So with the other things going on, I never took the time to relate last week's adventure. Thursday night was my first night for my new class. I left the clinic at 5, determined to get to the usual class location twenty miles away. Did I mention a thunderstorm? And did I mention it raining so hard I could hardly see?
I almost made it to the little town where the class was scheduled when I got a surprise call from another student. The class had been moved to the location -- exactly where I started from! The rain has slowed, but debris covered sections of the road. I headed back and did not see the pothole. The pothole ate my car. All I could think was "please don't let me get a flat tire." I listened to the road noise. I paid attention to the handling of the car. Everything seemed to be well, and I walked into class half an hour late. The professor apologized profusely.
After class, it's starting to get dark, and I notice that the handling of the car seems a bit off. I reach the highway home, pull over, and I have a flat tire. Sigh. I tutor and I'm supposed to meet a client in twenty minutes. I call AAA. I call Cameron. I fume. I whine. I am annoyed. Half an hour later, Cameron arrives and we trade cars. See Cameron's blog for her driving skills regarding a stick shift. Oh, and she got lost on the way home.
When my client leaves, I leave a message on my boss' voicemail. Forgetting she won't be in the next day, I go onto bed. It's now about 11 p.m. I never heard the text message sound when my supervisor sent a message asking if I was okay when I was late for work. About seven I finally wake up, check in and apologize.
Now the blow out isn't a big deal. The tires have road hazard insurance and are new. The big deal is that the dealership where I bought the new back tires (and they added insurance for the front which were virtually new) would not touch the tire until I had the stem that holds the tire to the car repaired.
So I was off to a locally owned shop who said the car would be ready about noon. Shesh. Four hours. I call my supervisor. I start walking because I was too restless to sit. I am in the downtown area of a small suburb of a much larger town. It feels safe. I walk three or four blocks, find some shade, find a bench outside a barber shop, read my book and drink a coke. I'm waiting for Cameron to pick me up. I get a call, and she's locked her keys in the house!
I call our house sitter who promises to rescue my wife. Now I gotta pee. I mean really. It's a neat, well maintained neighborhood. But it's lower class and the quick shop refuses to allow me to use the facilities. Grrr. Laundry mat has no public restroom. Barbershop doesn't feel comfortable to enter. So I start walking back. Almost to Main Street (remember I only walked three blocks) I young man approaches me. Very politely, he asks for a cigarette and I state that I don't smoke. He looks at me and says, "You know you are in the hood, right?"
Ten years and 100 pounds ago I would have thought about it before I started walking. But it's broad daylight, a road a drive daily, and I'm no longer a pretty target. I smiled and thanked him, and reflected on how different my life is with age. Cameron didn't quite see it that way, though, so I promised to more walking in that area. Which is no problem without any more flat tires!
Cameron picks me up a few minutes later, saves me walking the last block, and drops me at the shop. At which me and the donut tire car drive to yet another town to get the tire replaced. The good news: my tire was $13.66. Bad news: I had to have a new rim, which for $60 still does not exactly match what I had. But the car's 11 years old, so who is complaining.