Ham, Pretzels, Friends, and Tires

March 21, 2014

Wow, what a day!  With my spirited toddler at her grandparents for the day, I had dreams of going vintage and resale shopping in Elkhart with my good friend Kate.  But now I'm thinking the day would have been less stressful if I had instead stayed home with the toddler.

It started in a most bizarre way, as Kate's first words to me were, "Did you know you have a huge chunk of ham in your driveway?"

In case you were wondering, the answer was no.  I did not know.

But she was right.

Up next was a soft pretzel from Ben'sGreat choice.

But next came hitting the worst pothole on US 33.  Hard.  I saw it at the last second and tried to dodge it, but I wasn't fast enough.  Sigh...

I saw my hubcap or something go rolling in my rear view mirror.  I knew it was unfortunate.  But then the car started shaking.  Darnit.  My tire was ruined. I guess this is what I get for pawning off my daughter and trying to have a day of indulgent shopping.

So glad my friend was with me, as my thinking slows down in situations like that.  She suggested to manuever my car around and turn off 33 and head into the Kohl's and Target parking lot.

Hey, if you're gonna be stranded, Target is a good place to be near.  Am I right?

So we made it into the lot by a huge dirty snow pile.  From there I spent a few minutes on the phone trying to get answers on our insurance coverage.  I spent more time listening to menu options than actually talking to a real person.  Finally got the answer I was expecting - no coverage.  I had recently heard about my friend's experience with pothole damage costing him over $1,000.  Just dandy.

I knew I couldn't bother Josh with any of this because this is one of his busiest weekends for work, and there would be nothing he could do to help me anyways.

In life I believe it's helpful to have connections with certain kind of people.  For example I'm glad I have a Lawyer Friend and a Police Officer Friend and a Doctor Friend for their occupational expertise and advice.  I quickly sent a text to our Car Repair Friend for his advice.

Unsure how else to spend the time, Kate and I walked to Target.  Of course.

After browsing the $1 section, I saw our Snow Plow Friend heading out of the store.  I quickly remembered he's also a Construction Friend, Handyman Friend, and basically a Jack-of-all-Trades Friend.  I yelled out his name across the store.  When you're desperate, you don't care about decorum.

I then proceeded to watch the fastest tire change I'd ever witnessed.  He gave me the name of a great place where I could go for a fix.  I put air in the spare (Josh should be so proud), called the tire shop, and left Target without even shopping and still with my unfinished Ben's pretzel from about 90 minutes prior.

Kate kindly kept me company at the tire shop, for which I am so grateful.  It's not the sort of place I'd really want to hang out alone.  They had "Friday the 13th" playing on the TV in the waiting corner - no separate lobby or waiting room; we were definitely just hanging out in a garage for an hour.  I was so grateful Catherine wasn't with me there.

After watching them do things I didn't know were possible, the guys were finished and gave me a bill. $60 later we were on our way out.

A non-moving train kept us extending our visit to the other side of the tracks for awhile longer, and we then reached the sad conclusion that we didn't have enough time to do any of our shopping in Elkhart.  Sigh...

What a day.

But boy am I grateful no one was hurt in our drama on the road.  Grateful there was a safe parking lot nearby that we made it to.  Grateful that our friend and I crossed paths at precisely the right time at Target.  Grateful for his DIY skills and recommendation of the affordable tire shop.  Grateful Kate was with me and Catherine wasn't.  Grateful all of this could be taken care of without having to add another stressor to Josh's day.  And grateful for that Ben's pretzel, which I finally finished eating.

Now, what to do with the ham...

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