My car is about 14 years old. She gets me to and fro pretty well, but she's old. So, I'm wondering...
As I was saying, it was almost time to sign off for the day. Since it's already paid, I called roadside assistance. Back in Georgia, I know somebody that knew somebody who had a cousin who was a mechanic who would come over after a quick text and take care of this minor issue. :-) So roadside assistance is the easiest solution for now. I clock out of work, head downstairs, and look out the window. My car is hitched to a tow truck! Dude!
I soon learn from this tanned little fellow that my car did not have a spare tire and he could tow it somewhere to be fixed and by the way, "I've cleaned my seat in case you need a ride." Why not, Trinka!? I grab my purse, jump in and tell him where I want to go take advantage of my warranty.
I'll call him Chad. Chad shares that he is good at what he does--"working with cars for over 27 years"--but he is living his "Dad's dream" and his Dad owns the company. In our short drive, we talked about what he really loves. As he did, his smile grew bigger and bigger. We arrived at my destination, take care of minor details, and as Chad prepares to leave, I remind him of our conversation. Bye Chad! God please bless him to realize his dreams and guide him to live the life you pre-destined for him.
Of course, there's a group of people waiting, and I need this flat tire fixed. Yet, I seemed to have caught the attention of someone. I see braids bouncing in the vicinity of my knees, and I look down to see a big smile--short a few teeth--smiling back up at me. She dribbles her purple ball around me for a while. Then, stops and says, "I like your hair. It's pretty." I thank her and compliment her hair as well. Meanwhile, the adult who's with her is on the phone, trying to complete her purchase and talking with the salesperson. My new friend, still dribbling her purple ball, loses her grip and the ball rolls out the door towards the parking lot. I stop her from running out the door. I go get the ball and whisper to the little girl to "go stand over there." I point towards the adult, because I still don't know who she is to the little girl. Hopefully, she'll be finished soon so I can get my flat tire fixed.
Finally, I'm next. The little girl and the adult are now leaving. She says, "Mommy that lady got my ball." The Mom apologizes and rushes the little girl out the door. Bye little girl! God keep her safe.
Oh by the way, today I had a flat tire today in case you've forgotten by now, in my little story. So, I sit down in the waiting area and surprisingly, now, it's only me. I ask the guy at the counter if they are under new management because I notice some changes. Good ones! He says "yes" with such joy and proceeds to share how he misses working with his hands. How did we get to his hands? But ok. He apparently made a few wrong decisions in his past and has been working to turn his life around for the last 2 years. He was fired from his previous job due to lack of transportation. He says he was blessed to find his current job because he can walk here. He's also saving to get a used car and to settle his legal issues. "Some days it's hard, ma'am, to stay motivated." And he pauses. One of those pauses which begs to be filled with something..anything good.
I looked around because it's beginning to feel like one of those days where America's Funniest Video or some show pops out from behind the tire display and say gotcha!! Words came and I shared a bit of wisdom and encouraged the young man to continue to seek God and to stay motivated by what he's accomplished. How long have I been sitting here? How's that flat tire repair coming along? Is someone going to tell me WHY it's flat? Finally my car is ready and with my warranty, I get a new tire for $10! God is good! Bye young man! God please shelter him from the negative influences of this world. Keep him safe in Your arms and give him the strength and provision he needs to stay on the right path.
Lord just let me get home and relax. Mmmm smells fresh in here. Red light. Bottles tumble. Laundry detergent??? LAUNDRY IN TRUNK! Arrive at laundromat. Turn off car and just breathe for a moment.
With laundry and supplies in tow, I walk into the laundromat, happy there are only two cars. A little boy is between the machines and me. He's jumping from side to side--playing a video game. Then, he looks at me and says, "hey lady!! I'm winning! I'm winning!" In my auntie-voice, I reply, "you are!!? Good for you!" I make it to the machines. Yes!
He eventually finds his way near me and just watches. I smile and he starts telling me about his game. He instantly starts talking after I smile and I wonder if I asked him question. I try the "I'm-a-stranger-where-are-your-parents line" and then a squeaky female voice from among the dryers says "oh he's fine! I can see him." I look around to see the face for the voice and she lets me know she's his Mom. Really?
I listen. I'm an auntie and a licensed counselor, so I can do this. He stops periodically to ask me if I need help or if I'm watching TV. Why "help" I don't know. After about 15 minutes (you thought it was longer too, right?), his Mom is finishing up and she tells him to clean up the play area. Yes it's a nice little laundromat. He doesn't move and whines a little, but eventually, he puts the toys back in the right place. He grabs his Mom's hand as he leaves and walks over to me to say he's leaving. I smile and thank him for talking with me. He says, "You're welcome. Be good!" Be good? LOL "Ok!"
Or as I heard it in my spirit: "Bye lady. God please help her to be okay."
I check the dryers--13 more minutes. Lord thank you for letting the tire repair be a smooth process.
"Wooo! Let me get off my feet for a minute." It's the 70-ish year old lady who works here as an attendant. "I'm thankful for my job. It gives me something to do, but I get tired."
I smile--which is all I have left-- as we watch Dancing with the Stars and Patti LaBelle is now singing Lady Marmalade. My 70-ish year old friend tells me that back in the day "Patti would've hit all those notes better than that." I agree and respond jokingly, "but who knows what she's saying anyway" and laugh. And what happens next? She begins to tell me the lyrics to Lady Marmalade!!! My 70-ish year old Caucasian sister hits the gitchi gitchi ya ya da da. All I can do is LOL--at this moment--at this day-when all I wanted to do was get that flat tire fixed.
Oh and about that flat tire--four mechanics and a technician could not figure out why my tire was flat. No punctures. No wear. No rim damage. Stem in tact. The tire was just flat.
To answer the question posed by the title, there may be several causes for a flat tire and sometimes a flat tire is well... a lesson in faith, patience and compassion.
Thanks for reading!