A Helping Hand

Sometimes you’re the windshield…sometimes you’re the bug… Sometimes you lend a hand…and sometimes you need it…

This weekend we needed a helping hand.

It was a simple enough problem. We were driving to the mountains on the I17 freeway when the truck began vibrating. At first, Bob thought it was bad pavement or remnants of the road work. Then he tried adjusting his speed. But neither faster nor slower helped and within minutes it got worse. He began to slow down and thought he could make it to the next town but no, the vibration was getting more serious.

The symptoms indicated a tire gone bad. So we opted to pull off at the next exchange and fix it. Fortunately, Cordes Junction was coming up and we limped in. There’s a McDonald’s and a self-serve gas station at the junction but nothing else for miles. Still, all we needed was a flat place to change the tire and we’d be on our way.

With some very sharp eyes for the right things Bob was able to determine which tire was bad. As we watched, the bulge grew larger. No doubt it would have blown on the freeway within a few miles so good thing we were in a parking lot.

Bob is pretty handy and changing a tire is no challenge. Except for this day. We pulled the jack and tools out from under the seat. Well, we pulled the jack out…but where were the tools? Good grief! We realized that we never had checked for them and even though the truck is several years old we’d not had to change a tire. The previous owner must have and not put all the parts back.

So there we were, about to become panicked. There was no way to lower the spare tire (one of the tools was a special lock to do this) and we didn’t have the right tool to use the jack. We could call AAA and maybe they could help but we were miles from any town and likely the closest tow truck. But…we could look for another Chevy pickup and maybe they would have all the parts.

Bob looked around. There were several semi’s parked in the lot. Maybe they could help; but not likely. Lots of cars in McDonald’s and then, one red Chevy truck. He walked over. Hopefully, it would be someone willing to talk to us and more importantly someone willing to let us borrow the tools for a few minutes.

The guy was friendly enough; but he did not speak English. Still, he didn’t dismiss Bob, instead he went to get his kids who spoke English well. After a short three way conversation, “Of course, they had the tools,” and “Of course, they would help.”

They drove their truck over to ours and the work began. The dad was tall, handsome and most definitely a cowboy. He was well dressed wearing nice black Levi’s with a peach colored shirt. What really caught my attention were his bright orange ostrich skin boots. It appeared that the family was out for more than just a picnic.

The dad talked to his two young teen sons. They worked with Bob to change the tire. At one point all four of them were on the ground. I walked over to rewind the tire holder and the younger son ran over offering to do it. From that point it didn’t take long to get the tire changed. I felt bad that they had dust on their good clothes. But no matter, a wave of the hand from the kids and a handshake from the dad and they were on their way.

Yes, we will pick up the tools this week. But more important, we look forward to the opportunity to soon be the ones helping.

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