"We're the worst pit crew ever."

Here's how today was supposed to happen:

8:30am - Get into the car, drive out to the train station.
9:30 - Arrive at the train station (yeah, Rockford doesn't have a Metra station), drop Matt off to go back to Chicago
10:30 - Arrive at church to begin my day.

Here's how today ACTUALLY happened:

8:35am - Get into the car a little late, but still with plenty of time to get to the gas station
8:36 - Discover as we try to pull out of our parking space that the front left tire is FLAT
8:37 - Dig the spare and the jack out of the trunk, realize that we have no tire iron, fiddle with the jack and wonder if it's working
8:45 - Call Pastor Len to see if he has a working jack and a tire iron
9:10 - Pastor Len shows up, we figure out that our jack DOES work, we also figure out that the lug nuts are screwed on SUPER tight, taking all of Matt's energy and a considerable amount of time to unscrew.
10:00 - Spare is on! Time to head out to the 11:30 train, stopping at WalMart or Sears along the way to have them put on a new tire on our way out to the train station.
10:30 - Both WalMart and Sears have wait times of close to an hour, which would make us miss the train. Do we risk driving on the spare an hour each way to the train station?
10:31 - Check the train schedule, realize that there is no such thing as an 11:30 train (yeah, this part makes us look silly), but that there is a 1:35 train (which is the last train Matt could take if he hoped to get to his evening class...which he ABSOLUTELY could not miss). Decide to go back, check in at church (and drop off muffins I made for a lunch potluck), and then go back to either WalMart or Sears to have them fix our tire situation.
11:00 - After having stopped into church, checked up on our email, train schedules, etc., go back out to the parking lot to drive on the spare back to WalMart/Sears and get everything fixed....only to find that THE SPARE IS FLAT!
11:02 - Walk back into church, embarrassed. Get keys from a fellow staff member to borrow her car so that we can at least go buy a tire and then come back to the church parking lot to change it.
11:15 - Get to WalMart, browse the auto section for a while, ask about getting a new tire. Turns out that we don't have all of the information to know what sort of tire to buy, and will have to bring in the flat for them to get the right new tire.
11:30 - Arriving back to church, we grab the tire and the user manual for my car, and turn around to head back to WalMart (for the third time today).
11:45 - Haul the old tire into the auto center. They grab the new tire, ask us if we want them to mount it on the rim (yes, please!), and tell us that it will be about a 15 minute wait. We run to the Subway that's inside the WalMart to get some lunch to-go, and figure that as long as we get back to church by 12:15, we should have plenty of time to put the new tire on the car and head out to get Matt to the 1:35 train.
12:25 - They FINALLY finish getting the tire ready. We pay, jump back into the borrowed van, and debate on our way back to church if we should fix my car and drive it to the train or if we should just drive the borrowed van all the way there, leaving me to put the new tire on later in the afternoon.
12:36 - Arrive back at church, deciding to try to quickly put the new tire on. During the tire-changing process, Matt rightly commented "we're the worst pit crew ever!"
12:45 - Leave for the train station with exactly enough time to make it to the train station (no extra minutes!) Along the way, we got caught behind two different slow old-man drivers going 10mph under the speed limit and a couple different construction vehicles.
1:30 - Arrive at the train station in the nick of time. Matt jumps out, grabs his backpack, and runs to the train. Whew.

I ended up missing a staff birthday potluck and part of the afternoon's staff meeting because of this ordeal. It was CRAZY. I admit, reading through our day, that Matt and I made a few choice errors in judgment, not to mention our ignorance of the train schedule. But still - to have both our tire and our spare go flat in one day? Not so fun.


  1. Melissa, I read this post on Halloween morning, and it turned out to be some kind of prophetic warning! On the way home from a Halloween party in the evening, we ran out of gas on the road and had to sit in the dark waiting for a friend to bring us some! I thought of you...

  2. Woah. I got stressed out just reading this.