No, I didn’t misspell the title. I wanted to make one more reference to the festive season we have just left behind while referring to the way I spent my Monday morning. See photo, above.
That white car belongs to my husband.
Here’s how it went down: my husband left for work before dawn, as he usually does. Twenty minutes later he called me and said, “Can you please bring me a flashlight? I’m in the driveway.”
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
I hurried outside with a flashlight and found him using the air compressor to fill up one of his tires. “Where did you notice the flat?”
“At the end of the block. I’ve been down there trying to fix it in the dark. I couldn’t find anything I needed so I backed up very slowly until I got to the driveway.”
Long story short (is it too late?), he finished pumping up his tire then took my car to work. By the time he got there, I had sent three kids to school, cooked two pounds of sausage for two loaves of sausage bread, done the breakfast dishes, and made an appointment at the tire place. When I took the car in, they fixed it in a jiffy (here’s a juicy piece of information: did you know there is a sticker inside the rim of the tire that contains a UPC code and that can cause the tire to lose it’s seal when it’s cold? I didn’t.).
Afterwards I went to a store not far from the tire place to replenish my Christmas wrapping supplies. As I put my husband’s car in reverse to pull out of my parking spot, the car refused to move more than an inch or two. Uh-oh, I thought. I parked on something and it’s stuck under the car. I got out, looked under the car (because that makes me look like I know what I’m doing), saw nothing, walked around it to make sure all the tires looked full (ditto), and got back in to try again. After several more tries, I called the tire place. “Hello. I just left there and now my car won’t move.”
They sent someone right over. He tried moving it, too, I assume to make sure I wasn’t lying or just stupid. Nope, sure enough, the car didn’t move. He got underneath it and poked around. “I think the problem is the emergency brake.” What he said next was a jumble of words like “shoes, pads, e-brake, seized up, corrosion,” etc. Sounded to me like blah, blah, blah, blah.
Long story short (?) I had to wait for a tow truck so I could go the 2,000 feet back to the tire place. The tow truck driver’s solution: “Hmmm. I’ll have to haul’er ass-up.” See photo, above.
Just a short while after the car got to the tire place, the emergency brake shoes (or something like that) had been removed, the car would go forward and backward again, and I was on my way to the grocery store. The tire place didn’t even charge me for the second visit.
By now you may be wondering whether this story has a point. It does.
Here’s what I planned to do with my morning: get some words written on my work-in-progress, come up with an idea for this week’s blog post, update social media, and go to the grocery store. Obviously, Plan A went awry. Most of that didn’t get done, except for the trip to the grocery store and a blog post idea.
I’d been thinking recently about coming up with a list of New Year’s resolutions, but decided on January 1st that a whole list of resolutions just doesn’t work for me. Instead, I’m going to try to get better at finding the silver lining in unplanned and unwelcome events, to take things as they come, and to “make lemonade,” as they say, when things don’t go my way. This doesn’t mean I don’t have goals, but it means they’re flexible. If you’ve followed my blog for a year or more, you may recall that I had lots of resolutions last year.
Update: those resolutions were a miserable failure. The garage isn’t clean, the office isn’t clean, and none of my kids’ closet doors got replaced, among other things.
So I may not have gotten any work done on my novel or social media this morning, but I found more than one silver lining!
First, the tire didn’t go flat on a major highway, but instead on a quiet street when it was too early in the morning for traffic.
Second, I could have driven the car much further than a quarter mile from the tire place before realizing there was a problem.
Third, I sat in the car for a little while waiting for the tow truck guy. I had a book with me, so I was able to get some reading in! Note to self: always keep a book handy.
Fourth, I eventually got out of the car so the tow truck driver could find me. Standing in the freezing cold and whistling wind while I waited made me appreciate the eye-drying, moisture-sucking heat he had blowing in the tow truck’s cab. Also, I have a renewed respect for the work tow truck drivers do.
Fifth, when I was on my way back home and realized, too late, that my husband had removed the EZ Pass from his car, I quickly found six quarters and paid the toll with them. Silver lining? The change in my wallet weighs less now!
And finally, I began the day without an idea for this post. Now the post is written and I can get back to work on my new novel.
So here’s the takeaway for me: 2016 has a sense of humor and doesn’t care what my plans are. The best I can do is find the good when things go wrong. And there’s always something good.
Happy New Year, everyone! I hope 2016 is happy and healthy for all of you!
Until next week,