Friday, February 15, 2013

My First Flat Tire

So I was sitting in my car waiting for school to be let out so I could pick up Natalie. Normally I walk. But that day it was snowing and cold and I figured I’d be nice and drive. Normally I still make everyone walk even in the cold. I figure it gives them character.

I was busy messing with Facebook on my phone. I was marveling at the dinners people were saying they were making.

Lemon chicken with green beans picked from my garden!

Braised beef with twice baked potatoes.

Stir fry with organic vegetables.

I’m just making chicken nuggets (from a bag non-organic) and french fries (from a bag.) I couldn’t help but add to someone’s post.

Knock knock.


I glanced up and saw a man standing beside my window. Had I been off base, I’d have worried that he was about to attack me. I’d have cracked my window down, pushed my lips next to it and gone, “Yes?” Then I’d have my finger on my panic button just in case. One never knows these days.

Since I was on base, I rolled the window all the way down (I say rolled but I just pressed a button. We have a car from this century although sometimes I wish for the manual roll down windows because all this electronic stuff is sometimes more problems than they are worth.)


“Your front tire is completely flat,” the man told me in an Indian accent.

I immediately pictured Apu.

“Oh?” I stepped out of the car and sure enough…


Of all days. When it was SNOWING. And COLD.

And did I drive there with a flat tire? I didn’t notice anything amiss.

“Thank you,” I said, drawing a blank on what I should do next. Actually, I sort of wanted to shout, “HELP! I have a FLAT!” because I’m dramatic like that.

It was my first flat tire, you see.

“Can you fix it? I can take you to the car place and get you a new tire,” the man said kindly.

I glanced at my clock. The kids would be let out in five minutes.

“I can’t. I need to pick up my daughter. I’ll call my husband and he can help. But thank you so much.”

Then I called Tom and when he picked up I was like, “TOM! I have a flat and it’s snowing and cold and I don’t know exactly what to do? How do I lift this car up? How do I get the spare on?” I sort of had verbal diarrhea.

Again, I panic when things go wrong.

“It’s a flat tire,” Tom said, ignoring my theatrics.“Not a big deal. I’ll be there in a few.”

It was a big deal! It was snowing! And cold! And…okay, it wasn’t a big deal. At least it happened on base. At least I wasn’t far away from home. At least Tom wasn’t deployed and could help.

I went to get Natalie and told her the tire was flat so we had to wait for Daddy.

“Did you drive too fast?” she asked sweetly.

I am not a crazy driver. I mean, yes, I yell at other drivers when I see them talking on their phones or texting or not using their turn signals…but that doesn’t make me a crazy driver. Just an opinionated one.

“No. I got a nail in it.” This was true. You could see where the nail was in the tire. Boo.

Tom was there when we got back to the car and he changed it quickly. I think I know how to fix a flat tire now but I would need help with lifting the car up. Everything else I could do.

So yeah, I survived my first flat tire.

And now I have all new tires, because the treads on my old ones were awful.

Yay me.


  1. Hubby to the rescue!! I had a string of dead batteries last week. I work on a college campus and actually had a guy tell me he couldn't help jump my car because he didn't want to be late for class! :(

  2. I've changed many flat tires over the years.

  3. I know how to change a tyre but would rather someone else do it for me.

    Apparently the roadside assistance here will change tyres for women but not for men unless they are wearing evening clothes!

  4. It's good he was there to help! I don't change flat tires ;)

  5. I don't want to jinx myself. So, all I can say is that I would have reacted the same way and may have in the pass. Glad you have new tires.

  6. Knock on wood: I haven't had a flat tire yet either. So glad your hubby was there to help. I don't know about you but I would not be a good tire changer. I have no upper body strength for loosing or tightening stuff :) Glad all is fixed now!

  7. Haha, when I got a flat a nice guy tried to help me put on the spare. But it was winter in Chicago so I ended up having to tow it because the tire was frozen onto the car. Glad it all worked out for you!

  8. The first time I got a flat tire my husband was about an hour away so I ended up calling my Dad :) Yay for knights (Husbands or Dads) in shining armor :P

  9. Yikes! It still scares me to have like a blow out or something. I think I would have a major meltdown! Anywho.. I'm one of those manual crank window owners. :) My cars just too generic for all that extra fun!

  10. I'd say yea for AAA, but our insurance also has run out of gas as well as change your tire coverage.
    My wife has used it, but I changed several myself anyway.

  11. I've had one flat tire too and like you I didn't know how or when it happened. It was just there. They changing it something we should know how to do but I really don't see myself doing it! My husband and AAA know how...that'll have to do!! Glad you survived! I actually need 4 new tires and I'm putting it off.

  12. Yep, having a flat tire with it snowing an being cold is a big deal. Years ago I could change a flat tire myself but now just getting the car jacked up is a pain to figure out.

  13. I have never changed a flat.
    Such a panicing feeling.
    Glad he was home.

  14. Carry a can of fix-a-flat at all times- never know.

  15. KNOCK ON WOOD. I've never had one. I get the concept, but I'm not sure I could actually fix it. That's why I have AAA.

  16. I am not proud of the fact that I've never changed a flat tire, nor do I ever WANT to change a flat tire. That's what road service is for. I highly recommend it. Especially for those times that Tom is deployed.

  17. So glad you survived!

    My husband tried to teach me how to change a flat tire.

    I said "Babe, I am never going to have to change a tire. I have boobs."

  18. I come from a roadside assistance kind of family, so calling AAA is kind of like keeping up a family tradition. Right? It was nice of you to feign helplessness so Tom could come to your rescue and feel all manly.

  19. People – not only women – usually freak out when their tire gets flat. Many don’t know what to do once they go through such a situation. Well, you’re lucky because aside from Tom, who happens to be your savior, there was a good man who tried to offer help. He somehow helped you to keep your composure and think of the best possible thing to do.

    Enoch Ross

  20. Relax. Breathe in, breathe out. The first thing to do when emergencies like this occur is to not panic. I greatly believe that all licensed drivers should learn how to change flat tires. It’s one of those must-know-how-to’s in defensive driving. What if you were miles away from home, without your husband or anyone else there to help you? The only choice you’d have is apply basic car troubleshooting.

    Rita McCall

  21. Accidents do happen no matter how careful we drive. It’s a good thing someone noticed the problem and informed you immediately. You would’ve driven off with a flat tire, which could cause damage on the rim. So, huge thanks to that man who even offered help. Also, because of this experience, you now know how to replace a tire.
    Prince Moss


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