Yesterday was the latest in my series of lucky days.
So I packed my bags for a martial arts class, and I hoped to attend one or more while my children did Vacation Bible School (I would have just said VBS, but I’m not sure how well an increasingly secular society would understand just the abbreviation). As we were driving to church, I heard a ticking from my car echoed as we passed other cars. As I changed a directional signal earlier in the day, a strange procedure that had me lying under the truck and groping with one hand into the bowels of the vehicle, I wondered if I’d moved something that was now rhythmically striking something.
I got the kids to VBS and made it to the martial arts school with five minutes to change before the early class. I pulled into a spot with a car on the left and an empty space on the right. I got my bags and went around to the passenger side of the car so I could navigate more easily with the duffel bags.
Wherein I spotted a nail and a bracket in the right front tire with an attendant hissing sound of escaping air.
I ran down the scenario in my head: I could change the tire now, or I could change the tire after class, and get the boys. Of course, this is the newer truck, so I’m not even sure where the jack and doughnut are.
It’s a most inconvenient time to be down a vehicle; my beautiful wife is traveling for work this week, so the family’s second car is sitting in the airport parking lot.
So I got into the bathroom to change into my gi, and it occurred to me that it was 5:45, and the tire shop around the corner was still open. And the tire probably had enough air in it to make it to the tire shop.
So I left the martial arts school and made it to the tire shop ten minutes before their closing. I made arrangements for the boys’ grandmother to pick up the boys if I had to leave the car overnight, but the tire shop accommodated me and replaced the tire after their official closing time.
So it really was my lucky day: if I hadn’t gone around to the passenger side of the car, I wouldn’t have seen the problem, and I might well have tried to drive off with a flat tire and might not have had time to pick the kids up. If I hadn’t discovered it and gotten to the tire shop before it closed, I might be down a vehicle and have had to figure out how to get it to a shop and to chauffeur the kids around until my wife returns.
Whenever I have a car issue that could leave me stranded, and I handle it correctly, I feel delightfully competent as an adult. The feeling doesn’t last–I’m soon back to the general “What am I doing?”