I had a flat tire yesterday. And, of course, I was on a four-lane highway traveling about 60 when the car began pulling strongly to the left and I got a funny sinking feeling on that side. I pulled off, peeked out and sure enough the left front tire was flat, flat, flat. I left a message for the friend I was meeting for lunch and then called a co-worker for help–I was only 5 minutes from my office.
I know how to change a tire–dad made sure of that. But it’s been more than 10 years since I actually did it! For example, did you know that the jack is actually tightened into that little cubby on the side? You have to loosen it just to get the jack out. And people make fun of me for making sure the car booklet is in the glove box before I buy a used car.
I had things well on the way when my co-worker arrived and was gracious enough to lie down on the side of the road to position the jack correctly. We changed to the spare and then I headed for the tire shop where I bought my still nicely treaded tires. They patched me up and sent me on my way–no charge.
All in all, this turned out to be a one-hour, unexpected side trip in my day. I missed lunch with my friend, but I found out that I have several friends who are more than happy to come to my rescue.
1) The friend who looked up the name of the restaurant where I was going for lunch because I didn’t have my friend’s cell number with me.
2) The friend who couldn’t come to help change the tire, but called to check on me 30 minutes later to make sure I wasn’t stranded.
3) The friend who did come help.
4) The friend who owns the tire shop who wouldn’t think of charging me for a patch.
5) All the friends back at the office who heard about my flat and showed concern.
I hope I don’t get another flat tire for a long time. But it sure was nice to see that I have such a strong safety net around me even when little things go wrong. They didn’t help me because I’ve written a book. They didn’t help me because I might be famous one day. They helped me because they’re friends–because they’re good people. Well worth the detour to be reminded of that.