Sometimes things that feel unlucky can turn out to be the best thing that could have happened. My husband lost his cell phone last month and he just happened to go to the store to buy a new one the day the Apple iPhone 6s came out. There were deals galore being offered so I also wound up with a smart phone. I never even had a cell phone before so realized I had a lot to learn. About a week later it was time to head down to Florida for a family wedding. I inserted only a few numbers in my phone – those of my house sitter, literary agent and people we would be seeing on the trip. During our stay our nieces offered us some great tips on using and enjoying these miraculous phones that replace land line phones, cameras, notebooks, telephone books, laptops and more. My head was spinning by the end of each of our lessons.
We go to Florida often and usually stay somewhere overnight each way, but this time my husband decided we would drive straight through on the way home. The mountains on Route 77 in West Virginia were a bit scary in the dark. There are three lanes going each way and all the lanes happened to be filled with semis. The trucks had to struggle up hill and descend in second gear and the entire way I felt boxed in on all sides by those mammoth, sluggish, farting vehicles. We finally made it through the mountains and found ourselves in Ohio, three hours from home. Home free. Or so we thought.
There was suddenly a loud popping noise we couldn’t figure out and then my husband had to fight to control the truck. We had a front tire blow out. I later found out the front tires are the most dangerous when they blow. We pulled to the side of the road and faced more luck. We were right by a street light so we wouldn’t be hidden in shadows. Because we had our smart phones, we were able to look up towing in the area on the Internet; a short month earlier, we would have been standing there with a cell phone but no idea of who to call. The first place that popped up in the Internet search promised 24 hour service. They answered immediately and the driver made it to us in about 15 minutes. Then he asked us where we wanted to be towed , a question for which we had no answer. He knew the nearest town had no garages that could help us so he took us a half hour north to a hotel in Cambridge, Ohio that was within walking distance of a Wal-Mart tire center. We could spend the night and then get a new tire in the morning. I thought it very lucky to have found this driver who knew the area and could put us in the best situation for our circumstances. I was also grateful to have the phone because I was able to communicate with our house sitter, who we were going to need for one more night.
The next day we got a new tire put on the rim and drove home to be greeted by two very enthusiastic dogs. Later that day my husband got a call from the Wal-Mart where he had bought the tire telling him they had put the wrong tire on his rim. Yet we made it home safely. It doesn’t get any luckier than that.
Christina Grand Porter is a novelist who lives in Huntsburg with her husband and two dogs.