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Fuel for Thought

Small, Dark & Muddy

I Paid For This ?

By Greg Huggins
Posted Dec 13th 2016 6:15AM

How fortunate I was to found a small, muddy, dark and pothole riddled parking lot that I could voluntarily pay for, for the night. Voluntarily? Happily? Pay for parking? YES!

After being turned away for a delivery and having to return the following morning, I was fortunate to find a small gas station with a tiny dirt (mud) parking lot nearby. Once I got stopped on the pavement of the little convenience store, I went inside to ask about parking next door. I asked if the little lot belonged to the gas station, it did. I asked if I could park there for my 10 hour break, “ Sure, no problem, stay as long as you need to.” I was happy to find such a convenient parking area close to my delivery. The nearest major truck stop was around 40 miles away, and then 40 miles back for my morning delivery.

After a little conversation with the night clerk, I felt compelled to purchase several items from the store, none of which I needed, to show my gratitude for his generosity in allowing me to park for, in his words, “as long as I need to.” This little establishment makes this small, albeit rough, dark and currently muddy, parking area available to weary drivers who just need a place to rest. At no charge. The least I could do was to patronize his business for allowing me to park there.

I am not an advocate for paid parking, but sometimes I feel it is justified when NOT being forced to pay. Paying for parking makes sense when you can put a value on it. I always try to show appreciation for businesses or individuals who are a benefit to me and my business. If you just take, it can be taken away. Try to give a little back, especially when you are not being asked, and it will be given back to you.

When you find your little “oasis”, please remember to treat it with respect. Treat it as if it were your own, unless you live in landfill, then treat it like your clean neighbor's house ( and that neighbor would like for you to clean up a bit as well). Leave it as you found it. Leave no trace of your presence, other than the good feeling of appreciation you show the owner of the property. If you abuse it you will certainly lose it.

Sometimes a dark, muddy lot can be an oasis. It just depends on how you view it. That little parking lot saved me an 80 mile round trip and buying a few items to show my appreciation was the least I could do. It helps his small business and mine.

See you down the road,


When it comes to life, the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.

- Gilbert K. Chesterton


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