From Flat Tires to Newfound Friends

| 1/20/2012 9:29:57 AM

Tags: flat tires, neighbours, chickens, Cam Mather,

I’ve often written about the people who show up at our door because we’re the only house on a 10 kilometer stretch of deserted road. We’ve always done what we can to help them. I’ve always contended that one day the shoe would be on the other foot, so I’d better go out of my way to help other people out.

The opportunity for a role reversal came in mid-December for me. I had borrowed our neighbors’ big trailer to transport the final load of hay out of a barn. The new owner of the barn just wanted all of the old hay removed. (I wrote about this here.) We’d had some wet snow and then the temperature had plummeted which made the roads quite slippery. I decided to go anyway since I always drive slowly when I’m towing the trailer. I left my place on Saturday at about 8 a.m. and I was on the far side of town, 20 minutes later, before I encountered another vehicle on the road. It was weird, like one of those movies where you start thinking aliens or zombies have kidnapped everyone. I was the ONLY vehicle on the road. Other people think this way, right?

It was really cold but I got the truck loaded with some straw that we use for bedding for the chickens, and I got a reasonable load of hay on the trailer. Everything seemed fine until I turned out of the driveway on to the road. Something just didn’t look quite right with the tires at the back of the trailer. It was driving fine, but once I got on to Miller Road I stopped to check it and discovered that one of the tires was flat.

Photo courtesy of WikiCommons.

Many years ago I would have had a huge hissy fit, and basically just laid down in the middle of the road and had a huge temper tantrum. “Why me?” “Why now!” “Not today, any day but today.” Wouldn’t you know that I had committed to be back home in plenty of time to meet Bill and Lorraine in Kingston for an Aztext Press business meeting at lunch? Everything had been going along tickety-boo, I was running ahead of schedule and everything SHOULD have worked out properly. But fate has this way of humbling you when things start going well. The challenge is always how you’ll deal with it.

So, I took a minute, took a deep breath and tried to evaluate the situation. The good thing was that it’s a huge trailer with two axles, and only one of the 4 tires was flat. I looked at the bright side and figured that I still had 75% of my tire capacity! I also had a really small load on, compared to what I had started hauling out during my first trips. I had started with about 6 rows of square bales but on this particular day the load was less than 2 rows high because much of what was left were broken bales. I thought I might have been able to “limp” home with a flat tire but it’s not my trailer so I didn’t want to do any more damage.

I remembered that less than 2 miles up the road was Eric Smith’s farm. Now I don’t know Eric well, but we have chatted a few times. And he is the only politician who has ever come to my house. When he was running for municipal council he actually drove 6 kilometers past the Kouri’s to knock on my door and ask for my vote. I was at a meeting, but when Michelle told me that he had stopped in, I decided he had my vote for life.

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