well, ma’m, we are the only store in town.”
As we left The Store, a man walking into The Store stopped dead in his tracks. He watched us as we walked away, his eyes large as saucers.
“They’re probably looking out their windows at us,” Sister joked as we drove down the street.
It was a nice place. Maybe we’ll go back sometime and visit the Bacon Creek Cafe next door. If they don’t kick me out for being a yuppie.