I have said before that the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is the dullest time of the year for news. That’s when a lot of news organizations fill up time by recalling what happened earlier in the year, in case we forgot. Today I turned on a college radio station, for instance, and they were playing songs from musicians who died during the past year. That got me thinking, “I wish they could play songs from great artists who were born this year. That would be a happier program.” (By the way, Justin Bieber doesn’t count.)
Well, in my family the week has been anything but dull. My father down in Florida has been bothered with bronchitis for several days, and on Monday it got so bad that his caregiver called 911. After he got to the hospital, the doctor diagnosed him as suffering from congestive heart failure. Of course the news threw a scare in us, because that was what took my mother away two and a half years ago, after her stroke. Later in the day my brother said that Dad could last two days, or he could last two years. It has now been two and a half days since then, so fortunately the short guess wasn’t correct. Since then I have heard he’s doing better, as the hospital drains excess fluids out of him, but he’ll still need a lot of rest.
Today I was out in the Nissan, prospecting for my Pre-Paid Legal business and spreading the word about next Saturday’s TV show. After looping through Athens and leaving three business cards at a gas station there, I decided to head in the general direction of Winchester, because I haven’t prospected in Clark County yet. On the way there I got a flat left front tire. It happened right in front of the country store I used to pass, every time I went to work. This wasn’t a total surprise; just last Monday I stopped at a gas station to fill that tire with air, because it was getting low. Still, there’s never a good time for a breakdown, is there?
I ended up spending an hour at Sarah’s Corner Café, the country store at the intersection of Winchester Rd. and Cleveland Ave. Would you believe they had Hellish Relish? In my message from November 21, 2007, I said that one of the things I missed the most from my Florida days were the hot sauces made from St. Augustine’s datil peppers, like the “Hellish Relish” produced by Dat’l Do-it. On my trips to Orlando in 2008 and 2009, I tried to find datil pepper products to take back to Kentucky, but it seems that even in O-town, nobody carries them anymore. None in Winn Dixie, none in Publix, and none in Albertson’s; many of the store workers didn’t even know what I was talking about. Of course I bought a bottle, you can see it in the picture below. One more quest has reached a successful conclusion. Now, does anyone in Kentucky carry the original Dat’l Do-it sauce?
The folks in the store were nice and helped me get the spare “doughnut” tire on. But as soon as I got on the road, the spare went flat, too. Thus I was stuck again, until another fellow with a portable air pump (one of those new deals that’s the size of a lunchbox) stopped by the store. I also called my friend and Pre-Paid Legal sponsor, Terrell Cherry, and he sent Alphonso Fergerson by to help out. Al showed up just as the gentleman with the pump was finished, so he followed me to the nearest Wal-Mart, which was two or three miles away. The air leaked out of the spare again on the way, but it was just enough to get me to Wal-Mart.
When I reached Wal-Mart I was safe, but my adventure wasn’t over yet. They were out of tires in the size I needed, and it’s a common size, so there must have been a run on them earlier in the day! I ended up getting one that was the same diameter, but a quarter of an inch thicker. To minimize the effect on driving and stress on the differential, they moved the left rear tire to the front, and put the new tire where the left rear one was. That should allow me to drive until I can afford to get the other rear tire replaced. When I looked in the trunk, I found they had even repaired the spare, and didn’t charge me for it. That was nice of them, though I think I’ll replace that “doughnut” before I ever have to use it again.
Well, that was my day. How was yours?