Friday, May 29, 2009
Thursday night. Busy night. Cavs game 5 starts at 8:30. Need to get the kids to bed. Nancy going to her 8:30 piano lesson. Lots of things converging. Including a brewing thunderstorm, which usually isn't a big deal.
Until Nancy calls at 8:08 to say she's got a flat tire and just pulled into an apartment complex that's in Cleveland (read: crappy neighborhood).
Big change of plans. Sophia was one foot in the shower and she got pulled right out. Got them ready for an adventure, grabbed some flashlights and loaded us into the car.
Nancy talked me into the apartment complex as we drove. Night was approaching, and so was the storm.
We arrived in time to switch her car for mine so Nancy could try to make the piano lesson. It's her second to last one and she practiced quite a bit for it, and I thought if we had any luck, I'd have the tire changed before she got finished.
Tire iron. Check.
Flash light. Check.
Rainstorm. Check and mate.
I barely had a few minutes to get the jack and spare out of the trunk and in position before the rain came. The kids were doing ok until the lighting cracked. Then they got really scared. I then made the executive decision to call AAA for backup. My timing was good because as I was on the phone with the AAA agent, another lightning bolt cracked and the kids screamed and started crying.
Keep in mind we're under the cover of a poor neighborhood's apartment building with who knows what around us. Anyway, the AAA agent heard the kids and I mentioned they were little and upset. This expedited my call from 90+ minutes to what turned out to be less than 30. As I'm dealing with all this chaos, the kids are getting really upset. Really really upset. Especially when I had to run down the block to get the name of the street we were marooned on. The kids were practically hysterical as I was running around in the storm. As I got back to them, they were dying to get into the car and wait it out, so that's what we did. I threw them inside and collected the tools and stuff and shoved it under the car. I jumped in too.
A couple of minutes later Nancy called to say she rescheduled her lesson and was on the way back to get the kids home. This was great news, except that she didn't know how to find the apartment building because the way she got into the lot was via a one-way street. She'd have to go all the way around and figure out how to find us. Which she eventually did. The kids sufficiently calmed down by the time she arrived. So much so that Zach fell asleep. As soon as she pulled up, I loaded them into the Jeep and she took them home.
I almost forgot to mention the "enterprising" guys that kept offering to "help" me with changing the tire. We didn't get to the negotiating part, but I'm pretty sure they weren't planning to do me any favors - it was cash they were after. Before the rain started, one guy practically climed completely under the car to position the jack. Before he even asked me if I wanted any help. Which I didn't. I got rid of him as quickly as possible.
The rain stopped and soon enough the AAA guy showed up and we got the tire changed. Thanks to him and the PB Blaster spray he used on the lug nuts. I never used it before and it worked like a charm. I was happy to tip him because he was great. Fortunately I was home by 10ish and on the couch in dry clothes to relax a few minutes later.
What a night!