Sunday, February 17, 2013
I meant to write this in January and give credit where credit it due, but as usual am behind on all of my projects!
It all began on January 5th, end of a typical weekend trip to Portland -- still working on the folks estate and now with no sister (sniff) to help out any more. But that aside, we had driven to Portland and were back on the way home. We stopped at McDonald's at the 72 mile marker and grabbed a dollar sandwich each. We got right back on the freeway and headed north again. Shortly after merging on to the freeway (just past the Uncle Sam sign with his pithy political remarks) I thought the car was getting rather noisy. It kept getting worse and I turned off the radio and immediately identified the noise and the increasing vibration. Yup, a flat tire. Sigh. There was a ramp a little ways ahead and I slowed and limped that direction. Added to that I got to listen to the excited voice of my daughter, who knows something about car repairs, yelling - "Stop the car mom! Don't keep driving!!" However, I am much more willing to ruin my wheel than I am to be parked next to vehicles rolling 70+ MPH. You can replace a tire and a wheel. You can even replace a car. Husband, kids and the "worlds best dog" are bit harder to come by.
We pulled past a little bridge on the ramp and finally off to the side. We all hopped out and sure enough, there was the tire, flat as a pancake. My husband and daughter started unloading the cargo area of the van (no rain, thank God!) to get to the "donut" and while they dug stuff out, I looked up a a man had pulled over and came back to ask if he could help. He said that they had had some sort of car trouble a couple of weeks before and he wanted to pass the favor on. My husband said, "I think we've got it." But, looking at the quickly approaching darkness I said, "Sure, I'm sure we could use the help to do this quickly because the sun has already gone down." Then the reality of our situation hit as we realized that for some reason our car jack was missing. (In fact, we think it might have gotten left at another Les Schwab awhile back -- but that is another story for another day.) Whoa! Now we really did have a bit of a problem. I asked the man, "Do you have a Les Schwab here?" and he said yes. I asked him how late it was open while at the same time looking at my phone to see what time it was. He said 5:00 and I realized we had five minutes. So I asked if he could possibly drive to Les Schwab and see if they could come and rescue us. I got his phone number from him and called his phone to put my number into his missed calls and off he went. We started reloading the cargo and it got darker and darker.
About ten mintues later our wonderful "Guardian Angel" called and said that "they were on their way," and we thanked him for his assistance. About 5 minutes after that the Les Schwab truck rolled up in front of us and the very helpful employee quickly whipped out their wonderful equipment and quickly go the tire off and the donut donut on. Fortunately we had a flashlight because by then it was completely dark. We then followed hm up Main Street to Market Blvd and crossed the road into their facility. All four of us and the dog bounded out of the car and into the reception area. In record time the two employees still there placed a new tire on the wheel, removed and gave us back the donut, wrote up the bill, took our payment and off we all went. Us,"on the road again" and them, to whatever plans they had scheduled for the evening. It was 5:35 and we were merging back on the freeway. We couldn't believe how quickly everything had happened. We called our Guardian Angel back and let him know that we so appreciated his help and that we were all rescued. We never did get his name, so we will stick with the fact that God sent him to help us out in our time of need and we are grateful! We also so appreciated the guys at Les Schwab who helped us out on short notice when they probably would have much preferred not to stay late!
So thanks again to our guardian angel on off-ramp, Chehalis Les Schwab employees and to God who orchestrated events so that we hardly missed a step on our homeward journey.
36 N Market Blvd
Chehalis, WA 98532-2622
Mon-Fri: 8:00am - 6:00pm
Sat: 8:00am - 5:00pm