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Tuesday, April 8

"It's a conspiracy . . ." - unabridged version

Ok, so this story is going to be really, really, really long, so for those people like John, here is the abridged version. I started travelling home from Charlotte on Friday at 5:45pm, had a tire blowout, didn't get home until Saturday at 2:00pm. If you like a long drawn out story, continue on . . .

I just wanted to share how the Universe was conspiring to keep me away from home this past weekend. I had been out of town the last two weeks and was so ready to be home. I got off work about 5:45pm Friday and started heading home (from Charlotte, NC). The drive wasn't too bad at first. The weather was clear and traffic wasn't too bad.

Then I hit South Carolina and it starts raining really hard, the thunder and lightning is really bad, and it's dark at this point. Traffic has gotten worse and everyone is driving around 40mph to be able to see the road. The rain isn't the only thing hindering my vision, every time the lightning flashes it reflects off the rain and the front windshield and I can't see anything. (Side note, I think it should be illegal for those semi trucks to drive in heavy rain. All that spray that their tires throw up is so dangerous!!!) Ok, I am scared to death, but I keep going because I really want to get home. Then, when I'm north of Atlanta (200 miles from home), my tire blows out! Ahhh!

Ok, let's backup for a minute. As I have thought back over the events of the weekend, I suddenly feel like Jim Carrey in Bruce Almighty when he yells at the Lord for a sign and he doesn't see all the obvious signs around him. First sign, the tire pressure indicator light had been on ever since I arrived in Charlotte. Ok, in my defense, it had been on since we first got the Jeep a couple of weeks ago. Before I left, John had filled all the tires up and the light was off during my trip up, but when it cut on again, I just thought something was wrong with the light. It did cross my mind that maybe I should check the pressure and maybe fill the tires up, but I have never done that before and I didn't think John had put the gauge in my car. I was a little uneasy every time I got in the car and saw that light, but I pushed those feeling to the back of my mind. I even forgot to mention it to John whenever we talked on the phone, which he was pretty mad about.

Another sign, at lunch on Friday, my co-workers and I were discussing car wrecks and tickets. (Hey, I did knock on wood!) Also, the other guy that was there from Columbus said he was staying another night because he was going to SC the next day instead of home. He said he was sooooo glad he didn't have to drive in the bad weather. Yeah. Yet another sign revealed itself when I was preparing for the drive home. I opened the center console to get out the phone charger and I happened to see the tire pressure gauge had been in there the whole time. This should have told me I needed to check the pressure. I didn't have time for that though, I needed to get home! I guess another sign could be the bad feeling I had while driving through the hard rain. The feeling that told me I should really stop or at least slow down (I did slow down).

Ok, so I got off on an exit to use the bathroom at a gas station. When I pulled off onto the exit I felt a little bump and heard a funny noise. I remember thinking, man if I have a flat tire, then it's a really good thing I got off on this exit. I got out of the car and walked around twice looking at the tires. Everything looked fine to me. I went in and used the bathroom and bought a drink and some Tom's Vinegar and Salt potato chips. I came back out, walked around the car inspecting the tires again and got back on the road. Yeah, yeah, I should have checked the pressure then, but it was still raining. So, about two minutes after I was back on the highway, I heard a loud crack and the sound of wind. I thought that a rock had flown up and broken my back passenger window. I flipped on the interior lights to see, but everything looks fine. My mind was racing, what was the deal! Then I realized the crack I heard was my tire popping, the sound of wind was the air rushing out of my tire, and those weren't bumps in the road that I was feeling.

So, I pulled over to the shoulder of the road and sat and ate a few more chips, partly because they were so dang tasty and partly because I didn't want to face what was out there. I finally crawled over to the passenger side and got out. I couldn't see anything because it was so dark, so I reached down and felt around. Sure enough there was the rim of my tire sitting on the road. I got back in on the passenger side and called John. He told me to call 911, so I did and told them where my TomTom said I was. The police officer got there in about 15 minutes. We couldn't find where the jack was, so I had to pull out the manual and look it up. I could have been finding all that while I was waiting instead of freaking out, crying, and feeling sorry for myself. So the officer had a hard time changing the tire because the ground was uneven and he couldn't get the jack to lift the car high enough. He tried the jack in a couple different spots and finally got it. Also, there wasn't much room on the shoulder where I pulled off because there was a hill and a metal barrier. There wasn't much room to manuever and we were really close to passing traffic. I was so scared that someone was going to hit us!

After he changed my tire, the police officer was excited because he got a call over his walkie talkie about a burglary. He was off to catch a burglar! Oh yeah, and his phone rang right before he left and his ring tone was a police siren. This guy definitely loves his job! Ok, so my spare tire was really bad. The rim was broken in a couple of places. Being paranoid and scared, there was no way I was going to drive 200 miles on it. I drove to the nearest gas station and asked where the closest hotel was. Two nice older gentlemen said it would be best for me to find a hotel in commerce, ga which was about 20 miles away. Yep, that's where the outlet stores are. Was the universe conspiring to bring me to . . . the outlet mall??? Of course not, that's absurd, besides I didn't have money to spend! :( So, I made it safely there and checked into a hotel. John drove up and stayed with me. He got to the hotel around 1:30am and I was dead asleep by then. He called my phone 7 times before I finally answered on the 8th time. Needless to say, he was not pleased, but still my knight in shining t-shirt and jeans all the same.

We had the tire changed the next day and started for home. We hit bad traffic in Atlanta and then again in Newnan. Then on I-185, just ten miles from our exit, we hit stand still traffic. Arghhhh!!! If only I had paid attention to the signs! All I can say is it's good to be home!

Thanks to Nick and Jess who were staying with us that weekend and made the rest of the weekend fun, sorry for all the drama!

4 comments:

Jessie said...

When you called John...I was very nervous and my stomach started hurting knowing that you were 200 miles away with a flat tire :(
John was very scared even if he doesn't admit it, he kept saying "nothing better happen to her"....it was sweet and scary all at the same time to see John stressed over his Sweet Angie!!
I felt for John because he wanted to do something so bad but you being 200 miles away he felt helpless!!

JoCo said...

HEY THERE!!! It's Corley (griffin) Newburn! Just wanted to say hello & sorry about the flat tire! that stinks!!! how are things in good ol' Columbus? hope you are well. hugs all around!

Thats's what she said...

Well I saw tears in his eyes. And when the police came and you had to hang up and as he tried calling for the next 40 minutes with no answer, he kept saying to himself softly over and over..."please, please, please answer". And then after that he was started yelling over and over..."JUST PICK UP YOUR PHONE, WHY DON'T YOU JUST PICK IT UP". It was sweet and scary all at the same time.

And if Corley comes back I just want her to know that the "hugs all around comment" is so sweet and makes me feel loved. I hope I was included when she said that.

Nick

Angie said...

Aw, I guess maybe the whole ordeal was harder on him, NOT! Good to see you not commenting as Jessie.

Oh yes, Corley if you come back, thanks for the hugs!

I don't know if people come back and check on the comments they post, I usually do anyways . . .