Why does it always have to happen on Thanksgiving Day? After all these years, you'd think I'd know, if there's going to be any kind of a disaster, that's when. There have been so many. Sewers back up, pipes freeze, weather is at its winter worst, power goes out so dinner can't cook.... Name it, that's when it picks to happen.
Today it was a flat tire. Not a real disaster, you'd think. Just pop on the spare, fix it when stores open again. It's not as if Steve and I were going anywhere. Today. Tomorrow and Saturday are a whole different thing. No, not idiot Black Friday. I need to help out our club at the all-Sun City clubs craft fair. We display and sell whatever it is that our club does. I have three shifts scheduled behind the tables selling, and one driving a golf cart to give rides to folks who had to park far away and want to have enough energy to stick around and spend money. You know, Cousin Julie needs a necklace and Aunt Margaret needs a towel with a crocheted top to hang over the whatever she's going to hang it over, and Fred needs a new lawn sign. We have a lot of cool clubs.
I've changed a lot of flats in my day. Taught my boys how to do it. Developed my own process that includes jumping on the lug wrench to loosen lug nuts I haven't the arm strength to turn. While I haven't changed my own tire since the knees went bad, I actually had hopes of being able to kneel down enough to set the jack. I even pulled out the fattest old quilt in the house to go under the knees, with cushions on standby if needed. Failing all that, there are some nice able-bodied neighbors.
All I had to do was pull out the jack and the spare. As a bonus in the process of digging my way down to the spare tire well, I even got rid of oatmeal that had been kicking around since some time last summer when Steve took it carp fishing (he can explain it to you) and the box leaked. Anyway, I get all the junk cleared, lift off the floor piece, and....
WHO THE HELL SELLS A NEW CAR THESE DAYS WITH NO SPARE, NOT EVEN A "TOY" TIRE, AND NO JACK OR LUG WRENCH?
Hyundai, apparently. I bought it new in 2013, and in 90,000+ miles have never needed to change a tire. Never ever considered that standard equipment wasn't. Oh, there was a cute little grey styrofoam filler in the spare tire space. Holding the floorboard up, I guess. That's all the help it was.
I contacted the one other club member whose home phone number I actually have, and secured a ride for tomorrow. It is, of course, for three hours earlier than I need to get there, so I need to find a way to kill time that won't be too uncomfortable. They will have those standard metal folding chairs that nobody can sit in for more than a half hour without squirming, or outside picnic tables or concrete benches, but outside won't be warm until mid afternoon. No place to put the feet up or the head down.
Meanwhile, Steve will be - with luck - locating a service that can come out, remove the tire, take him and it back to their shop to repair or replace the tire, and bring both back and reinstall the tire. Yes, I know they'll find an excuse why they can't fix it and try to sell him a set of four. Won't happen. I'll accept one if absolutely necessary. I used to have a mechanic I could trust to do the minimum necessary and do it well. He's about 1800 miles away. So Steve and I have had the chat about how to be hard nosed and just where the balance needs to fall between ideal and possible.
With any luck, the car will be ready for him to pick me up and bring me home when I'm done.
Aren't I an optimist?