But it kept on, so I slowed down and looked carefully to make sure I wasn't too far over in the lane and hitting those lane grid divider thingies. Nope. Still grating.
I pulled over on the shoulder (which was pretty wide, thankfully) and got out to check my tires. I had a sinking suspicion, and yes, sure enough, my back passenger side tire was COMPLETELY flat. We're talking IHOP Pancake here.
I got back in the car and thought "now what?" My dad taught me how to change a tire once but that was one lesson, seven years ago, and well, as you can imagine, it didn't really stick. Plus it was 40 degrees or colder outside, drizzly, and rapidly approaching sunset.
Hubby was not at work, thankfully, and was at home with our daughter. So I called him and - yay, she wasn't asleep! - and said "Guess what?" He told me he'd be there ASAP, which I knew would take a solid 20 minutes at best, coming all the way from our house.
So I hung up, feeling pretty grateful that I had a hubby who was accesible AND who knew how to change a tire.
Then I realized the drama this was going to involve. Driving on a spare until Saturday, going to the tire store, possibly buying a new tire or at best having them fix it, all of which cost major $. But what can you do? A girl's gotta have wheels - literally.
So I flipped on my flashers and waited. And waited. Called my mom to chat. Waited. Called my dad to chat. Waited. Texted. Waited some more.
Then a cop pulled up and asked if I was okay, after announcing the obvious. "Looks like you've got a flat tire there little lady." (yes, Little Lady) This was one country sheriff! Then he said he had to take someone home that was already in his squad car but he'd be back to check on me and make sure no one was bothering me.
He left, and there I sat weighing that particular phrase over and over in my mind. "Make sure no one bothers you."
Well, thanks for putting that in my head, as the sun begins to set and I'm here alone.
The next 15 minutes were spent staring in my mirrors, praying no one else would stop. Then I realized it was kind rude of them NOT to stop and try to help a stranded motorist, so I alternated between feeling relieved and insulted at each car/truck/18-wheeler that whizzed past.
Then I got really worked up about how people still zipped by me in the lane closest to me, even though they could have gotten over and given my gimpy car some room. The wind from their vehicles rocked my car over and over.
So there I sat, angry, relieved, frustrated, and insulted, and still waiting. I texted my critique partner and friend Georgiana Daniels and told her my situation and that I felt like a sitting duck. Does she offer wise words of wisdom? Tips on self defense? Sympathy and encouragement? No. Her response?
She really did do that, but she also panicked in all the right places beore and after and commiserated. =) Nothing like texting companionship in a crisis! We also agreed it was times like those that made us regret ever having written suspense! lol
Finally Hubby arrived, having had to borrow a jack from a neighbor and bundle Little Miss up before coming out in the cold. He changed the tire pretty quickly as Little Miss napped in the truck with the heat on. Thankfully the rain held off for those few minutes while he worked. (has anyone EVER changed a tire on a pretty, sunny, spring afternoon? No, its always either 140 degrees, raining, or 30 below. Go figure!)
(And yes, my cop never showed back up. Thanks for that, Mr. Tax Dollars At Work! Okay, still a little bitter. lol)
My friend texted me and mentioned how she was super glad I had a hubby who knew how to do all these handy things, and that they would have had to call a tow truck. I thought about that and realized I really am married to a hero! My hero! He can change tires, even fix minor mechanical issues with our vehicles, deal with electricity and plumbing, repair basically anything around the house. Paint, and make it look good. Plant trees and they remain upright in heavy wind. Mow the grass, plant bushes, make flowerbeds. He's the bottle maker, tractor driver, gun shooter, bug killer of the family. He can do a load of laundry and kiss boo-boos better. He can play lacrosse or horsie with equal fervor. Overall, the perfect hubby and daddy.
So here's a salute to my knight in shining armor. There's no white horse, but there is a very large, very silver steed that roars so loudly in parking garage he often sets off car alarms.
Thanks, Hubby, for being my hero. Mmmmmuah!!! =)
PS - he not only changed the tire, he also had a tire repair kit at home. So he took the tire to the gas station, aired it up, found the hole, repaired it, and put my original tire back on. All for free!