Thanksgiving is… WHAT?  Next week!!!  ACK!

Thanksgiving means a lot of different things to different people.  We love hearing stories about where our customers are spending the holidays.  Most times, say 90% of the time, people’s faces absolutely light up when they say things like “we’re going to see family in Pennsylvania – with two kids, two dogs and all the things that go with that!” or “the kids have never seen my sister in Indiana, so we’re going out there this year!”  We’re a family here – our staff and our real Beany family – and we’re thankful for all sorts of things.

For many people Thanksgiving means traveling and eating.  What I want to talk about today is the travel part.  In college I had crummy cars and had a ‘winter breakdown kit’ at all times, yes, even in the summer.  I know it’s not FULL OUT WINTER just yet, but now, when many of us are on the road and in the traveling mindset, is a great time to prepare for the worst.

Of course, before you hit the road, come into Beany’s.  We’ll check your tire tread, your wipers, your cooling system (the one that keeps your engine cool), and YOUR SPARE TIRE.  We’ll make sure your hoses and belts look good, not cracked, frayed or glossy.  We’ll check your exhaust, so that exhaust fumes aren’t coming into your cabin.  Of course, things still happen….. cars slide, snowstorms come up out of nowhere, and yes, people still sometimes run out of gas.

First things first —  make sure you have a full charge on your cell phone before you leave home.  It wouldn’t hurt to program into your phone, the State Police number of the state you’ll be traveling in.  Ohio State Highway Patrol is #677. 

Although Ohio and surrounding states aren’t exactly “wilderness,” there are places where cellphone coverage is sketchy at best.  If you break down or skid into a ditch, you need to be ready.  Consider a kit that includes as much of these as you can feasibly fit in your trunk, just for when you’re waiting.

  • Jumper Cables- if they don’t include instructions, print instructions from the internet and put them in the bag/sack they are stored in. Although they won’t likely get you out of your predicament, if your battery dies because you’re running the car for warmth/for a cell charge, you’ll need them then.
  • Your tire jack – most cars come with them. Do you KNOW where yours is?  Do you have a wheel lock ?  Do the jack and lock work?  How is your SPARE TIRE?  Is it pliable and filled properly?  Know these things and know where they are.  Even if you don’t know how to use them, someone may come along who DOES know how to use them, and if you feel safe accepting help, they are handy to have.
  • A blanket, a warm hat (or two) and spare socks – if you’re stuck IN snow, you don’t want to leave your car on for the heat. It’ll be tempting, but carbon monoxide can build up in your cabin if the tailpipe is IN the snow.  Plus, if you ever come upon an accident, a person with a blanket is a BIG help
  • Flares/lights/reflective triangles – if you’re stuck in snow or mud, the last thing you need is for someone to hit you because they can’t see you. Plus, it’ll help the tow truck and state patrol/sheriff find you.
  • Some snacks and water – I know we don’t live in the boonies or anything, but snacking on some granola bars can keep your mind off being scared, and water’s never a bad thing to have around, right?
  • A fire extinguisher – worst case scenario. Again, even if YOU don’t need it, you may come upon someone, sometime in your life, who needs someone to have one.So, where ever you’re going, be safe, be merry, have fun, and love your people.  Heck, hug someone for us!!!