Monday, April 20, 2009

I knew I was a dead woman

Y'all...the craziest thing happened to me Saturday.

On the highway.

The interstate to be exact.

Interstate 40 on my way to Nashville to be even more exact.

Just 30 minutes away from Nashville.

And....I was all by my poor little lonesome.

Here we go....the tragedy that almost was on I-40 and how God chose to reveal His sweet self.

Saturday was a gloomy kind of day here in West TN and I was scheduled to travel to Nashville to help celebrate THE ONLY GIRL IN THE FAMILY 1st birthday. This is my brothers very first child and he is the lovely age of 43. Don't you love that? Of course I'll be there.

So...I'm boppin' along and life is great. I stop in Dickson to get gas at a lovely (ahem) gas station whose bathrooms were "temporarily" out of order and then I was back on my way.

As soon as I got back on the interstate, my tire pressure light came on and then the screen where it shows all the tire pressure numbers came on. I didn't really panic until I saw the back left tire numbers.

The other tires are in the high 30's and this back left tire started off at 20, then 16, then 11, and then 6 and then I'm pulling over.

My first thought was (and being a bit dramatic in my mind) SHE'S GONNA BLOW AND I'M GONNA FLIP!!!! GET THE CAR OVER BEFORE I FLIP! FLIP FLIP FLIP!!!!!

So, I pull over, open the door, and just stick my head out to look at the dang tire. FLAT AS A PANCAKE.

Big dang.

Ummm, excuse me, but I had no idea what to do next without my husband. Oh, maybe I'll call him and see what I should do. Good idea. Thank you Lord for cell phones.

He doesn't answer. Oh, yeah, he's coaching a baseball game. That's why I'm going alone. He is not answering.

Next, I will call my brother and other family members and tell him what's going on. I'm still calm. More ticked than anything. But, I'm ok.

Finally, hubs calls back and he gives me the number to Verizon roadside service and that's when I noticed my hands starting to shake a little. Maybe in the back of my head I begin thinking about the I-40 strangler that sees me from the trees and is about to come kill me.

I get the dumbest woman alive on the planet who helped me. I couldn't have been more clear with her on where I was. I imagined her to be in South Dakota so I gave her every last detail under the sun. She asked me if I was past Briley Parkway and I know I screamed "THAT IS IN NASHVILLE WOMAN!" That's probably when she decided not to help the poor stranded woman on the side of I-40.

After 20 dreadfully long minutes, she came back on the line and told me that a wrecker/towing service would be there to help me in an hour and a half. EXCUSE ME ??????!!!!! I'm sorry, I thought you said you'd be here to help me in 90 minutes???

Ok, that is when I'm certain my first near panic attack began to show itself. From this point on it got really ugly. And, I mean emotionally ugly. My cute little birthday outfit wearing self was sweating, bawling, and trying to be nice to people on the phone. It's not so cute any more.

When the wrecker service lady called me, I bawled and squalled to her and told her that I couldn't possibly wait that long, she felt a tiny bit sorry for me. I might have told her that I was certain that I read about the I-40 strangler in the paper that morning. She called me back later to tell me that they would be there in 20 minutes. I think I was trying to catch my breath and act like I had it all together and that surely I could wait 20 minutes.

I somehow managed to find the Tennessee Highway Patrol number via google via my cell phone and that would be *847 and I HIGHLY SUGGEST EVERYONE PUT THAT IN YOUR PHONE.
They sent a state trooper about the same time the tow trucker wrecker guy showed up.

Could he be the I-40 strangler that I'm thinking about??? I'm seriously checking him out.

Let's just say that when I saw a woman sitting in the front seat of his truck I almost ran out and gave her the biggest hug possible. Because I knew she would be safe and they couldn't be the I-40 couple stranglers. They had to be safe. HAD TO BE.

As a matter of fact, did you know that you can stay inside the car while they change your tire? And, the sweet woman in the truck was the one I talked to on the phone. She was the precious lady who listened to me lose it.

So, they fix me up after a whopping 5 minutes and I'm on way. I'm driving 60mph on this full-sized spare. I don't care. I'm scared. Let's just driving 60mph takes you a little longer to get home too.

I happen to be behind the state trooper who casually waves "crazy woman" as he speeds away and then I'm behind wrecker truck guy and family and I know I'm waving like crazy and mouthing "thank you thank you thank you thank you" as they skidaddle away.

I get right behind them as I get off the interstate to turn around and head home. I almost died and am beyond wiped out so the birthday party is going to have to carry on without me. And, I'm certain my head will split open at any time. So, I'm behind wrecker dude and his wife and guess what sticker is on the back of their truck??

Got Jesus???

OH I PRAISED HIM RIGHT THERE IN MY CAR!!!!! I've never cried so hard in my life.

Yes, I got Jesus. And, yes, He sent some precious family to take care of my whacked out self on the side of the road.

God provides for us all day long. Sometimes we can see it clearly, but sometimes we can't.

My prayer is that you look closely for Him. Thank Him. Praise Him. You never know how God is going to show Himself to you. You never know how He'll reveal Himself to you.

Thank you Pruitt wrecking service in Dickson TN for being there for me. Thank you God for them. I saw Jesus through them. They were beautiful.

Love you all!!!


Mary R Snyder said...

Fran - I know that was scary! I've never heard of this i-40 strangler... maybe because I don't live near i-40, but I'm so glad you survived. And Jesus showed Himself to you.
You are a rockstar, my sweet girl!!

Teri~Facedown said...

:) so happy you are safe. The I-40 strangler was probably having a pedi or something ;)

Love you.

