Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Lessons Learned After Three Flat Tires in Three Weeks
If you cannot learn from adversity, you will be missing the hopeful side of a painful situation. At least that is my philosophy. And when your family has three flat tires in as many weeks on three different vehicles, you may as well look for the good!
We are super blessed to have three older paid for vans, all Dodge Caravans. My husband drives our 2005 van with 120K miles back and forth to work. It was a gift from my parents when they were getting another vehicle last year. We lovingly call this van "Goldie."
Goldie started the flat tire trend when my husband noticed a slow leak the morning after a long weeknight trip home from church. The first lesson learned, be grateful when a flat is just a slow leak and you discover it close to home. Super thankful! I think he was able to get it to the tire store without calling the motor club for help. We also noticed that it was leaking more oil than usual, so we decided that we'd take it in the next day. He'd drive "Old Faithful", the 2003 van with 180K miles, no A/C, and five-year-old tires that make it shake when you drive over 55. Yes, we should have been expecting this next flat!
I took Goldie into the shop the next day with a bit of fear and trembling. How much was this going to cost? Thankfully, we go to an honest dealership and they gave Goldie a look over and called back saying it was just an old van with leaks, too expensive to fix it. We are just supposed to keep checking the fluids frequently. They charged us $5 to replace a lightbulb. Score!!!
That evening, my dear husband discovers a flat on Old Faithful when leaving for home at 9:40 PM. He has to call the motor club because he can't get home on a flat spare, too! Thankfully, the motor club comes and the spare holds all the way home, 35 miles on the highway. I was on standby to come to his rescue if needed. He makes a note that the shake is gone. Ha, ha! Old Faithful is in the driveway with the spare still attached until we can get it some cheap tires. We want to keep this van for our teens.
Flat number three happens to me yesterday on my way home from the morning school drop-off. I drive the 2012 van with less than 120K miles and brand new tires. I must have run over something in front of the lumber yard that I drive by. Thankfully, again, I am just half a mile away from home and able to get home. The motor company comes. He has a horrible time getting the spare out from under the middle of the bottom of the van, the only place for a spare in a "stow and go" van. Goodness, it could not be in a more inconvenient place. He finally gets the van jacked up and cannot remove the tire. He has to call a tow truck after all that. The lug nuts are different sizes? They don't have an adapter? So weird.
By now, I am having to call the vet office and reschedule our morning's appointment. I also do an attitude check,"Go with the flow" I tell myself. I absolutely hate riding in tow trucks. I hate having car issues. But here I am, so I decide to look for ways to be a blessing to those I am going to come in contact today.
The tow truck comes and we have a pleasant conversation on the way to the tire store, my beloved Discount Tire. I must give them a shout out. They are awesome. I get there, pay the money for going over 5 miles, and go into the store.
Oh wow! There are people EVERYWHERE. I am not the only one towed in. I finally get checked in and they are going to also replace the lug nuts. Who knew that the ones that came on the van are not the one-piece type and they can swell up?
Thankfully, I have some things to work on and get settled in for my 2-hour wait. Not too very long goes by and a nice young lady asks to sit next to me and we strike up a conversation. She tells me of how she is a single working mom and depends on her church for help with her 3-year-old because she has no family. We have a nice talk and then my van is finished. They were able to repair the tire. Another nice worker puts the spare back in the awkward spot it belongs and I am free to go home, five hours after I ran over whatever that was!
I was able to see God working in my favor all morning long. I received mercy upon mercy. I remained patient and kind. I saw opportunities to bless others. It turned out to be a nice morning! God's mercy was written all over all of our flat tires, still, I am praying that we have learned some valuable lessons and this is the end of the flat tire season. :)