That’s not my car over there, but it’s close enough…
This afternoon, I was just making a quickie run to the Post Office, sans make-up and my usual put-togetherness, and as I soon was to discover, also without my phone. About a mile from my house, the right front tire on my car actually blew out. I think I may have experienced one flat tire before in my life, but the decades have all but erased the memory.
It was such a rare occurrence that my mind was drawing a blank as to how to proceed. My first thought was about hoping that I didn’t permanently damage the rim by driving very slowly about another half mile to a parking lot. It just happened to be the parking lot for a mechanic that tried to rip me off for tires (coincidentally) a few years ago, and who ultimately wrote me a check for $150 because I wasn’t having it.
Happily, they were closed today for whatever mysterious reason. So I parked there and walked two doors over to one of our favorite local restaurants, The Chapala Grill. I had my insurance card in hand, and the plan was to call my daughter to give a heads-up about what was taking me so long, and then to call the roadside assistance number on the back of said card.
The folks at Chapala have always been very friendly and helpful. The food is wonderful as well, in no small part because we can be our gluten-free, vegetarian selves there and still walk away satisfied. That place seems to be somewhat of a haven for us, because when the electricity went out in our area for several days a while back, they miraculously still had power. And when my beloved little blue car was totaled by the insurance company after a rear-end accident in 2020, we went to Chapala to soothe ourselves with dinner and Cosmos with orchids in them.
Back to this afternoon. I told the hostess what had happened, and then asked to use the phone. One of the waiters was nearby, and he asked if I knew how to change a tire. Do you know what? I had completely forgotten that changing a tire without help was even a thing that anyone did. Go figure that one out. Maybe I’ll chalk it up to that not being in my experience base for literally decades.
So off I went, back to my car to open the hatch and dig out the spare tire that I did actually check for before I bought it. The aforementioned digging did not bear the fruit of finding both a spare tire and a jack. No jack. There’s no jack in this car. Wow.
Okay, back to Chapala I went, where Alex the waiter very kindly walked me out to a black SUV to dig out his jack. Hooray! Now we’re getting somewhere. I was remembering high-school Driver’s Ed about how to change a tire, and I felt confident that soon, I would be on my way to completing the day’s postal mission, albeit with a temporary donut for a tire.
Back at the car, I started loosening bolts, which actually required quite a bit of leverage and power-bouncing on the jack iron to bring about the first squeaking crack of a loosening nut. I felt like a bear breaking open a tree full of honey. There was one stubborn nut that I just couldn’t budge, and wouldn’t you know it, another black SUV pulled up, and out of the passenger side stepped a bald headed, tattooed man asking if I would like some help.
“Didn’t think you’d say no!”
From that point on, dear Kieth wouldn’t let me do another thing. We chatted while he worked, and he said a few times that “Karma’s a thing, and most people don’t even understand that.” He even pulled some heavy duty grease removing wipes from his vehicle for us to use to de-grime our hands after everything was done. I brought Alex’s jack back to the restaurant and continued on to the Post Office, where I briefly recounted the experience I had getting there to the usually glum and negative guy behind the counter.
I shared that the overarching theme and takeaway for me in this adventure was that people are very wonderful and kind, and of course, Postal-man responded, “Sometimes…” What I’ve learned, I told him, is that if I cast no shadow, and I only mean for blessings and goodness to come to those in my field…and indeed, in my world, then nothing negative or malicious will be coming at me. He gave a sideways, hopeful smile, which in my mind either meant that he agreed with me, or he was just making it easy to end the conversation as well as our business.
And then, as if all of that wasn’t enough to mark this day as special, I came home to an internet outage. No pricing out the new rubber for my car tonight. It’s also pretty much why I have the time to write down today’s adventure story…but you won’t see it until my internet connection comes back. They said at first that it would be by 8:00 pm this evening.
Well that never happened, and now it’s tomorrow. On my last call to Optimum this morning, they said we’d have our connection back by 3:00 pm, and they weren’t lying this time. While being without internet, I admit to having all manner of thoughts around who was responsible, and why. My mind went to it being purposeful during this potentially loaded week of happenings on the world stage. As it turned out, though, this particular outage was was caused by a car accident that apparently damaged some infrastructure and closed a road for a while.
I also discovered today that my car does actually have a jack. It’s just hidden in the wall, and I wasn’t thinking as clearly as I might hope to when navigating a road emergency. My team got me through alright, though, despite my lapse in situational awareness.
But here’s another thing about this dream-like afternoon. I could have been far away from home when the tire blew out, or been driving at highway speed instead of being close to home and driving probably 30 or 35 mph. And if it had been a dream, I would have a look at the two beneficial black SUVs, and the symbolism of the tattooed guy talking about karma.
Since it was real, though, I’ll take it as Spirit’s way of giving me a soft heads-up to get new tires before snow comes. Message received! Much appreciated. ♥