What Not To Do During Winter In Milwaukee

I live in the Greater Milwaukee area and have driven in Wisconsin winters since high school. This means I know a couple things about staying safe on the road:

  • In snowy conditions, slow down.
  • When coming to a stop, pump your breaks…don’t jam them.
  • Always leave 3-5 car distances between yourself and other drivers.

While knowing these survival techniques, I have yet to learn one of the most important rules…keep your tank at least ½ full.

If you’re like me, you only get gas when it’s absolutely necessary. This means riding on fumes has become an art form for you. You coast into a station when the needle is just past the last bit of red on the gauge.

Now, this technique definitely works during summers in Wisconsin. But one fateful evening in January, I decided to park my nearly empty car for the night. The plan was to get gas in the morning before my important meetings. What I didn’t realize was that it would be -30 degrees the next morning.

So the next day I go to start my car and the ignition stubbornly clicked…then went silent. I was freaking out! I had big meetings that morning and I had to present! The little gas I had in the tank was frozen.


I was late for my meetings, because I had to wait for a friend to help me get gas. I admit it. It was a silly, totally avoidable mistake. We all make them. But what helps is that friend, family member, coworker who gives you a hand and encourages you to “get your life” next time.


Engaging in healthy and honest dialog with others is a safeguard from running our lives on fumes. For you, maybe it’s a decision on a large purchase that really can wait; spending too much time at work; or not putting family time as a priority. What are some areas that you could use a friend’s voice of reason right now? Having healthy relationships can help us begin to refill our spiritual and emotional tanks.

What’s Next?

The hope is that we will go through this journey of getting better at life together. I believe we’ll see that, despite coming from different cultures, ethnicities and upbringings, we share lots in common. It will be through these similarities that we will appreciate the differences that could very well unlock answers to help us live every day.

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