The Widow M vs The Tire

Widowhood brings with it many challenges, not the least of which is taking on the jobs of both spouses. I was spoiled completely, as Kirk took care of everything. I knew where to put gas into the car, but that was about it. Since, as you recall, I had not even driven for 7 years ~ I had not even done that for quite awhile.

So, this little light comes on, on my dashboard. I thought it was telling me I needed an oil change. I knew that, since my sisters... yes, my sisters, during the week after Kirk's funeral, took me on a tour under the hood of both my car and my van. They informed me that both vehicles were in need of an oil change. I remember that, but I couldn't tell you anything else they told me. That first week... No, actually those first months, are a blur. I remember one of my sisters instructing me on things I had to do. It was quite a list of things. When she finished, she looked at me and said, "You didn't hear a word I said, did you?" No. I had not.

After my return to work, a regular customer asked me (cheerily) how I was doing. I was still in zombie mode and figured he had not heard the news. I told him. He looked at me rather quizzically and told me he had been at the funeral. Yeah, the funeral was a complete blur. My brother sat next to me with his arm around me. That is about all I remember except just staring at Kirk's picture and trying to comprehend the words "I am a widow." I still do not comprehend those words.

Anyway, this little light that tells me I need to change the oil! For some reason, in a brief foray into sanity, I checked my owner's manual. That little light was telling me my tire pressure was low! Aha! So... now what? Oh, just go to the gas station and pump your tires up. Oh... Kay. It's easy, just put the pump in and pump it. Oh. Kay.

So, I stopped at a gas station and put 2 quarters in the air machine. I unscrewed the thingamabob in the tire and put the other thingamabob into it and pumped. By that time the air had run out. Another 2 quarters. More pumping. OK, how much do I pump? Do I do all the tires? I asked some guy putting gas in his car. I asked some guy walking back to his car. I asked some guy putting something into his trunk. All of them told me the same thing. Just pump them up. My hand was cramping so badly I couldn't pump anymore and I was out of quarters. And I'd only worked on one tire! I called my boss. He didn't answer. I called a co-worker. He didn't answer. I called a customer. SHE explained that I had to push thingamabob B really hard into thingamabob A. I kept hearing this hissing noise the whole time I was pumping air into the tire. She explained that I wasn't pushing hard enough so no air was actually going into my tire! I got more change and did as she told me. Worked much better when there was actually air going into my tire!

So... . a couple weeks later, the light came back on. I was bemoaning the fact at work and a 21 year old co-worker, asked if I'd like her to show me how to do it. Kat is a beautiful and quite feminine young lady. She's a sweetheart and I found it hard to believe that she knew how to pump up a tire. I questioned her and she laughed. I used to race cars. You. Used to race cars. Not one word in that sentence makes sense. You are too young to have 'used to' do anything. Yeah, when I was 16, I raced cars. Cars? Not go-carts? No. Cars.

So Kat and I went to another gas station, where air is free, as it should be. She bent down next to the tire and unscrewed the whatchijigger and put it in her mouth. Say WHAT?!? "Yeah, I always put it in my mouth; that way I don't lose it." :eek: I am NOT putting that thing in my mouth {editor's note: I have since lost one of those thingamabobs... but I will most certainly NOT put them in my mouth}. Anyway, first off, you don't PUMP the air, you simply depress it! An aha moment! So, putting my hand into paralyzing painful cramping was completely unnecessary!

When I did take the car in for an oil change, I had them patch the tire.

One week later... .

Customer, after leaving the restaurant, returns, and tells me I have a flat tire.

First thought, "How do you know which car is mine?" First words, "WHAT?!"

So, said customer (a male) and a co-worker (also male) asked for my keys so they could investigate. Got my keys and as my hand was in the air, my manager (a female) grabbed the keys out of my hand and marched out the door, with customer and other co-worker following. I later heard from both men that as they looked through my trunk for the spare, Jean just took charge, found a pump under the mat (the presence of which was not known to me) and said, "This is the spare." Both men continued looking for the spare. As Jean pumped up my tire.

Apparently, some vehicles (mine included) do not have a spare tire; they have only an air pump. Theory being that you pump up so you can drive it somewhere to be fixed. Ok, so all this time there was an air pump in the back of my car.

At work's end, Jean took me out to my car, explained how to use my own pump, re-pumped up my tire, and followed me to the store. There was a nail in my tire. Jean explained to me that if the nail was within a half-thumbs' length of the edge of the tire, that I would need a new tire. If it was farther in than that, they could fix the tire. Jean told the man behind the counter my predicament. He proceeded to tell me that if the nail was within a half a thumb's length of the edge of the tire, that I would need a new tire. I looked at Jean and smiled. She knows whereof she speaks!

It was less than a half thumb's length, so I needed a new tire. So... he presented me with tire options and I just started crying. Because, this is Kirk's domain. I would not have to figure this out if he were here. Jean took charge, and answered all questions for me.

So, God is still sending angels to take care of me; and His angels are still in unexpected costume.

And today, I trekked out in the snow to feed the horse, something else I probably have never done before, since Kirk always took care of that. I am not enjoying doing the things he used to do; but I am doing them. And I guess right now, that's about all I can ask.

One day at a time.

Barbra Lambert @enje25 ·

Beth, I'm nearly speechless! The photo of the beautiful dogs... the entire blog... O my! Please accept my inexpressible love for both you and Kirk... and for your beautiful dogs. How that photo speaks a thousand words!

Much love... enje

P.S. I will never forget what "angels" both you and Kirk have been to me! :angel: :angel: !

Les Braswell @doneuntotheleast ·


Remaining in thought and prayer. So glad for the Angel Army God provided and your 2 lovely dogs ...

Praying God's peace on your life,

Joyce Bethy Ferguson @bethy ·

I read this twice and both times I sit here speechless at the wonder of you.

K Reynolds @kreynolds ·

I must confess that other than putting air into my bike tires as a child, I have only put air in the tires of my car a couple of times so I am also deficient in that area of expertise. My dad made me change a tire a couple of times when I was a teenager but eventually those became too hard for me to remove when tightened at the shop. Sigh... AAA is my friend. I do know how to put in washer fluid, check the fluids and add them if necessary, etc. Oh... and use jumper cables in a pinch but... I keep my friend Jay's number on my phone. He has been our friend and mechanic for almost 30 years and has come to my rescue on more than one occasion.

I did not know about the pump as opposed to a spare tire. I don't think I would like that one bit.

Jean is a good friend!

John Knox @watchmanjohn ·

Don't beat yourself up too badly as my wife is in the same boat as yourself, the only difference is that your 'waka' or canoe has only one person paddling