It was one of the strangest sounds that I had ever heard.
It got progressively louder.
"It sounds like a helicopter is flying overhead," I told Tom and peeked up. I thought I'd see a helicopter hovering but there was nothing.
"It's not a helicopter. It's the tire," Tom said and pulled the truck over.
I watched as he jumped out.
"It's the tire!" he shouted and then added some choice words.
I'd have gotten out but there was traffic whizzing by on my side. San Antonio traffic scares me. If Tom does get stationed in Texas I will have to get used to the traffic. Otherwise I won't be driving anywhere. People just frighten me with the way they drive.
"You have to be aggressive. That's all," Tom said simply.
I'm not an aggressive driver. I'm cautious and I only ever go 5 over the speed limit and even then I start to feel guilty as though I'm breaking the rules.
"You'll HAVE to be aggressive if we move here," Tom repeated.
I know this. I watch as cars just slide inches in front of another car and I try not to scream when a truck practically shoves Tom off the road. I always like to keep two vehicle lengths in front of me but this doesn't happen in San Antonio. No, any space here is immediately filled by some car.
But back to the beginning of the story.
As you probably can tell, we got a flat tire. I've never been through one before so I never knew what it sounded or felt like.
"Do you have the...stuff...to fix it?" I asked, leaning out the driver window as Tom squatted in front of the deflated tire.
"Yeah," he answered.
His Mom pulled up behind us. She has been visiting for a few days with Tom's cousin and his aunt.
"Do you need me to call triple A?" Tom's Mom asked.
Tom nodded. He said he could change the tire but it would be easier if someone else just did it.
He got back in the car as we waited for triple A and noticed that I looked uncomfortable.
"It'll get fixed. I can still take you to the mall," Tom assured me. That's where we were headed: the North Star mall.
"No...that's not what I'm worried about." My eyes darted around. "Is this the..seedy part of town?" I ducked my head. In my mind a gang member was going to leap down from the bridge and wave a gun at us. I've made the mistake of watching the local news and it's always talking about how some shooting occurred.
"It's not the seedy part of town," Tom promised but I think he was just saying that so I wouldn't go into a panic.
I had to entertain the kids because they weren't happy that we stopped. Natalie kept saying, "We go. WE GO?" and I'd explain that we COULDN'T go and she didn't believe me.
Triple A (or AAA) arrived about an hour later. The kids were practically hanging from the backseat at that point and I was still watching the roads with wide eyes making sure some crazed person wasn't going to attack us with the spare tire.
You just never know.
The AAA guy was attractive. He looked to be in his mid twenties with slicked back dark hair. He carried the tools under his arms and walked in a no nonsense way towards the flat tire as though he did this several times a day. He probably does. I squeaked out a hello from my seat as he passed but he didn't hear.
Tom's Mom opened the driver door and leaned in and whispered, "I feel like Mexican tonight!" and wagged her eyebrows up and down. Because the guy was Mexican and I think all the women agreed that none of us would kick him out of bed.
The tire was changed in less than ten minutes.
"Bye Bye!" all the women cooed at AAA guy as he headed for his truck. We probably frightened him.
Tom dropped me and the kids off at the mall and headed for the Dodge dealership to replace the tire. You see, he has to drive all the way back to Wyoming so we obviously need good tires. So I went shopping with Tom's Mom and his other family members. I headed into Gymboree of course and Tom's Mom bought Natalie an outfit. I wanted to hug her. I mean, usually when I go into Gymboree there's always some Grandma buying up a bunch of clothes and I always give her a wistful look and wish she were MY Grandma--and then I had a Grandma who was buying stuff!
This was thrilling to me. I really need to get out more.
Tom called about two hours later and the truck was all better. He started spouting off a bunch of terms--alignment and...I have no idea..
"Stop," I cut him off as he talked about rims. "Just tell me if the truck is okay and if the total cost was under five hundred."
Tom paused in his truck speech. "The truck is fine now and it was under five hundred."
"That's all I need to know," I said.
So yes. The truck is all better. But now whenever we drive I'm paranoid that I'll hear that WRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRing sound again and we'll have to replace ANOTHER tire.
We always see someone on the side of the road changing a tire when we go out.
Bottom line, San Antonio scares me a little bit..