I hit the ground running this morning, hopping around in a tepid shower thanks to my teenage son who thinks “shower” means “forever,” driving Val and Joel to PEP at 7:30 and coming back to start homeschooling with Eli and Anna-Jessie. After a few hours of that, it was time to take Eli to do his paper route, then dash back for Anna-Jessie to do hers, then run up to PEP to pick up V & J, then back real quick to get Kepler ready to get on the bus, and leave right away to go to my personal training appt. Eli and I JUMP in the car with the newspapers and I back out, carefully as always, lest you are worrying that I go too fast with so much to do. Put it in drive. Hmmmm. Something doesn’t sound right. So I see a flat, back up into the driveway and proceed to decide what to do.
This is not convenient timing. In case you didn’t notice, I had places to go and people to see. But, convenient or not, a flat tire fell into my day. I could wait for AAA to come and change it, but they usually take awhile to get there. I could go ask my neighbor whose truck is in his driveway, but wait! I CAN DO IT MYSELF.
Yes, I have never changed a tire in my whole life, nor ever watched that I can remember. Yes, it is snowing and I have shorts and a light jacket on, but after all, I AM in the driveway so I can change if I want. But, yes, surely I can read a manual and since this IS a Toyota, it should be clear and complete. I seem to remember the spare tire is under the car. I go in and get a dropcloth to lie on as I check out the situation. Well, there isn’t anything that looks like it can be loosened to release the tire. Call Greg and he tells me you go through the top. Read the manual and it says the same thing. Look in the car and I DO NOT see any way to make this happen. Call Kings Toyota and get the very very helpful service guy who explains to me that there is a U-shaped cut in the carpet that I pull up which will expose the bolt that needs to be released. Brilliant!
With the help of Eli, my official photographer and spare tire removalist, I find myself ready now to actually jack up a car and change a tire. Second photo is me consulting the manual as I try to figure out where to put the jack, etc., etc., etc. Third photo I am placing the jack ever so carefully, and ever so backwards, under the car. Have to pull it out and put it in frontwards.
Ah, but this is where it gets exciting. Yes, I got the car jacked up safely. Got the tire off after standing on the lug wrench to loosen the lug nuts. Was trying to figure out if I should somehow switch the hub thingys when up walks a good samaritan to help me. So he helped me get it back on the car, but oops, we got distracted after we lowered the car so didn’t tighten the lug nuts again after the tire was on the ground. And neither one of us noticed! I give myself plenty of grace here, having never had to remember before to tighten the lug nuts when the tire was back on the ground.
And this is where it gets really exciting. So I’m driving to my personal training appt and something just doesn’t sound quite right in the front end of the car. Sounds like something is . . . wobbling. I pull over and it dawns on me that we didn’t tighten those nuts. Nuts is right, I think, on the side of the highway. Out I go, striding purposefully forth to the back of the car to retrieve the lug wrench and I proceed to tighten those puppies as tight as I can. First of all, THREE OF THEM are loose enough for me to first FINGER TIGHTEN them. Eek. Eek. Eek. So, I’m leaning on the lug wrench with one eye directed toward the cars speeding by me, to make sure I can nimbly jump out of the way should one get too close.
Pushing down with all my might, I slip, landing on my knuckles on the freezing cold highway. Ouch. But I got them tightened and off I went.
After my workout, I was going to tighten them once more for good measure, but my very strong personal trainer offered to do it for me. I was so glad to know they were on there tightly.
And as I drove along, all I could think about was how thankful I was that everything worked out the way it did. So thankful for all the care and protection I receive from God. So blessed.