Mondays and Tuesdays are always the best days of the week for the Hippie Family. Those are the days that the Handsome Hippie Hubby is home from work. Everything is just a little more fun when he’s around. He’s that kind of guy.
So yesterday I got home from my little shift at work in the morning. We all ate lunch and then HHH says, “Let’s go to Toledo. We can go to the mall and maybe stop at a few other stores for some things the kids have been needing.”
Aw, heck! I’m not going to turn THAT down! I LOVE the mall! The bright colors and sparkly decorations and the Musak and the smell of coffee and various food court offerings and all the interesting people…. I could set up a cot right in the middle and live there and be perfectly content.
So we load up the Hippiemobile and head off to the big city (hey – Toledo is a VERY big city when you live in the land of 2 stop lights!). Everyone was content. We weren’t grinning like a bunch of idiots but we were feeling OK.
Our first stop was a children’s up-scale resale shop. This little store often has items that still have the original tags or were maybe only worn once or twice and they usually sell things for 1/2 the retail cost or less. I thought it was worth a look to see if they have the Converse high-tops Little Hippie Daughter has been wanting.
The baby had fallen asleep in the car.
“Why don’t you stay out here so he can sleep and we’ll just run in and check for the shoes quickly.”
Hubby agreed to this, as he sort-of hates going in that particular store.
We went in, quickly saw that the back-to-school shoppers had decimated the shoe selection, and we were back out in 5 minutes.
Handsome Hippy Hubby was messing with the hubcap that had never been replaced after we bought a brand new tire a few weeks ago.
“If I can just fit it into HERE….” he said with a grunt and a shove and then….
This happens a lot in our world. I have a theory. I think that my husband is secretly a super-strong alien from another world and, not understanding his own power, things just get crushed under his hands. It’s not his fault. It just happens. A lot.
In this particular incident he had pushed on the hubcap in the wrong way and broken the valve stem on the tire.
As my own personal Clark Kent began changing the brand new tire out for our little donut spare the muttering outside the car sounded, to me, something like, “Don’t know why…” mumblemumblemumble “Stupid!” mumblemumblemumble “Eight-six dollars!” mumblemumblemumble “Can’t just…” mumblemumblemumble “go to the mall!”
You get the idea.
He got in the car, frustrated, and looked at me.
“I think there is a Walmart with an auto center down the road,” I said. “We’ll go get it fixed. It’s just the stem. It will be OK.”
“Hrbaredahlkjfelupmf,” he replied.
The baby was still sleeping.
Thank God for the small things!
Only a block or two down the road we saw a Tireman Store and got lured into the parking lot by the giant window sign that said, “We repair tires, no matter where you bought them!”
Handsome Hippie Hubby goes in. Comes out.
“It will be about an hour if we want them to take the car in the garage. They’re swamped, but he said he’ll take care of it right away if I just bring the tire in.”
And so he did and, not five minutes later he was coming back out with it.
At this point, he’s visibly feeling much better.
He puts our tiny little jack under the car and goes to work switching the tires for the 2nd time in a matter of minutes.
“Let me help,” said a random voice of kindness.
And there stood Tireman.
Well, not THE Tireman (I don’t think), but some guy who works there. He was standing next to our car with some kind of massive rolling thing and, what looked to me like, a drill.
He put the massive rolling thing under the car and, in about 3 seconds, the whole left side of the car was up in the air.
He used his drill (pretty sure that’s not really what it was) and, in another 3 seconds, our freshly repaired tire was back on. An added bonus, the drill-thingy (technical term) made the car vibrate, which sent Hippie Daughter into fits of giggles.
A smiling hubby climbed into the car and we were on our way.
“Everything better?” I asked.
He was thoughtful for a moment. I do love that about him. “It’s better than when we started!” he replied.
You see… having something “bad” happen to us allowed us to experience a great kindness. How kind of the men in that store to offer to help us right away, instead of making us wait. How nice that the mechanic left the garage and came into the parking lot to assist us. How generous to offer his superior tools, making the job faster and easier. It was just a little job… all together it only took those guys a minute or two to get us back on the road, but they didn’t need to give us those 2 minutes. They could easily have made us sit there for an hour. They didn’t have to go above and beyond by helping us change the tire.
It was touching.
Sometimes angels are dirty guys in overalls.
And so we were on our way to the mall, not just content, but grinning like a bunch of idiots.
It all makes me think, how much of a difference can I make today by giving just a minute or two of my own time and skill? If I pay the Tireman’s act of kindness forward, to someone else, maybe they’ll pay it forward too.
Maybe our flat tire will be the beginning of world peace.
But you never know!
It’s worth a try.