When I was taking driver's ed, we had to learn to change a tire. I had my chance to try out my skills a couple of years later when I was a senior. I was on the powderpuff team and we were at practice. After we played against the football team, Tina had a flat tire. Neither one of us had a boyfriend so we started to change the tire ourselves. I was loosening the lug nuts before we jacked up the car. It was the way I was taught. Of course a few of the football players decided to walk by just then. They said I was doing it wrong but didn't offer to help. We got it changed just fine and Tina was able to get the tire fixed without her father knowing about it.

I went decades without any tire problems. Well, except for bike tires. I had a rash of flats in the mid 90s when I actually moved my ass. Bike tires may be smaller and cheaper than auto tires but they are actually harder and messier to change. Especially the rear one.

A couple of years ago, one of the tires on my van had a slow leak. It held enough air to get me to the shop to have the flat fixed. I was surprised when there was no charge. Not that I expected much, I remember it being $5 or $10 years, and years, ago. I guess it is their way of getting you in the door. And it worked because the next time I needed tires, I went directly to them.

Last week, Ryan had a dentist appointment. We were done about 1:00 and we pulled out of the lot. We just started onto Amberly Drive and something sounded wrong. I stopped, looked and saw the flat. Dang! I crawled a little farther looking for a place to pull over. I stopped in the median of an gated apartment complex. I called my insurance and went through all the buttons and such just to see if I had roadside assistance. I did and they put in a call. It would be about 30 minutes. I didn't want to sit and wait neither did Ryan. I pulled out the manual and started reading.

My friend, Bonnie, has flats all the time. She blames the rural roads. It might be the speeds she drives over those rural roads. Bonnie just calls her husband to come and change her tire. And he does it. I think it might be the way Texan men are brought up. If Gail was alive and I called him, he would have told me to change it myself or call roadside assistance. He would not leave work for a flat tire. If my dad were in town, I could have called him. He would have come but he probably would not have been much help. He has grown weak in his old age.

The hardest part was getting the spare. It is kept under the car. It came down OK but I finally had to sit in the ground and get it free. Did I mention I was wearing a skirt? Yeah, not very lady like. Ryan helped a bit once he lost his rubber ball he has just gotten from the dentist. Meanwhile, there were plenty of cars going in and out of the apartment complex as well as people driving a golf cart. As I was tightening the lug nuts, a woman driving the golf cart asked if I needed any help. Good timing.

We were done in twenty minutes. Dirty and sweaty. Oh yeah, it was 90 degrees. I called the insurance company back and had them cancel the assistance. Then we went to lunch, the bookstore and home. I went to the tire place the next day and waited for 2 hours while they fixed the flat. They also rotated the tires and put back the spare.