Don't Leave Home Without It - My New Years Eve Nightmare




Happy First Day of the New Year. I woke late this morning because my evening was slightly longer than I anticipated.  Let me tell you about last night.

 
When I left home for the evening I was still on the tail end of a 24 hr. long migraine. I was carrying two pillows, a shawl, two lap robes, my purse, water bottle, a bowl of homemade rhubarb/applesauce,a large plate of freshly baked cookies and an exotic, leather mask. (I didn't notice that my cell phone was still on the washing machine.) I attended a beautiful, healing party where we sang in Sanskrit (Kirtan), shared delicious, homemade food, attended a semiformal, tea ceremony, and then went outside to listen to two Lakota men drum and sing prayers, while we burned the things we wanted to leave behind (written on handmade paper) and danced with two fire dancers under the stars.
 
I decided to leave before the final fire ceremony at midnight because although my headache was gone, I was ready to rest. This however, was not to be the case. I had locked my keys in the car AND the magnetic box spare that I keep underneath apparently had fallen off. One of the hosts was kind enough to help me look for my keys and then drive me to my farm to retrieve another car key. Of course when we arrived the gate lock was frozen shut and would not budge. I walked to the house, got in with my outdoor spares, heated some water and returned to open the frozen lock so that my tenant would be able to leave at midnight on his paper route and I would be able to enter when I came back home. (I still didn't pick up my cell phone.)
 
We hurried back but arrived a couple minutes after midnight. The host was gracious about my causing him to be late. I stayed for the ushering in of the New Year ceremony around the fire, thanked them again and left for home. As I pulled out of their driveway, I began to notice periodic strange sounds and bumps from the road or my tires but I thought it was probably from the frigid, icy road conditions. (I had already seen chunks of ice under my car when I was hunting for the spare key.) Unfortunately, the rough ride began to worsen and I finally put on the emergency blinkers, going slowly until I reached an open gas station.
 
As you may already have guessed, I had a very flat tire. It was now 1230am New Year's morning, 21 degrees outside and I was dressed in my finest, silk velvet, velour party clothes. The guy in the mini-mart store said, "I can't work on your car." I'm not a member of AAA and it was then that I discovered that I didn't have my cell phone (with everyone's phone numbers programed inside). I quickly realized that I don't even know where the spare tire is located. I find the tools and the manual. Knowing that I'm not strong enough to do this job, I looked around for help. There were some extremely drunk people getting gas. They soon fishtailed out and burned rubber while cheering and hollering out the windows.
 
My options were to walk two miles back to the house where they already helped me, walk several miles home or go over to the nearby bar. I chose the bar. Thank goodness for the anti-indoor smoking laws because there were some people standing outside in this freezing weather and I made a plea for help. My angel nudged the one guy who hadn't been drinking. He was very kind and patiently worked with me as I read the instructions to help him locate, lower and remove the spare from beneath the car. That's when I noticed that he was wearing a "Tire Dogs" jacket. I remarked about it and he told me that he's the volunteer, Pit Crew Captain for a local race car team. I was amazed at my good fortune even though he said that he never changed of that type of spare tire before. An older woman with curled bangs, glued in space with hairspray, arrived in a cloud of cigarette smoke talking about her friend getting nine lap dances because it was her birthday last week. She turned out to be his wife.  I thanked them profusely and gave them an unopened box of posters for their "goddaughters" to draw on.  I drove off waving thankfully and they were smiling too.
 
Life is full of wonderful surprises.