So Eenie and I were driving to a doctors appointment in Arlington this afternoon. We live in Fort Worth, but we still go to our PCP in Arlington because we've been with him for years and the hassle of finding a new one out weighs the hassle of going to Arlington. Or it used to.
Ennie and Miney are needing further testing at various and sundry places, and the only places they are being referred to are in Arlington, so we are going there more frequently. It's quickly wearing on my nerves.
At any rate, Eenie and I were on the way to Arlington and during a brief interlude in our conversation I thought to myself, "Self, we're doing pretty well!! This van is in good shape. We haven't had any breaks downs or mechanical issues..." I should have stopped thinking right then.
We were approximately three exits from our destination when the low tire pressure light flickered on...because the tire went flat. The thing about those lights, though, is they are supposed to turn on when the tire pressure is low. Like BEFORE the tire goes flat, but I guess it was kind of an all at once thing.
Anyway, I saw the light after I felt a distinct shift in balance. So I pulled the van as far over to the side as I could, because I really couldn't let my child's last memories of me include being smeared cross the highway by a semi, and set to work changing the tire. Well, in the twelve years we've owned the van this is the second time the tire has ever been changed. The first time I was pregnant with Moe.
Eleven years ago.
So I had to figure out where the damn spare was hidden. Then, I had to figure out how to get the damn thing out. I never did either one. This drunk dude pulled over and figured it out for me. He also figured out that my spare was dried out and cracking, that we were missing one of the five nuts, (and had been for some time as evidenced by the rust), and then broke the remaining nut with the post completely off while removing the flat tire.
It was awesome.
After the donut was in place, we were rolling at 30 mph down the highway, cursing and praying the tires wouldn't fail us before we made it to Discount Tire. Eenie chose a Discount Tire that was .5 miles away, but would require that we get back onto the highway and head west. From I-20 we took the round turn to Cooper that put us Northbound and then got on a second round turn that sent us West. Half way through the turn West, Eenie decided we shouldn't get back on the highway so we ended up taking the West turn back around to the South, then East and North again. It was like a freakin carousel.
However, Cooper is a Halloween horror show every day, all day. So when we were got back on to Cooper the second time I was pulling out in front of traffic that was determined to go faster than me while completely ignoring my hazards. I was the right lane, the Discount Tire was on the left and I had to be assertive with no power to back it up. And there was no turn lane.
I had to go up the street and flip a u-y, on a dried out, partially deflated spare tire. We rolled into the Discount Tire and explained the situation to the man at the desk. While waiting for the van to be re-tired, I reflected on the betrayal I felt. How could my van just leave us stranded on the side of the road like that? I wondered if I could ever trust my ride again.
Happily, we were back on the road half an hour later and my confidence in my van has mostly been restored.
By the way, Ennie missed her appointment. What's one more trip to Arlington?