Sunday, December 25, 2011

An Unexpected Gift

It was as Christmas gift that I didn’t expect. Perhaps, I should have. But I was surprised none-the-less.

I was forewarned. “Keep an eye on this,” said my Uncle when I bought his car. It might be okay for a while …

As it has been with almost everything in and around our house lately … if it’s not broken, I haven’t been fixing it. If it is broken, I decide just how much we needed it in the first place and whether or not we can simply do without. Things have not been getting fixed or replaced unless it is something I deem it worthy of doing so.

My Middle Son has been my live-in-Mr-Fix-It. If he sees something that needs to be done, he does it.

He recently replaced the rear brake drums on my car. Once again, I had been told that this could be something that may need to be done soon. The brakes worked fine. One gets used to the pulsing vibration when one brakes, when one learns to trust the brakes. I ignored it. My Son fixed it.

Unbeknownst to me, we have had a slow but steady drip from our outside water tap. I have no idea how I couldn’t have seen it myself, but we ended up with a (very large) frozen waterfall from the tap to the ground which most definitely did not happen over night.

An outside water leak in the dead of winter is something that I deemed necessary to fix. So I wrote a note-to-self, to call a plumber in the morning. Before I remembered to do that the next day, my Son offered to fix it himself. He had never done such a thing before but he eyed up the situation and decided to follow what logic told him … and fix it.

So he did. He sees what needs to be done. And does it. That is (perhaps) why, when he checked over my car before my road-trip … that I didn’t even think about the tires that my Uncle had warned me about.

I forgot to check the tires when we stopped for gas mid-way to our destination. It was only when we were sitting at the last light out of the last major city for 150 kms … that a kind passenger in the car sitting beside me, got my attention and told me that I had a flat tire. I pulled over immediately. It was (almost) as flat as a pancake.

I was ready to take that tire on the highway. I was more than a little annoyed with myself that I didn’t notice. I was even more grateful for this kind stranger who brought it to my attention before the circumstances became more dire.

Immediately, I started counting my blessings.

The kindness of yet another stranger who changed my tire. The fact that it was not -40° outside. The miracle that Canadian Tire decided to stay open until 3:00 (instead of 12:00) for this very reason (to be available for stranded travellers). That I had given myself a few hours leeway to get to My Destination on time.

And one small thing that brought great joy to me, as my car was put up on a hoist right in front of the windows of the customer area where My Youngest and I spent the next hour and a half waiting for our car’s turn to be repaired … the fact that my Middle Son did me the great favour of washing my car for me before we headed out on the open road.

There sat my car, in its time of need. Front and centre with a bird’s eye view of the garage, the waiting area and everything and everyone in it. And it shone in its glory.

I looked at my car as it demanded to be taken care of. And I was grateful. Grateful for every little thing that brought us to that place in time.

How could I be so fortunate (once again) to have a car with an instinctive ‘homing device’ that doesn’t let me down in the middle of nowhere?

I happily paid the bill and was grateful that it was not more.

I didn’t ask for tires this Christmas … but that is what I got. But more importantly, we arrived safely to our destination in plenty of time for supper.

How much more could one ask for on Christmas Eve?

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