Friday, December 6, 2013

The Two Flat Tire Odyssey

The best laid plans never seem to work out, y'all. Such was the case Wednesday night.

As you know from my previous post, Jared's beloved grandmother Meme recently passed away. Her funeral was yesterday in Brownwood, Texas. Jared was in San Antonio for a residency interview Tuesday and Wednesday, so he planned to drive to Brownwood after the interview ended. I planned to leave for Brownwood Thursday morning with Henry.

Unfortunately, a huge cold front rolled through Texas and changed all of our plans. (Not a new phenomenon this year, unfortunately). The weather went from warm on Wednesday afternoon to 43 degrees in a matter of hours. I knew if I did not leave Wednesday night, I might not make it to the funeral. I packed up and loaded everything, including my puppy, into my car. On the outskirts of Lubbock, however, I hit a snag.

I got a flat tire.

I didn't know what to do at first. Jared was out of town and I didn't know how to change a tire, especially on the side of a busy road. I used to have roadside assistance through my cell phone carrier, so I called them. Sadly, the service had been cancelled. I needed another solution. I tried to keep my tears back so I could keep myself and Henry calm. Panic would not help!

I called Jared and my dad, who both walked me through some options. Ultimately, I decided to call my BFF Cheryl  and her husband Kent. I felt terrible calling them on such a cold night, but I couldn't think of a better option. Cheryl and Kent came immediately to help me. Even though I was stuck on the side of a busy road, I never felt so loved as when those two came to my aid.

Kent assessed the tire situation and discovered more bad news: BOTH tires on the driver's side were flat. And I mean flat, as in no hope of re-inflating them ourselves. This rendered my spare tire useless. I had no choice but to call a wrecker. I decided to call my insurance company first to see if my insurance covered roadside assistance. I mean, why not? Fortunately, they do, up to 50 miles! The first piece of good news during that night. The insurance representative set me up with a wrecker, so all Cheryl, Kent and I had to do was wait for him to arrive.

Our wrecker Trey arrived ahead of schedule. He was a veteran from the Navy and such a friendly guy. He assessed my tires and said since I got two flats, I probably ran over some construction material dropped by a truck. He pointed out further down the road where another car had lost their entire tread to something similar. I realized as inconvenient and scary as these flat tires were, it could have been a lot worse. I could have blown a tire and flipped my car or crashed into a ditch. God's provision for sure.

Trey also told Cheryl and me about some of the accidents he had seen. To give you an idea, Trey had bucket of sand on his truck to help clean up blood spots. Horrible. The best comment he made however was about used tires. He said after a flat tire or accident, buying used tires is the same as buying a used condom. Useless! It felt good to laugh after such a traumatic event.

I called Jared to tell  him what had happened, and he said there was a change of plans: he was coming to get me. I asked if he was sure, because at the time he was near Brady, Texas, which is a good four hours from Lubbock. Jared said he didn't want poor weather to keep me from saying goodbye to Meme, so he was coming. I couldn't believe he would do that for me. I'm telling you, the love I received Wednesday night made me feel so blessed.

Cheryl and Kent stayed with me until Trey took my car to Discount Tire. My tires are under warranty, so I hoped it would cost little to nothing to fix my tires. Cheryl also offered to take care of my car the next morning so I wouldn't have to worry about it. Can you believe that? Cheryl and Kent are such selfless human beings.

Jared got home around 11:30 p.m. and we drove on to Brownwood, arriving at 3:30 a.m. We got out just in the nick of time, because Lubbock froze over early the next morning. Because of three people's immense kindness, I got to say goodbye to Meme. God was watching out for me!