Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Today's Guardian Angels: Delaware State Troopers and Those Wonderful Papilis

All I have to say today is that I have the best adopted family in the entire world, and that Delaware State Troopers are by far the nicest, most helpful folks you could ever ask for.

So my morning started off a little shaky at the start because our neighborhood is still a bit on the icy side. I made my way carefully to Route 1 and breathed a sigh of relief to be on dry road with a bit of traction. Sadly, that calm didn't last for long as I noticed my left front wheel starting to wobble. I was already past the 40 exit going South on Route 1, so I figured I'd slow down, put my flashers on, and get in the right lane to try to make it to 72 to get off and get help.

In the short amount of time it took me to slow a bit (appx 40 MPH) and start making my way over, my tire went completely flat. Not the usual hiss and thunk thunk thunk sort of flat, but the exploding, tire shredding, shrapnel kind that you hope tractor trailers never have happen when they're in front of you. So now I'm at least in the right lane, but I can't drive on the rim of this busted tire so I have to pull over. This would have been significantly easier if there weren't literally 2-3 feet of snow piled up along the shoulder. So I pull over as far as I possibly can but the tires on the left side of my car are still touching the white line denoting the beginning of the right shoulder of the road. All I have are visions of someone clipping the back bumper of my car and sending me spinning into oncoming traffic. Talk about terrified.

Flashers on, I go to inspect the damage. Waited until there was a lull in traffic and went to look at my left, front tire which was absolutely shredded. Great. And it looked like all the bumping around had probably effed up my alignment as well. Double great. So I go stand
in the snow on the passenger side of my car to try to call for help, shaking because I'm scared and getting passed by semis that shake the car and me alike. Can't hear because of said traffic, so I opt to sit in the passenger's seat on the safer side of the car and call. Tried Uncle Barry but I must have the wrong number. Next was Uncle Joe who happened to be on the phone. Third was Aunt Maryann. Of course now that I'm finally getting someone on the phone, I start crying like the little girl that I am and explain to her where I am and what's going on. She took down the info, called it in, and had a police car out there within ten minutes. She also said she would double back since she was just a bit over the bridge and would make sure everything worked out okay.

So true to her word, a car came with lights flashing and pulled up to my rescue. Officer O'Leary, my favorite person of the day, met me at the space between the two cars and I started thanking him for coming out immediately, noting with the eye of the niece of a state trooper that he had remembered to put on his hat before exiting the car (Aunt Maryann and Uncle Joe are always upset when we're watching the news at Mom Mom's and their younger officers forget that they always have to be in full uniform).

So Officer O'Leary helped me haul the spare out of the back of my trunk (politely ignoring the immense amounts of crap I have in there including blankets, dresses, and other stuff that I'm too lazy to bring into the house). Although I know how to change a tire (since Alex just taught me) all he would let me do was help find the support point under the car where the jack can safely hoist up the car. Then he asked me to wait on the other side of the car so I would be safe. Definitely a stand up guy. He then changed my tire like such a pro, that Maryann didn't even have time to get to us before I was on the road again.

She caught up with me around Middletown and tailed me down to Smyrna (I wasn't hard to catch up to since you're supposed to go at max 55 MPH with a donut...especially in cold weather). She actually ended up coming with me to the tire place and helped me get all straightened out before bringing me the extra mile down the road to work. So now despite being a bit shaken, I'm here. I have been well taken care of, and am happy to have such great people in my life that care so much about me.
I still maintain that being an adopted Papili child is one of the greatest things in the world and I'm lucky to have such a great family.

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