Small But Mighty

I made a quick trip to Bismarck one morning a week or so ago, and on the way back I noticed that the tire light had gone on, indicating that there were uneven  pressures in the van tires.  I didn’t give it much thought as the tire light always seems to be going on in the winter  when there are lots of temperature variations.  I drove back to town and back to work and parked in my usual spot. At 4:50 pm, two of the secretaries contacted to me tell me that one of my rear van tires was completely flat.

It was one of the days when Husband was out of town on the Rez. There was no way I could change the tire myself, so I phoned Jeff’s Towing, a business about 4 blocks from my work. Jeff zipped right over with his tow truck,  filled the tire, and had me follow him to his gas station. In twenty minutes he had repaired the tire and I drove back to work.  He charged me $35 for the repair. The three square plastic pieces in the header photo are what had punctured the tire. I was amazed such small things could do so much damage. Jeff told me that front tires fling objects backwards toward the rear tires as you speed down the highway, and these three little pieces had probably been flung into my back tire with great power.

What in your life has been small but mighty? Got any flat tire stories?

50 thoughts on “Small But Mighty”

  1. When YA was about five, we hit a massive pothole on the parkway. It kind of jolted us and within a few minutes both front tires went flat. I can change a flat tire and have done so on more than one occasion but changing two flat tires when you only have one spare is a mathematical problem that I could not work out. Thank goodness for AAA.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. On an extended pheasant hunt in South Dakota, my buddy Bill learned his Suburban had a sick transmission. He left his SUV at the only auto repair shop in tiny Plankinton while we hunted.

    When we returned hours later, one of the mechanics yelled, “Praise the lord! Here comes the man who’s gonna make us rich!” The mechanics–I remember there being three of them–grabbed hands and began to dance for joy in a circle, singing out, “It’s steaks for us tonight!” Then they laughed and told Bill he would pay only $45 for a new U-joint, parts and labor. I love small towns.

    Liked by 6 people

  3. Small but mighty. That sounds like the definition of a kidney stone. Although I know for a fact I have a few, I’ve never passed one. A memorable experience, from what I hear. Makes me feel a bit like a loaded gun.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. A friend of ours drove the Alcan Highway, and had several flat tires along the way. I guess many people take two spare tires with them when they make that drive.

    This virus I have has felled me for a whole week. Yeast spores and viruses are mighty.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. that book we read for book club about the world ending ending with the fast spreading virus the wiped out the world in a epidemic so quick that the story was done and 99% of the population was wiped out before anyone knew what to do.
      i saw a guy on the cbs sunday morning year end recap talking about the world being able to crush us with the downing of the gps satellite and disabling the computer wifi and telephone communications that the usa required to get out of bed in the morning today

      i think he is right. saw it first at 911 when the telephone and internet was shut down for a couple of days due to overload and missing pieces of the infratrructure. i dont even know my moms phone number any more. if my phone is not there to tell me what it is i cant contact her.
      small little satalite electrons rule today.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    I have only one flat tire story. The tire was flat. I called AAA and they repaired it. Not interesting. I cannot come up with any small but mighty things either. I will just read everyone else’s today.

    Renee, are you healthy again?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Well, I have no voice but my fever is gone and I am not exhausted. It is hard to do therapy or administer IQ tests when you can’t talk. I expect to be back to work on Monday. I doubt I am singing in the choir tomorrow.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. I have two memorable flat tire stories, and I’ve told them both here before.

    The first was on a blazing hot afternoon in Carbondale. I had driven to Little Grassy Lake a few miles out of town to go for a swim, wearing only my bikini. No shoes or sandals, just a bikini. On the way back home, the right, rear tire of the VW went flat. The blacktop was so hot that it was soft and burned my feet. What was worse, once I had hoisted the car up on the VW jack, one side of the jack dug into the melting blacktop, and the whole mess keeled over. There I was, in my bikini, looking like an idiot, hopping from one burning foot to the other, trying to figure out how to pry the jack off the stranded car. I had no idea what to do. Luckily, a car full of young men drove by in a big old American car just about then. Within minutes they had the VW hoisted up on their more substantial jack and my tire changed. I was beyond grateful for their assistance. I learned a lesson that day: Don’t drive without shoes or sandals on a hot day, but a bikini might actually help in recruiting help. Pretty sure that wouldn’t work for me today. 🙂

