Blessings in Disguise

Winter has hit full force, and I’m sorry to say that I’ve been caught unprepared. It’s something of a victory that my kids have snowpants and mittens, and we still have to find their winter boots (fortunately, their rain boots keep them dry). However, I probably would not yet have snow tires on my car were it not for a small disaster that hit late last week.

After returning home from driving the kids to school, I’m driving Erin up to work when my car immediately starts pulling to the right. I’ve felt this before, the last time we had a flat tire. Fortunately, the flat appears to have hit right outside the Dettmer Tire and Auto Centre in Belmont Village. Pulling in, we see that, yes, the front right tire is flat to the rim.

Given how busy we’ve been buying and selling a home, this is the last thing we need, but the folks at Dettmer are sympathetic (and, no, they did not spread nails on the road to drum up business). However, it appears that my tire has picked the absolute worst day to spring a leak: Dettmer is full up with people changing their three-season tires to snow tires. Indeed, they’re booking for next week. But they’re willing to fill up my tire with air for a temporary fix (though they’re somewhat dubious that the tire will hold anything), and they don’t charge me a cent. After calling a taxi to take Erin to work, I strike out for my home garage, Fowler Tire for a fix, with strict instructions not to drive on the highway.

Calling Fowler to see if they can replace my current tires for the snow tires I have stored with them, I learn that they’re having the same problem: because this is snow tire installation season, they’re booking slots for two weeks in advance. But this is an emergency, I say: without a tire, I can’t drive my car. However, the proprietor is kind enough to tell me to leave my car with them, and they’ll try to fit me in when they can. So, that’s what I do.

Two hours later, I get a call to tell me that my car is ready. It has my snow tires on it.

Both these establishments are crewed by some of the best people in the world. It certainly made what promised to be a harrowing day go a lot easier to get their help. And, were it not for my flat tire, I might not have been able to get snow tires on my car for another two weeks. That is something to be thankful for today given the slopping driving conditions.

Strangely enough, the right front tire had nothing wrong with it. No leaks or anything. The only theory we have is that it may have popped off the rim and released its air quickly. But it turns out it’s a blessing in disguise.

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