Thursday, August 18, 2011

I Wish it Weren't So

Over the past few years, I often grin inwardly as I hear my husband remorsefully exclaim, "When will I learn that my wife is ALWAYS right?!"

However, I try not to gloat. In fact, there are many times that I would prefer to be wrong.  Take, for example, the most recent time I heard him make that statement...

We were headed to Houston, TX.  It was August, the middle of the afternoon and about 110 degrees on a desolate stretch of Oklahoma "highway."  (I use that term rather reluctantly, as the road would have been more aptly called a "roughway" or a "potholeway.")  All of a sudden there was the dreaded thumping and out-of-control feeling of a blown tire.  Nate handled it very well and aptly got us maneuvered to the shoulder.  He, with the help of our three older girls that were with us, made quick and efficient work out of getting the ruined tire removed, the spare tire mounted and before we were all completely drenched in sweat...we were back on the road.

Here's where I wish I could be wrong.  We hadn't been back on the road very long when I hesitantly ventured to say, "Nate, I know it will eat up an hour or two of our time, but maybe we should go get that tire replaced so we have a spare in case we happen to have another flat?"   (I had now been noticing that there were literally pieces and shreds of tire along every mile of that "highway"...I think the heat and the rough road were consuming tires.)

"Ah - where's your faith and sense of adventure?" eternal-optimist-Nate replied.  "If we're going to make it all the way to Houston tonight, we really just need to keep pushing on, and I'm sure it'll be fine."

Well, you can guess what happened.  It was nearing dark...we were only 2 1/2 hours from reaching Houston, and a truck passed us with a guy hanging out the window making weird gestures with his hands and pointing towards the back of our Expedition.  Nate, still the optimist, said, "I bet a lid is coming off one of those containers on the back."  (we have a hitch rack, for hauling our extra stuff that just doesn't fit in the vehicle)

He pulled over, got out, and I heard him exclaim, "Oh no - that tire is going down fast!"

He hopped back in, driving towards the nearest exit ramp at a snail's pace - it was some county road exit in the middle of nowhere, with nothing but farmland for miles and miles around.  And yes, I believe the next words out of his mouth were, "When will I ever learn that my wife is always right?!"


I - not being nearly as optimistic as my husband - have been a card-carrying member of AAA for the past few years.  He refuses a membership - but as long as I or one of our card-carrying older girls are in the disabled vehicle - we can call them to the rescue, whether or not I'm driving and whether or not I'm right.

I spent several minutes on the phone as the lady tried to figure out where we seemed that the nearest town of any size at all was over 30 minutes away.  She finally got a driver called - he called back and Nate explained to him that we didn't have a spare - we were FAR from home - he wasn't leaving his family standing along the interstate - and we had to have a tire.  The guy's response?  "I'm just the tow truck driver!"

However, he went above the call of duty.  His large tow truck for loading 4WD vehicles  was a club cab, so all eight of us piled in.  He had also called a local garage at a little wide spot in the road.  Did I mention that by this time, it was nearly 10 PM on a Sunday night?  No matter...the mechanic said he had some used tires lying around - nine of which were our size - and he'd open up and fix us up.

So, we got fixed up by a quiet little tattooed redneck who didn't seem to mind at all that it was late at night on a weekend.  We all stood around in his hot parking lot (except for Nate - who can't stand still and had to help.)  At one point...a random tall, lanky fellow walked up, twirling a lasso.  He hung around a bit, twirled that lasso some more, then meandered off.  Next, a cat wandered up and the girls were petting it, when the mechanic-of-few-words said, "That's Dog."

One of my girls said, "What?  Wait...this is a cat."

"Yup.  And his name is Dog."

Oh, Texas - are you sure you're not your own special country (or continent?)

And Nate, I KNOW you're special, but I wish to goodness that I could be wrong sometimes.  ;-)

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