Today I am going to try to be grateful for the difficulties in life.
Perfect example happened this morning. We had the car checked yesterday to be sure it would be ready for a road trip over Thanksgiving. It had been running rough and we needed to find the problem before we left. We found a “bubble” in one of the tires that was about ready to blow. Cash being a little low, my husband put the spare on and decided that would work for now. He then ran off to an appointment. He didn’t even make it there before the spare tire decided to blow. He had not bothered to put the bad tire back in the car so he can’t do anything about being stranded on the side of the road. Here is where the gratitude comes in. Driving older cars, and previous difficulties have taught us to always carry towing and roadside assistance. At least we knew enough to be somewhat prepared for this problem. It would be miserable to not be able to learn from past problems. And I guess I should be grateful that it blew out before we headed out on the road.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone. May your holiday plans be blow-out free.
As we got ready to go on our trip last week, I decided to make sure that the car was good to go. It was getting close to time for an oil change, and one of the tires was wearing funny. I kept forgetting to take care of it, but at the last minute we got it in.
I told the mechanics that we were going on a trip, and could they check that tire and see if anything else needed attention. I usually don’t make a habit of telling mechanics to let me know everything that is wrong with an older car, because it usually will cost me more than the vehicle is worth.
They called back saying, yes – the one tire was completely bad and would have gone out on us. Not only that, they also checked a small leak that was coming from the engine and found a serious problem developing. They told us that it was a $1,000 – $2,000 repair, but because they had found it so early, they could still put a stop leak option in for $20, and it will probably fix the problem for another 3 -5 years.
We still decided that a 14 hour drive wasn’t the safest option for that vehicle and opted for the rental, but at least we found the problem while it was still small. I can’t think of any other scenario where we would have found that leak early.
Before we left on vacation, we checked the vehicles (we need 2 for our family of 9). Our cars are all very old with tons of miles on them. We topped off fluids and checked the tires and tire pressure. My son was helping and noticed that one of the tires was wearing unevenly and not in very good condition. He recommended new tires before we left. I quickly checked the budget and could not find any way to get new tires and still go on the trip. We decided to pull out the spare and just swap it out. As they pulled the spare out, they noticed that it was a snow tire, and a slightly different size. We could technically drive on it, but not the 400 miles each way that we were planning on. We put the tire back and decided to take our chances that it was not that bad and could make it the entire trip.
As we were pulling onto the freeway I remembered that we had forgotten to start our vacation with a prayer to God for safety. So over cell phones and using speaker phone we prayed. Sort of an odd way to pray, but it worked. We stopped part way to our destination and my husband (who was driving the care with the bad tire) mentioned that he was very worried about the tire and felt that it may blow at any time. We decided there was nothing really to be done about it and got back on the freeway.
We got to Logan just in time to be greeted by my husbands cousin and her family who had a wonderful outdoor barbeque ready for us. During the party one of her children informed us that one of our tires had popped. How grateful we were that we were able to change it on a quite, safe road, and that it had held its integrity until we were safe.
I’m sure that skeptics could argue that the change in pressure caused the tire to pop when it did, but I know of many people who have blowouts on the freeway. In fact we saw one on this trip. With the heavy freeway driving we did and young children in the car, it could have been very dangerous.
To finish off the miracle we were able to take a day to decide what to do. My husband decided that we needed to replace both front tires despite our lack of funds (we are recently both unemployed.) When we got home we found that we had overestimated on our gas usage by a little, and between that and an overdue check that was sitting in our mailbox we were able to cover the cost of both tires.