    The other occasion was in downtown St. Paul. Again a hot afternoon, just after 5 PM, lots of rush hour traffic. As I was pulling out of the parking lot I heard a loud noise, it sounded like a helicopter overhead. Strange thing was that the sound stopped when I did, and started up again when I pulled into traffic again. So I pulled over. Sure enough, my beloved Mercury Capri had a flat tire. On this occasion I was wearing a red mini dress and pumps. So there I was, on my hands and knees in the gutter changing the tire while passing cars were honking, waving and making cat calls. I know that at least one car circled the block to get a better look. Don’t think I ever wore that dress again.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. You know, Renee, in retrospect it does make me smile. Reminds me to be mindful that all old folks were once young, and who knows what stories they could tell.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. I also thought the VW story was really funny. I could see myself doing something like it in my late teens, early 20’s. I had a VW in my late 20’s. That thing was a routinely problematic mechanical dilemma. It was cheap, but never worked well. And it bordered on dangerous when the defroster no longer worked and I was driving it across the prairie with ice on the windshield. And then there was the battery which died a lot. You had to take the back seat out to jump the car. The Bad Old Days.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. there are almost no moving parts in those old vws. as i used to say if you had a screwdriver and some baking wire you could fix anything
          the defroster was screwed up by mouse droppings in the ductwork nor anything the car did.
          the battery… when it’s done it’s done. a new battery is required kinda like tires

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        2. I’m more apt to agree with Jacque’s assessment of the old VW. Ours was a 1963 model, and we had to take the entire engine apart in 1969 to rebuild it. The body was in great shape, but nothing else worked reliably. The winter mornings driving to work while frantically scraping ice off the inside of the windshield, I remember them well. The freezing feet because all the heat, such as it was, was directed at the windshield. Trying to pass a car, let alone a semi, on an uphill incline? Forget it. No matter how hard you stomped on the gas pedal, it just didn’t have the power to accelerate.

          Remember this? https://tinyurl.com/ttv7v3c Our trusty guide through the whole procedure of rebuilding the engine.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. yes to all of that Margaret. It was a challenge to drive the thing. We had replaced the battery and something else was drawing on the power and it would die reliably. We sold it after two years and moved on to another cheap car that did not work well, but it had heat.

          Liked by 2 people

  7. Not quite a flat tire story, but an auto repair story related to a round rubber object.

    When I was 14, Dad loaded up Mom and us three kids to take a two-week vacation to the Rockies. We did all the main things– the Black Hills, Mt. Rushmore, Badlands NP, Grand Teton NP, Yellowstone NP. But we had to get there first.

    Little more than an hour from home (St. Louis Park), we’re hauling our rented Coleman pop-up camper trailer behind the ’63 Rambler American Classic on US 14 going through Springfield MN. It’s a pleasant Saturday morning in August. All of a sudden we feel a thump/thunk and Dad begins to struggle with the steering. He slows down and pulls to the shoulder. As we slow, I look out the left backseat window and see a tire rolling down the road past our car, heading in our direction. It’s a wonder that it didn’t hit oncoming traffic. We stopped, the tire eventually rolled off to the right shoulder and we got out and inspected our rig. To our astonishment, the left wheel of the trailer had “fallen” off the axle. I don’t recall if the lug nuts were loose or the axle cracked, or what. But it ground our trip to a halt.

    Fortunately, we were able to get repairs in Springfield, which was only a mile or two behind us. It took several hours and set us behind schedule. But we soldiered on after that.

    Unfortunately, a week or so later, as we drove through SE Montana (or NE Wyoming–basically in the middle of the middle of nowhere) we got an actual flat tire. Took hours to fix as we had to unhook the trailer, empty the trunk, change the tire, refill the trunk, and reattach the trailer. Plus it was about 95 degrees that day (pre-AC in the cars). That also cost us money to patch the tire–or replace it, I don’t recall). That expense plus the trailer axle expense combined with our tight budget meant that we were almost out of money and about 1,000 miles from home. Dad had to call Grandpa and have him wire money to us via good ‘ol Western Union. The upside of that is while Dad did business, the rest of us got to swim in this wonderful outdoor swimming pool in a town somewhere in that Big Sky Country. Details are sketchy after 50 years, but those events plus seeing all those natural wonders for the first time made it one of the most memorable vacations of my youth.

    Chris in O-town

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep. A year or two later, we went on a Spring break road trip to Monterey Mexico by way of his folks place in Missouri and then South Padre Island, Texas. With a popup camper too. Also did an East Coast camping trip to Cape Cod and back, through Canada on the way home.

        Chris (the son of a glutton for familial punishment?)