(My word verification is SIASTERS. It looks like a mix between SIESTA-spelled wrong and SISTERS! Love me some SIESTERS!)

Anonymous said...

Girl...that is THE BEST story!!!

Sorry you missed the party, but you didn't miss Jesus!! :)


beckyjomama said...

You tell a mean story Girlfriend. Loved every last word - and so glad you found Jesus in the waiting!!!!!

HisTreasuredPossession said...

oh, I love this story!! Got Jesus, indeed!

Doesn't He just show up in the most unexpected places? Praise you Lord!

E-dub said...

Oh. My. Word. I may or may not have developed a twitch whilst reading your recap. I once had a tire blow up on me on the interstate...thankfully right after I got off a nice long bridge. This, of course, was about 15 minutes after I had pulled over and asked my dad what those wires sticking out of the tire were all about (hello? steel radials?). Melt. Down. I feel your pain, but I'm so thankful we survived to tell the tale and become BFFs. (:

ocean mommy said...

I'm so sorry you missed that sweet little one's b'day! You know she missed her fab. Auntie Fran!!!

For the record, I would have been in tears before I even called my man!!! You held it together longer than I would have!!! I'm proud of you. :)


Mandi said...

Yes! He is faithful to reveal Himself to us...I love that about Him!

Melinda said...

I LOVE me some stories like that one! I LOVE me some Fran, whacked out on the side of the road! I LOVE me a God who lives in bumper stickers, wrecker services and the people who own them!

Here's hoping that I-40 Strangler has seen that bumper sticker and is now cruising the highway to heaven!

XOXOXO Melinda

P.S. My word verification is "deddhe". Sounds just like what my cousins from Tullahoma used to call their dad. Maybe it's what all you Tennesseans sound like when you're talking to your Father! :o)

AnnaNicole said...

Promise me next time you are stuck on I-40 and are by yourself, you will give a girl a call?!?! Im not 30 mins from Dickson, especially knowing backroads and driving the way I OCCASIONALLY do. I could have come and sat with you or something. I would have even helped you change the tire...I was not allowed to move away from my father or any of my very protective Uncles, without them all being very sure of my knowelege of tire changing!!

But seriously, Im so glad you are alright and you didn't get strangled!

Love you and call me if it happens again...which it hopefully will not!!

Lindsee said...

Girlfriend, flat tires are seriously the story of my life. Not kidding one iota! I've had more than I can count (just 2 in the past 3 months) and I totally know that freaked out feeling of thinking someone is out to get you. It's the worst feeling! Needless to say, by now I should know how to change a flat. But alas, that is why I have AAA.

Toknowhim said...

Sorry that happened, but the story had a happy ending :)

Blessings... Kim

Penny said...

I love your blog and the way you expressed yourself! You would LOVE my story about my daughter getting lost on the interstate HOURS from where she was headed with a 5 week old--- not because it's funny, but because the panic (on my part) had to be similar to yours! Nothing funny about a mom/mimi (me) calling the state highway patrol and putting out an all call! And it wasn't long enough ago to even laugh about yet, well maybe a little chuckle wouldn't hurt. Did I mention the car wouldn't start and the baby was screaming his little head off and the cell was about to go dead?! I should blog about it, but she'd probably want to shoot me. Oh what the heck, I probably will, she doesn't even own a computer yet! =) Amazing thing, the power of prayer and an answering, Almighty God!
Anyway, crazy ramblings aside. I stumbled upon your blog through Grammy Girlfriend's. I a few of your last few posts. Just wanted you to know I enjoyed it! (Despite all my ramblings, I'm not totally insane-- just a little!) =)

Penny said...

Forgot to mention, LOVE the Compassion button. My John Dave is in the Philippines. I've been sponsoring him for about 5 years now. He's a doll!

Magnolia Memories08 Seeing With The Heart said...

Fran I am so sorry this happened to you.Girl I would have been just like you scared to death thinking the worst each minute that went by.I don't
know much about the I-40 Strangler but just hearing this scares me.We have a wonderful God who kept you safe through all of this.
By all means he was right there with you but sometimes we just forget he is always riding, walking or any place we are he is with us. So sorry that you missed the birthday party. But you can do something special for her. She will be excited.
Have a great day and thanks for sharing this story.

MelanieJoy said...

Awww I'm sorry you missed the birthday party! I know you were looking forward to it! I'm glad you are safe and sound. Most important I'm glad you got a big glimpse of Him!
It rained sooooo hard on us coming home Sat!!

Tammy said...

*gasp* I am not so sure what I would have done in your situation. But panic and craziness would have certainly ensued shortly after pulling over!

Now excuse me while I got get a review on the changing of a flat tire. (yea, right).


Georgia Jan said...

Fran - my heart is beating like crazy and it's from your post and watching 24 and Tony Almeida...

I love you Fran!

What a testimony of God's goodness and grace -

You are a blessing,

A Stone Gatherer said...

Not a funny situation, but when you tell it I laugh! Sorry!!!!

Rhonda said...

Wow. That was great! Glad to have found your blog! Come see me over at "Dating to Diapers" sometimes!


Anonymous said...

Oh memories! Traveled 800 by myself w/ 3yo and 3 month old. BLOW OUT on highway @ full speed, barely able to get off of the road, in the middle of nowhere. Repeated calls to highway patrol w/ SCREAMING baby in the background and no one ever showed. It was a long day.

So glad you made it home safe & sound!

I blog so you can get a glimpse into my life as wife, mom of 3 boys, and someone who simply wants to bless others along the way. Have fun and be sweet :)

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