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One Butch Thing & A Cautionary Tale

The one butch thing I feel confident I can do is change a tire. I’m not particularly good at sawing (too imprecise) or electrical things (I always worry that even if the power is off, it could jump out and get me anyway) or mechanical things–but I can change a tire and many’s the time I’ve done it.

Recently, that pesky CHECK TIRE PRESSURE light came on in my car, of course on a Saturday. I went and filled up all the tires, though I’m not very good at that, either. One of the tires kept going down all weekend and either I or my son filled it up. On Monday, after being told at Lee’s Tire Company (“round for you”) that I would have to wait until Tuesday to have it fixed, I had the brilliant notion (Oh yeah!) of putting on the spare. And so I did. My neighbor came across the street, astounded, and made a little video of me doing it. She then bragged to a friend that I, in my 70s, had changed my tire.

Unfortunately, the spare was flat. Not the first time this has happened! And certainly an unwelcome outcome, after I had exhausted myself with the tire changing. I may still be able to do it now that I’m in my 70s, but the doing of it exhausted me far more than it used to do back in the day. Whew!

Now for the cautionary tale. Years ago, when my then-husband and I were driving across the country, we had a flat in New Mexico. Well, he set about to put on the spare. He is actually the person who taught me how to change a tire. However, on this occasion he failed to set the brake before jacking up the car. Very big no-no! So it slipped off the jack and the jack punched a hole in the gas tank. Aiyiyi!!

Well, this is a very bad situation in which to find oneself. We ended up sitting in a cafe while a crazy man at a garage welded a patch onto the gas tank. In fact, everyone who worked in the place exited the building. As you can imagine, welding a gas tank is a dangerous thing to do. Gas fumes and welding torches do not make good bedfellows. Fortunately, no explosion occurred and we were, eventually, good to go. Amazing! So now I definitely know always to set the brake before jacking up a car.

So there you have it–the one butch thing I know how to do. What about all of you out there? Got any stories? I bet you do. We all have stories. That is one other thing I really do know.

“Difficult things aren’t easy, but they’re worth it.” – Mia Love

“The best way to learn is by doing. The only way to build a strong work ethic is getting your hands dirty.” – Alex Spannos

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” – Helen Keller

If you’re looking for my cards or art, you’ll find all of that on my website. If you enjoy these letters, feel free to forward this one to anyone you think might like it. And if someone forwarded this one to you, you can sign up here to receive the letters right in your Inbox. Finally, you’ll find past letters and poems here.

Thanks for listening,

P.S. MerryThoughts is the name of my first book, out of print at the moment. The word is a British one, referring both to a wishbone and to the ritual of breaking the wishbone with the intention of either having a wish granted or being the one who marries first, thus the “merry thoughts.”

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