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  8. Husband had a flat tire last June on the way home from the Rez. He was on Highway 22, a heavily travelled oilfield road through steep Badlands terrain. He realized to his dismay that he had loaned his jack and tire iron to some native friends and hadn’t got them back. Some very helpful truckers stopped and helped him get the tire changed.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. dylan of hippy dog fame was a beagle sized dog with a barrel chest. he had an attitude. one weekend a buddy of mine invited us up to his canin for a winter weekend. jim was a in your face kind of guy and liked to be the start up in a what do do scenario, justin was my buddy who was super laid back and we headed up in the vw with dylan and all provisions . when we got there jims brother mark was there with his buddies who i knew and i think i was even with them in a broomball team at the time. they were real intense and one of them had his dog along. his dog had been with him in alaska during the service. it was 730 or 8 the first morning and we all walked outside to discuss the days plan standing in a circle on a zero degree snow covered morning.
    we were all a little buzzed from the previous evenings activity on the drive up. or maybe it was just me. i wake up with a slow mo kind of step into the world, my brain is ticking but my tongue is a little slow.
    the group was looking at firewood splitting and how to divvy up the chores and the trip to town for fixing for dinner etc… when the group circled the discussion the dogs were across from each other and the other guys dog started with a little snarl of a growl. my dog growled back and before the second breath happened the dogs were in a lunging attack mode in the center of our circle. just like the call of the wild with jaws locked and the fur flying. the other dog was a wolf looking dog and outweighed my dog by about double. they were locked up right in front of me and i reached in to try to pull their jaws apart but as idid they just relocked them again so i started just punching them in the mouth again and again and again. they stoped and backed off to their own neutral corners and the guy who owned the other dog looked at me with amazement and said he sure was glad id stopped it. he said his dog had been a fighter up in alaska and had never lost a fight. never had one broken up either. he was doing a quik run through of how the weekend would go after having my dog killed on the first morning. he said that dog of yours doesnt take any crap does he? i told him yeah him or me…
    we had a nice weekend

    Liked by 3 people

  10. got off a plane on christmas day home from china i a sports coat andj its -25 outside. i jumped into my mini van to drive home and realized in a mile the tire had gone flat and i had to fix it. no gloves no coat and im out jacking up the car…these two ladies come by and tell me to get back in the car and stay warm. they fixed in in 3 minutes and wished me a merry christmas and waved good bye

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Fixing a flat tire when it’s that cold is a royal pain. Had to do it once when I lived on Grand Ave. in St. Paul. Fortunately I discovered the flat tire when the car was parked right in front of my apartment. I heated and reheated the tools in my oven to keep my hands from freezing, and that worked really slick.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m assuming that’s directed at tim, though I’m not sure why you would doubt that a couple of women could change his flat tire in record time. If it directed at me, yes, heating the tools in the oven worked great.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Then, there are micro processors. Our desk top is on the fritz and our tech guy is here and I see very little stuff when I peer into the opened computer, although there is tons of dust, which he tells me is the cause of the problem.

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    1. The processor heat diffuser fan was so thick with dust it was immobilized, and it was over 200° inside the computer since the fan couldn’t turn and diffuse the heat .

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I like our tech guy. He is the State tech guy at my work, and he has an in-home computer repair business on the side. His office is two doors down from mine. Our office mate in between us always calls him “Romeo”, since he is so picky about girlfriends. People are startled when they hear her call “Romeo!” in her nasally voice to come and fix her office computer.

      He doesn’t care for cats very much, and of course our two cats had to be very close by him on the computer desk for the two hours he was here this morning. He drives a Tesla.

      Liked by 3 people

  12. We had muffler trouble when YA was about seven and we were driving through Iowa. The closest “big city” was Mason city so we headed there. The guy looked at the car and said he could fix it but it would take a couple of hours. So we checked into the Travel Lodge. And it turned out to be great. They had a nice pool that YA enjoyed and we were walking distance from the Bil Baird museum which has all of his marionettes including the ones from Sound of Music. Fascinating.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Mason City is known more for its Frank Lloyd Wright houses. Iowa has many band festivals. As a teen I think I was in all of them. I got really tired of playing in mass bands.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Love these stories about people stopping to help!

    Like some above, not a flat tire, but on the way back from a Colorado trip to meet my folks near Estes Park, we had a broken fan belt just outside Wheatland, Wyoming, They could get it in by the next day, so like Chris and VS, we found a cheap motel with swimming pool, then found the only attraction open in Wheatland, the library. : ) 9-year-old Joel was delighted about the pool.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I recently had a splinter in my finger and was reminded for the umpteenth time that the tiniest thing that gets under your skin can be so disproportionately painful to its size. You can barely see it, but you sure can’t ignore it for long.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, and that brings to mind a mosquito in a tent or in your bedroom, or a grain of sand in your shoe. We’re really quite sensitive beings, at least in some ways.

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