Have you ever had one of those dreams you wish you never had? You know what I mean…someone is chasing you and you can’t move your legs…or a T-Rex is about to eat you alive. Yeah, you want to erase it from your memory but you can’t.
Being poor has it’s pitfalls. Driving an old vehicle has challenges of another level.
Last Thursday I checked my tires before I left work. I often do this after driving on a flat tire several years ago and ruining it.
Sure enough the back right tire was low. Since I was at work there was a shop with mechanics around to fix company trucks and trailers.
I decided to drive around and simply air up said low tire so I could drive home.
I quickly discovered an air hose outside the shop ready for drivers to use. Great, something finally goes right in my life…I thought.
Some air went in my tire for about two seconds then stopped. I stuck my head inside and got the attention of a mechanic. They assured me the air was on.
I walked back out and finished airing up my low tire with no explanation of why it stopped initially.
I did find a small nail in the tread so I decided to finally use that extra thing I bought when I purchased those tires where the nice guys at the tire shop will fix that type of thing for free for me.
I decided to drive about half way home before I found the same tire shop franchise I bought my now injured tire from just to be in a safer neighborhood.
I drove into the shop’s lot about 4:30. The guy I talked to came out and checked the tread depth on said tire.
“You’re in luck. You have 3/32nds on this tire. Any lower and we couldn’t do anything for you. I’ll have one of the guys right on it.”
We went in and checked my account. He continued his conversation. “You have 62,000 miles on those 50,000 mile warranty tires.”
I knew it had been a while since I bought them. I had no idea it was that long ago. Good thing I drive carefully.
A few minutes later one of the technicians drove Clifford, the big red van, into the shop.
I sat down and read a newspaper article about the fuss made when the President said Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. And here I thought that was established back in 1948.
Soon another behind the counter guy got my attention. “I have bad news…we found two nails right next to each other in that tire. I don’t know how that happened but we can’t patch that. Besides, there isn’t enough tread left on that tire for us to work on it anyway.”
I explained that the first guy said there was just enough tread…and why wouldn’t one patch cover both nail holes?
“It’s not our call. There’s a something from some agency stopping us from doing anything in this instance.”
Obviously I didn’t understand what exactly was going on here.
I came up with what I thought would be a good solution to get me back on the road. “Can you put my spare tire on for me?”
“Yeah, we can do that.”
I watched the techs lower my spare…but them they put it back in place without replacing the nailed tire.
The second behind the counter guy sheepishly came back to me ready to duck behind the counter if the blood vessels in my neck rose back up, I guess.
“We can’t use that spare. It’s dated 2006. We can’t install any tire over ten years old. There’s too much of a chance it will blow out.”
I didn’t even know there was a date on a tire. I just wanted to beat the rush-hour traffic, but I knew that was too late already.
Since I didn’t have enough money for even a used “new” spare they filled the tire with extra air and sent me on my way at 5:30. The half hour drive home took another hour.
I couldn’t put into words what I felt while it occurred, but I figured it out later.
I felt like I was in a dream but I knew it was only going to get worse and I was already awake.
I got home 1 1/2 hours later than I could have with an additional nail in my tire than I thought I left work with.
Oh yeah, some days are just like that for me.
Now I make sure that tire is parked with the nails on the bottom so it leaks more slowly…or less fastly anyway.
I haven’t worried much since then since that day had enough trouble for over a week. Isn’t that the point Jesus made to His followers. It works for me.
I don’t listen to the radio much these days. I turned it on to hear a song with the exact message for me.
“This world is not my home. I don’t belong here.”
I’m so glad there’s coming a time where nothing wears out, time doesn’t matter and worries are a thing of the past.
Until then I’ll just keep carrying the cross designated for me…even if that means putting up with little nails and senseless regulations.
Keep smiling. Wade