It promised to be an uneventful day.

A quick trip to the accountant to drop off the tax stuff was the most pressing item on my day’s agenda. Then the weather did its yo-yoing between the low 40s one day and 85 the next. It would be a good day to get ahead of the weeds.

For this lady, Spring is both a joyful as well as frustrating time. The joy is because the land is in the process of discarding its dreary winter mantle, and suddenly spring flowers are everywhere. The frustration part is because the exuberant weeds take this opportunity to multiply and entrench themselves everywhere. The lawn. The flowerbeds. And between the cracks in the sidewalk.

Anyhow, as the writer drove out of the accountant’s parking lot, visions of weed whacking danced in her head. But then as the poet Robert Burns in his “To a Mouse” reminds us, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”

One moment our writer is on the highway heading for home, and the next her right front tire has a close encounter with a large brick on the road. The loud thunk told her she did not miss when she swerved. She continued driving until the moment she applied her brakes. You guessed it. Her Lexus Lite did not slow down smoothly. Instead, it felt like she was trying to rein in a team of runaway horses.

Even our non-mechanical writer realized the time had come to pull over and check that front tire. She signaled and came to a wobbly stop on the highway’s shoulder.

Since life with Lexus Lite has always been uneventful, this was the first time she had a chance to use her emergency flashing lights. The moment was somewhat satisfying because she knew how to find the right button to execute this maneuver.

However, the shredded condition of the right front tire proved disconcerting. Also, the tire was flat. The lady would not be able to creep home on that ruined tire as she had planned. Drat!

When Hubby left, countless people told his wife, “If you need anything, call me.” Although asking for help is difficult for an independent person, this was a time to make that call for help.

Among the people who offered to help was a gentleman whose mother and Hubby’s sister were close friends in high school. Over the years, we bought several vehicles from his dealership. Who better to call than a car dealer? Right?

The lady explained her problem and the man asked her location. “I’m on the highway seven miles away from your dealership. I just crossed a bridge and headed home from Greenville,” she added.

As her friends and family can attest, her idea of giving directions is similar to the one she gave a friend from Boston visiting Texas for the first time. “Turn right at the 35 MPH Speed Limit sign.” To which the fellow replied, “Do you realize how many such signs exist in Dallas?” Oops.

Despite her vague directions, the dealer and one of his service technicians managed to find her. But before he arrived, a white-haired, rail-thin, and frail-looking man stopped to offer his assistance. She thanked him and explained someone was on the way.

The kindness of strangers is a beautiful human trait. We hope that never changes. The few times in her life, this writer had car trouble, someone always stopped to help.

After her car dealer friend changed the tire, she offered to pay him and buy a tire from him. But he did not have the right size tire and refused payment for the roadside assistance.

Since the spare was one of those “fake” tires, he advised her not to go over 50 miles per hour. Consequently, with the emergency flashers blinking away, it took over an hour to reach the tire center where she bought the tires.

Imagine the agony this woman experienced creeping along while the world sped by. Since she usually considers Speed Limit signs a suggestion, the drive felt interminable.

Elizabeth “Liz” Cowan is a freelance writer and author. Check out her suspense novels on amazon.com. Website: www.elizabethcowan.com.

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