Flat Tire and Helpful Strangers

If you can believe this, I have had two flat tires this week. The first one was on my bicycle when I was riding home from the grocery store on Monday. But the second one was on my van yesterday in the pouring rain. I of course did not notice it since I was much more concerned with the fact that the gas price on the pump said $3.94. But the nice man pumping gas next to me pointed out the flat. I had two of the kids with me and several more places to go before I was in for the night.

That man actually laid down on the wet ground to see if he could loosen my spare tire (who thought of putting it under the car? bad idea in Ohio) but was unable to do so. The rain was dripping off the bumper onto his face, and he was lying on wet concrete trying to get it (his face? the bumper? no, the spare) off so he could fix it for me. He told me that he thought about what it would be like for his wife if she were in my position and that is what he wanted to help. I was so touched. Seems like anymore people don’t like to get involved and I was so appreciative of his help. I have never changed a flat tire although I have been in a car a couple of times that had a flat.

So, the man put some air in my tire so I could drive to the tire store. I could see the screw that had punctured the tire and I expected to drive to the tire store and have the helpful tire man fix the tire and be on my way. But, no-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o! The puncture was too close to the edge, so the tire had to be replaced. And blah blah blah blah. Two hours later we drove off with 2 new tires and 200 fewer dollars. I actually had to call Greg a couple of times because I wasn’t sure about some of the stuff to do since he handles this kind of stuff almost all the time.

The thing that really struck me besides his help was the fact that I live in a place where I can get pretty much anything I need pretty much anytime. It made me think about all the people in the world who don’t have cars, let alone gas stations every 50 feet, and all the other amenities we totally take for granted every day.

My son was annoyed because he was having to wait and I did mention to him that that was selfish thinking, only because I wanted him to focus on the fact that in our time of need, our needs were met. I know there are many people who face such minor problems as flat tires that turn into major problems because of work issues, or no support, or lack of money to get the thing fixed. While I was waiting at the tire store, a woman came in who had had to be pushed into the parking lot by another car because her clutch had totally gone out. It wasn’t a very nice car and my heart went out to her for having to deal with such problems.

My experience of life is that I am so very blessed. Even when I have a flat tire.

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