As we prepare to go into this holiday weekend I ask you to drive carefully and to be safe. I have to tell you all, that on our trip home from out of state, we had car trouble and had to exit the freeway. With little power steering, it was pretty rough, but we made it t a walmart where we were told we could not be helped. Still over 200 miles from home, the gps stated that the closest auto store was 300 miles away (I think it needs updated!). Fortunately for us, the nice young man that worked at walley world told us how to get to an auto shop about 5 miles away that should be able to help. Of course, he didnt know if we'd make it 5 more miles or how late they were open, but with several prayers we were on our way. When we reached the auto shop we were told that one part we needed may take 3 days to get in, that they may not have the proper tool to pull the something to get to the something else that was broken in (do you appreciate my vast knowledge of automobile parts? lol) and that even IF they could get it all there in a timely manner, they may not be able to get it fixed by 7pm, which was when they had to close, no matter what. Did I mention that it was after 5pm already? Well more prayers went up and the Lord blessed us, cuz they got a generic something or other that could do the pulling they needed (the proper one had been discontinued and the proper ones were only at dealerships now), and they found the parts they needed, received them in time, and completed the work before 7pm. And bless his heart, the young manager even gave us a discount for the work.
While telling you this story may be slightly cathartic, the real purpose is because of what happened next. As we drove the next few hours home, my Mom and I discussed many of the variables and all of the "what COULD have happened" angels. Which led us to the differences between now and the "old" days, when people did not have gps's or cell phones, and how, even with all these things, we are still at great risk. I think that sometimes, if not most of the time, we feel too comfortable, to complacent, because of all of our modern day gadgets. But the fact of the matter is that these are machines, and machines fail us. There are dead spots where phones fail, batteries die at the most inconvenient times, and gps's can only tell you what is in them, so they are only as current as their last update. Even then, they are not always up to date.
We have been spoiled by our advances, by our modern conveniences. So it is important to recognize this and make sure that we know proper safety procedures. Would you accept a ride from a man that stopped to assist you if you stopped on the freeway? We really need to plan for troubles and discuss the various possibilities, run through various scenarios. Not only for ourselves, but with our children that are old enough to be in these positions. Many of our teens do not know how to change a tire and would think nothing of catching a ride with someone because we have stopped educating them in these things and counted on the cell phones. But what if their cell dies, breaks, or fails? They need to know, and we need to review for ourselves.
So.....for instance, do you carry an extra blanket or two in the car, at least during the winter? Do you have water in the car? Not only for you if you become stranded, but for radiator issues too. What about your spare tire? Is it in good shape? Could you get it out if you didn't have a man with you? My Mother had a blow out on the freeway recently and couldn't get the spare from its nesting place, the bolts were on too tight. While she could have changed the tire if she was able to get it out, could you? Many women don't know how to change a tire on their own, but this is something we should teach our children before they begin driving, and anyone who doesn't know, should get a lesson before they drive again! So consider all the things that could happen and play a "what if" game as you spend time with your family this holiday weekend. Educate yourself and your loved ones so that all of your holidays will be safe ones!
Happy Labor Day!