Today was no exception. Work was the sort of day where I could NOT do anything right the first time I tried. Not a darn thing including drive home. I got about 1/3 of the way home and a blew a tire. A perfectly fine tire, by all accounts from my local mechanic shop.
So I call AAA and promptly get disconnected because, again, I can't do anything right the first time. But the guy on the line was very nice and helpful and promised the repair guy would be there within 40 minutes.
So I wait on the side of the road with my hazards flashing and my AC on low. The cars are zipping past on the highway and about 2/3 of them are actually obeying the state law about changing to the center lane when passing a disabled vehicle. Along the way, I notice not one, but two people I work with drive by ignoring me.
While I was on the phone with AAA, The Guy Who Wants To Help stopped. It happens every time. I've been stranded on the side of the road my share of times, I guess, and every time ONE PERSON stops to offer assistance.
The interesting part is that every time, except for one, the guy who stops is riding a motorcycle. Yep. The guys that everyone avoids when they are stopped on the side of the road are the ones who always stop to render aid to me. And the one time it wasn't a guy on a motorcycle? It was January, in Nebraska, and 12 degrees. No kidding he wasn't on a bike.
I like me some biker types.
So the guy from Loren's Tires in Wahoo, NE finally shows up. I say 'finally' when he only took 20 minutes of the 40 to get there. Nice guy. He had his two little girls in the truck with him which I thought was unusual but I went with it. We chatted. He looked at my tire and my spare and we decided that the used tire he probably had at his little one-man tire shop was the best option. While he was loading my car onto the flatbed, I noticed that there were 100's of little grey-headed coneflowers on the side of the road.
He did in fact have a tire. So, I spent the next 30 minutes being totally enchanted by his two daughters. They are 5 and 9 years old. As my husband says, "They're cute when they're little." They were adorable and not the slightest bit shy. When I wasn't looking, one of them slipped a tiny rock into my pocket.
The next thing I know, I'm heading down the highway on my way home with a fixed tire. On the way home, I saw in various locations three deer, a fox, five ducks and a coyote.
This is where the silver linings part comes in. I have tried to write this down properly and I can't get it right, so I'm just going to make a list:
- It was 80 degrees and not 100 degrees like it was last week.
- At least one person stopped completely unprovoked and offered assistance.
- I had actually remembered to renew my AAA membership.
- Loren figured out on his own that he needed a flatbed truck for my all wheel drive car.
- I found some cute little coneflowers on the side of the road.
- Loren had exactly the right tire for my car in his shop.
- Loren had the skill and tools necessary to make short work of taking off the ruined tire and installing the used tire.
- Loren did not once try to take advantage of the fact that I'm a woman and this was a car issue. I'm no mechanic, but I know when I'm being played and I don't appreciate it. It happens more often than you can even imagine.
- The charge for the tire and the labor involved was less than a 'big garage' would have charged me just to fix a tire.