Posts Tagged With: Car Problems

Road Lessons


I have two moments to rub together – a rare occurrence these days – so I thought I should take the time and get a blog entry up.  This weekend has been an eventful one.  Most notably because of baby’s first tire blow-out.

Yup.  I blew out a tire on the way to my mother’s house.  I must have run over something and gotten a flat, because the tires were brand new.  I had just loaded the twelve-million things I bring when I take this kid places into the car (stroller, Ergo, diaper backpack containing four diapers, two bottles, changing pad, three fresh outfits, and pacifier, child securely strapped into his seat, his sweatshirt, a knit blanket, a swaddle…) and merged onto the freeway when the car started to shudder.  I got off the freeway at the next exit, and just as I was pulling to the side of the road the passenger side dropped, started smoking, and made a horrible grating noise.  I thought for sure the transmission had dropped out of the bottom or something equally dire, and couldn’t think of anything I did for this new-to-me car to have collapsed so epically.

I pressed the red button for the flashers and got out of the car.  Relief.  Not only was the rear right tire flat, but it was shredded like a doughnut and completely separated from the rim.  That was the smoking and the drop.  The car itself was fine.  We were in a safe spot, and there was shade to wait in.  Tires are imminently fixable. I called for help.

AAA was wonderful.  The lady on the other end put a rush on the service request when she heard the kid screaming in the background, and then he and I went on a walk in the stroller down the street.  He fell asleep in contentment and stayed that way while the gentleman from AAA put on my spare.

The best part?  Well, there’s two of them:

One – I broke down in front of a Lowe’s and several construction workers and contractors came to check on me, concerned about the baby.  It restored my faith in humanity to see these beefy gentlemen so concerned about us.

Two – it was Anime L.A. this weekend and I was slated to take care of this kid ALONE all night for the first time ever while Brian ran midnight RPG games in Ontario.  It scared me to death.  But after handling a tire blow-out with aplomb, I knew that 3 am held no terrors I couldn’t overcome.  Mom’s got this.

Not the best afternoon ever, but definitely a moment that turned out to have good in it.  Tire repaired and we’re on our way.

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Of Cars and Easter


Brian’s car died last week with a slow whimper.  It won’t go faster than 40 mph, and that’s no good for commuting on the California freeways, even if it wasn’t making that horrible sound between a rumbling and a wheeze.  We bought Brian his car specifically because it’s big enough for him.  He’s 6’5, and has to fold himself into my little compact car.  He gets knee and ankle problems when he has to drive it too much.  This means that I’m the designated chauffeur for both directions of commute.

It’s been nice and it’s been annoying, both.  I like leaving the house with him, trying and always failing to be ready at the same time, and driving along the roads in the quiet morning with my hand on his knee.  I like watching him lean over the railing of the pass that goes over the train in his dark trilby and tie, and seeing his face light up, his hand waving, when he finds my spot in the car in the lot.  Sometimes there are impromptu adventures like the when he suggested we go to the graveyard you can see from the train.  There is a marble serpent in that graveyard, swimming in green grass, and a few mausoleums.  I kept looking for Bod and Silas inside.  But I think their graveyard was a New England graveyard, not a California one.

The drawbacks are that it’s a whole hour earlier than I would need to get up if I were only responsible for getting myself to the office on time.  And although it’s only a few more minutes to zip down the 215 at the end of the day to the Riverside train station, it is just long enough that I get that twinge in my shoulder, that crease between my eyes, and that little bud of impatience in my chest.

I used to tease Brian when we commuted down to Orange County every day together that it was 3 hours of “forced alone time” with his wife.  But I forgot how great that time with no distractions can be.  I missed it, and I’m glad to have it back.  Even at the cost of some of my patience.

We had a lovely Easter this week.  By some miracle, I didn’t over-commit to bringing a thousand things.  I had a very nice Saturday trapped at home while Brian took the car to do some overtime at work.  I made pies with crust from scratch and generally loafed around with the cats.  Sunday morning, we left the house at 9:00 am, visited all the families, and got home about 9:00 pm when we fell into bed.  I had a great excuse to wear my vintage pin of a bouquet of pink flowers and my peter-pan collar shirt.

Highlights of Easter:  Brian attempted to force everyone to play Love Letter with him until my sister’s fellow finally trounced him at it for good (I’m kidding about the “forced,” they had quite a rivalry going).  At my grandfather’s house, twelve grown adults roamed the bushes and fought over bright plastic eggs to find the gold one (which was filled with an extra-fancy scratcher.  My dad found it).    At my mother’s house, she cut the heads off hollow chocolate bunnies to put port inside them… fortunately, she spilled the reddish port all over the place and it looked like some horrible bunny massacre.  A tasty, tasty massacre.

I expect this week to be rather sleepy.  Brian and I are still working our way through the edits on my novel.  I’ve started to draft out the sequel.  Tomatomania is coming to the Botanic Gardens next weekend, so I will have to put some attention into compost, watering strategies, and planting.  A large amount of my time is probably going to be spent keeping cats out of Easter candy, because Jennyanydots is way more devious and crafty than the other two ever have been.   With all of that, and with my duties driving Brian around, let’s hope it all continues as quiet as it’s started.

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