It could have been a lot worse.
I thought the tire pressure light on my Subaru’s dash was illuminated because, well, it was 15 below zero and I’ve seen that light on other cars I’ve owned when tires sat overnight on a frozen driveway.
“Little did she know,” as writers sometimes write, that a shard of steel had pieced the rear-passenger Goodyear. Perhaps because of the cold or the way the steel pieced the tire or sheer dumb luck, the tire didn’t go flat until 36 hours later.
Of course, I didn’t leave the house Monday with the daytime “high” of 13 below zero (that’s minus 25 for my friends in France!). Tuesday the roads were still snow-packed and almost too treacherous to trek. Still, I managed a short drive for a few groceries and gas. “Huh. What’s THAT light doing? OHHH. Must be too cold for the tires. No worries.”
Yet, when I hopped in on Wednesday for some errands the light was off. “Warmer today?”
Fortunately it was a bit warmer Wednesday. And luckily, I made it down the expressway at 60-65 MPH, no problem. Thankfully, I made it to the gym, Staples and the yarn shop on the square in Valpo. Easy peasy. I was even lucky, I figured, that the tire started to really lose its air just a couple of blocks from downtown Valpo.
Lucky that it was still daylight. Lucky that I wasn’t on a country road. Lucky that – here’s a woman’s thinking for ya, “Hmm. Can’t get Triple A or Subaru Roadside Assistance …” the recorded messages stated due to extreme cold and snow there would be a 3-4 hour wait for service – I could limp a few blocks back to my favorite yarn shop to hang out while I waited.
But even luckier still: just two blocks into my limping I happened upon Sandberg’s Towing & Recovery, 1252 W. Lincolnway, Valparaiso.
Pulling into the parking lot and reading the sign, I thought, if nothing else it would be a good landmark.
The lights were on and people inside had real car problems. An older couple’s Toyota died for no apparent reason on Route 30 and had to be towed. They were waiting to find out how long before their car could be repaired. “A couple days, with all the work we’ve got ahead of you.”
I had no choice but to wait patiently while a young bearded man named Eric talked to the folks ahead of me. But he could not have been nicer, more patient.
I was impressed.
He told me he’d be with me in a few minutes and I said I just wondered if they even had time to put on the spare. Given all the other real car issues Sandberg’s was managing that evening – sort of an auto triage – I expected my flat to sit for days. So I was delighted and grateful to hear a half hour later that they pulled a piece of steel from the tire, patched it, drove it and it was good to go.
I was giddy with gratitude.
We never know – when “we” drive to the gym in warm boots but sans socks – when something will happen. I was lucky I only had a flat. And I want to share that I feel lucky to have met the nice people at Sandberg’s.