From the Wisdom Book:

“The smallest

act of kindness is worth

more than the grandest


Dad (H. Jackson Brown, Sr.)

When I was growing up, it was pretty simple.  I had all I needed…a flat tire, a lug wrench, and a jack.  The only time I ever ran into trouble was on a Plymouth.  My friend and I had borrowed his brother’s car and had a flat.  It took forever to get the lug nuts off.  We weren’t aware that Plymouth wheels had reverse threads on the lugs.  In other words, when we thought we were loosening the lugs, we were tightening them.  We finally figured out the problem.  The only thing we didn’t figure out was why Plymouth would do such a thing.

I had a great morning at the office today and started home for lunch.  About half way home I heard what sounded like a rock or stick hitting inside the right front wheel well.  Everything seemed okay, so I continued on my way.  After driving about 1/4 mile, my Escalade began to pull to the right.  My tire was almost flat.  I looked on the right shoulder and had very little room to pull over.  There was a large gravel drive on the left, so I pulled across the highway.

Due to my hand surgery in June, I still haven’t regained full strength in the right hand.  Besides, it was pretty hot on the  side of the highway.  So, I called the office and got the telephone number of my “tire” man.  Aren’t cell phones wonderful?  W’hen I called the tire company for road service, their service man had just left on another road call and would not be returning for a couple of hours.  I told them I would attempt to change the tire myself.

It has been years since I changed a tire… except on my lawn tractor.  I thought it would be pretty simple.  WRONG!!!  Now it takes a manual with detail instructions.  I did know where the jack and tool kit was located on my Escalade.  I found the proper section for changing tires in the manual.  Just as I began to read the manual, a man pulled off the highway and offered his help.  We read the instructions and were able to remove the tool kit.  The instructions were not very clear on how to retrieve the jack.  My new helper thought it could be removed one way and I thought exactly the opposite.  I am usually a problem solver and using my logic (not the manual), we were able to get the jack out of the compartment.

Now it was time to read the instructions for removing the spare time from the underside of my vehicle.  Just looking at it, my logic was of no help.  There is a lock on the rear of my vehicle that must be removed to allow access to a tube that goes to the lowering mechanism for my spare.  The extension rods in the tool kit are designed especially for this purpose.  Just as I figured out how to lower the tire, I looked up and a Texas State Trooper had pulled over to render aid.  He turned on all the blinking lights on the patrol car so everyone who passed could see that Jerry was in trouble.  I had the tire on the ground but it was still attached to the underside of the vehicle by a cable.  More reading and pictures.  FINALLY, we were ready to use the jack and lug wrench.

Everything went well after that.  The two other men did all the work removing the damaged tire and installing the spare.  The only real inconvenience I experienced was the loss of my “daily power nap” at lunch.  I went to the tire shop after lunch and turned everything over to them.  I also asked if they could please, please, please figure out how to put the jack and tool kit back where it belonged.

Right in the middle of writing this post my “tire man” called and had my vehicle ready.  Thankfully, I did not need a new tire.  I had hit something that punched a hole in the tire and the noise I heard was when said object came out and hit the fender well.

So:  “How simple is it to change a flat tire?”  Not very!  It is a lot more simple this afternoon than it was during the noon hour.  But, it is still not as simple as when I was younger.

But, I believe you can agree, that I was blessed by two generous men who came to my rescue.  I believe in helping those in need when it is possible.  And I also believe that is the reason those two men came to my rescue.  Maybe in some way I had “paid forward” by a prior act of kindness. 

I was at a highschool baseball playoff game this spring.  Between games, Pam and I were in the parking lot having a sandwich and soft drink.  Pam makes the very best chicken salad sandwich.  As we were enjoying our sandwich I heard the “clicking” sound of someone trying to start their vehicle.  I know the sound very well, so I began walking through the parking lot to find the person in trouble.  It was a teenage boy trying to start his pickup truck.  I asked if he were having trouble and he said he “thought” he had a battery problem.  I told him I “knew” he had a battery problem because of the “clicking” sound.  I always carry jumper cables and try to  be interruptible and available for people with dead batteries.  This is one thing Lyndsey has learned from me, so she also carries jumper cables.  I believe she also knows how to use them.  This young man needed a little instruction from his father.  He knew exactly zero about using jumper cables.   Anyway, I got the teenager’s truck started and he was on his way.

“I expect

to pass through life but once.

If, therefore, there by any kindness

I can show, or any good thing

I can do to any fellow being, let me

do it now, for I shall not

pass this way again.”

William Penn

Helping someone in time of need is just like speaking God’s Word.  There is power in God’s Word and there is power in doing good deeds…and neither comes at a cost.






  1. zburrows Says:

    I dont know how to change a tire…. and after this post… i have no intention of learning.

    I also hate to break the news to you that even though i know how to use my cables in theory…. i lack the skill in practice.

    I am glad that you had helpers today, becauase after 70ish years of paying it forward you are due.

  2. pam Says:

    i totally agree with our daughter…paying forward to the man i love is a great delight for me to view or hear about at the end of the day…pam

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