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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Monday, December 11, 2006


On a recent morning I bounded out into the garage, in a limping sort of way, to take the van on a short errand for and with my MIL and faced a harsh disappointment. The rear driver’s side tire was very flat – and even though it only looked flat on one side, I felt very confident that it was a systemic condition. The errand then had to be done in my small to medium P/U truck and I came back home to face the music – disguised as a flat tire in this case. Even in my ‘delicate condition’, I was the only one available to take the tire off for repairs.

Even though I had changed many tires in my life, it occurred to me that this was my first time to change a tire on the van. The spare is located in a well between the first and second row of seats, but what I needed was the jack and its handles and these items were not with the spare. It seems that every vehicle has its own secret hiding place for these tools and after several minutes of searching, I found this hidden compartment on the rear driver’s side.

My back/leg condition permits sitting or lying down but allows very little standing or walking. I’ve been sitting so much lately that I feel like I’m getting saddle sores or something. Standing while bent over is tolerated somewhat, as is crawling – this is a good thing when it comes to playing with the grunt monkeys. Fortunately the tire removal was possible because I was kneeling and bent over – it wasn’t comfortable but some things have to be done anyway.

During the tire removal operation I heard a cacophony of alarm and/or warning sounds given forth by a group of crows. I walked outside the garage to locate and rationalize the reason for this raucous and rambunctious racket. As I did so, the whole group flew overhead in quite a confused mass mess. The group consisted of five crows harassing, diving and cawing at one single hawk. Even though crows are fairly large, they were only about half as big as the hawk, but they were acting as a unit and seemed to be encouraging each other in their efforts at driving the hawk from the area.

This hawk appeared to be the same one that I had sighted several times before around the area and the one I have written about. I followed their pestering actions and noise until they flew out of sight and it seemed the hawk was putting some distance between itself and the noise at last sighting. This bird of prey didn’t seem to be very concerned about the ruckus and only dipped a wing slightly when they dove too close. While the crows seemed to show a healthy respect for the hawk, they didn’t seem to show a lot of fear – after all who really wants to ‘eat crow’.

The flat was taken to the tire place, repaired and later replaced on the van to enable it to be driven and used for joyful purposes, or even just regular ones. The spirit within us sometimes gets pretty flat, on a given day or during a trying time, and it is possible for our joy to leak out. We need the leak repaired by our loving God, then the joy of the Lord, which can be our strength, can be replaced by Him (if we choose) and we can continue on with a more fulfilled life’s journey. ec


Blogger Granny said...

I had one van that placed the "doughnut" under and suspended from the chassis. My friend cut his finger almost in half trying to loosen the bolt.

If you're thinking about a Dodge Caravan, check where they're putting the tire these days.

Glad your back survived.

12/11/2006 06:22:00 PM  
Blogger Bonita said...

As I recall, my dad's RV had two tires at each wheel, and both required care when one was in need of repair. So, much like marriage, and the care we give to our spouses.... nice to hear all is well here, MrEddie, even if just crawling or stooping sometimes.

12/11/2006 07:46:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

granny - This one is a Honda and all was accessible from the top side - just hard to find. I have been referred to a neurosurgeon but I couldn't get an appointment until the 28th of Dec. - the knife is a very likely happening.

bonita - Those RV tires can be a pain to change. Looks like I have at least two more weeks of limping and crawling before I find out the verdict on my back. :) ec

12/11/2006 10:07:00 PM  
Blogger Jayleigh said...

Glad you're not "flat" anymore.

12/12/2006 12:53:00 AM  
Blogger mreddie said...

jayleigh - The tire is no longer flat on the van but I am a little flat physically. :) ec

12/12/2006 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger The very nice man said...

Must be the month of the flat tyres! I had one and before you could say "holycrap" I had 4 new tyres on the car and was loads of money lighter!

12/12/2006 01:28:00 PM  
Blogger Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Changing a tire is never a joyful experience, leastwise when the physical effort is in conflict with our body’s abilities. The story of the hawk and crows was picturesque. Thanks.

I’m glad you were able to change the tire. I had an elderly woman of deep faith in a congregation I pastured back in the 80s who would have simply prayed to God for a good Samaritan to come by and change the tire for her. In the event one didn’t show up, she would have telephoned me.

12/12/2006 02:45:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

the very nice man - I was fortunate that the tire was still good after they removed a metal cotter pin from it and repaired the hole. I'm sure your wallet was much lighter after the four tires!!

SSN - I knew an older lady like that - when she had a need, she would just pray about it and then wait on God to send someone. Not sure what she did if someone didn't show. ec

12/12/2006 04:28:00 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I commend you for dealing with that tire. It's not easy in times like these. I am surprised that you are comfortable sitting. When I had my severe episode, I could only lie and even that wasn't always the best. Mind you that serious bout happened over ten years ago now. But I have to be very careful.

12/14/2006 07:46:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

AC - It was not an easy thing, but I was able to get into a less painful position and get it done. I do feel blessed that it eases when I am sitting or lying down. ec

12/14/2006 11:46:00 PM  

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