All I Want for Christmas

are my two front tires. My two front tires. My two front tires. (And I got my wish.)

Yes. It happened again.

But let me back up.

In case you just joined us, let me quickly say: We had a very, very nice holiday! It was way more than I could have imagined. In fact, it was one of the best I have ever had, probably since my childhood. Only better because Oliver was in the picture.

Now, allow me to tell about the morning of December 24th, 2010.

Part of my family arrived into town on the 23rd — my brother Jim, sister-in-law Crys and two amazing nephews James and Drew. We had a nice dinner out that evening with my father. We even ran into our next door neighbors from the “hood” at the local restaurant. It was a sign of things to come that holiday. (Stay tuned for details.) We grew up in a small town, and we have all known each other for more than 40+ years, and in my brother’s case 50+ years! After dinner, my 17-yr old nephew Drew wanted to sleep over, and Oliver was thrilled. He was really sweet with Oliver and.... my goodness. It has been a LONG time since I had a real “dude” around the house. Although it was late when we arrived at my home, he was so willing to help me with many handy-man tasks around the house. He hung a few curtains, hauled out a 60 lb bucket of litter, hooked up my blueray player, set my digital clock and the alarm (it’s been blinking for at least a month now), tightened a few nuts and bolts and a whole mess of other things. He even came running into Oliver’s room at 2:30 am when we heard a big “thump” and a cry out for help (nothing more than Oliver falling out of bed, landing softly onto Mr. Gorilla and then rolling onto the floor).

Aside from helping me out with all these manly duties, Drew kindly obliged when he and Oliver had a morning meal together. He's 17, but not too old to be a good sport.

breakfast of champions


breakfast of champions

drew's plate

Notice that Oliver was also a good sport and allowed Drew to eat off his Food Face plate. If you want to buy one for your self child, look here.

So after breakfast we piled into the car. I had only a few hours and a number errands to run, the first on the list being my large overgrown brows needing a good crew cut. Actually, a friend of mine owns a spa and had two Christmas gifts waiting for me there — wonderful neck rolls — one for my sister, one for my sister-in-law. Then I had to pick up just two gift cards, a few last minute grocery items (most stuff had already been purchased... I was having Christmas dinner at my home the next day), and then off to a party by 1 pm at my sister's home.

I was only about a block away from home when I recognized that unforgettable sound, that dreadfully memorable thump, thump, thump of my car.

Oh no, I thought. Not today. Please, not today. Not now. Not with my nephew in the car. And my son. Not when I have all these last minute errands. Not when I have a party to get to. And my brows! These over grown brows. Please, don't let me spend Christmas with these brows....

Sad but true.

Another flat tire.

No way.

Yes way.

Darn it.

I stopped the car. Opened my door. Yep.

Sh*t. Crap. Not again.

And yep. I could kick myself. The spare was still on the other rim. Darn.

I knew I should have had that tire replaced.

But. I was too busy.

And it was apparent I was not going to get to the spa on time to get my brows waxed. In fact, I wouldn't be gettin’ any errands done at all that day.

So, off we went, just down the street to the service station at an unbearably slow speed. It was a couple blocks away and I decided to risk it by driving ever so slowly on the side of the road. Much to Oliver’s chagrin.

Mommy, go faster. Go faster Momma!! The udder cars are going past us! 

I can't Oliver. Mommy has a flat tire.

What-jew say?

Mommy has a flat tire.

A fat tire?

Yes Oliver. A flat tire.

Anudder fat tire?

Yep. Another flat tire.

You need a new tire?

Yes, Oliver. Mommy needs a new tire.

You gotta bwroken tire Momma?

Yes, Oliver. I have a broken tire.

Go faster Mommy! The udder cars are going past us!

Over and over again for the next few blocks we repeated this refrain.

flat tire #2

Finally after several requests from my son to step on it, we hobbled into the service station. The mechanic was there, thank God.  He took a look at my tire, tried to inflate it, and declared it toast. Actually, I think he used the word “junk” to describe it.

junk tire

“Well, what about the one in my trunk, the other flat?” I asked hopefully in a high pitched voice.

Nope. That one's junk too. 

OK, so now what? What am I going to do? OMG, we are   f r e e z i n g   out here!

Sears. Call Sears. I had a warranty on these tires. I called. (Love, love, LOVE my iPhone.) Yes, they could fix my tires. But I had to bring the car in. They’d have it done that day. Next, I knew I now had road side assistance with AT&T, but I had no number to call, no name, no contact. I had never used it before.

At the same time my sweet nephew alerted me to the fact that he was a Gold card member of AAA. Yippie!

AAA Card

We both called our respective road side assistance numbers, and I will say, AAA got there within 20 minutes, right about the time I finally got through to mine.

Car towed

While it was bitter cold and we were not happy campers, my car was picked up and hauled away to Sears.

Next on the list was getting the three of us to Sears, about a mile or so down the road. Now I live in a fairly nice part of town. People here are friendly, downright neighborly too. We shovel each other’s walks, we watch each other’s homes while away on vacation, we look out for one another. I tried to muster up the courage to approach a stranger for a ride. After all, who could refuse these sad, cold, cute faces?

Drew and Oliver

Drew and Oliver

Drew and Oliver

Just as I was about to tap a stranger on the shoulder, the kind owner of the service station offered to give us a ride. I was relieved.

We got to Sears just in time to watch my car being delivered.


Needless to say, we made it to my sister’s by 2. The neck rolls? Had to make due without. And the gift cards? Nothing that cash couldn't replace. And my sister-in-law Crys kindly braved the grocery store for me that day.

I also have to give a big shout-out to my nephew. He took great care of Oliver while I had to deal with all the technical details of arranging the repair (new tires) of my car, signing papers, forking out the cash, etc etc. He was the best “big brother” Oliver could have ever asked for. He swooped in and handled the call to AAA; he managed to entertain a two year old for most of the afternoon, and he never ever complained. He was amazing.

It was a bittersweet day. I loved having Drew with me. It made me sad to think my family is so far away and we only get to see them once a year or so, and just a few days at that. I really wished they lived nearby so we could see them much more often. James and Drew are both good kids, and Drew was definitely my angel that day.

Here they are....

James, Drew, Oliver

Stay tuned for the next posts.... Eventually you'll see photos from our sweet holiday.


  1. Marian Larkins DoyleDecember 30, 2010 at 2:26 AM

    I think that all you went through on that day is amazing.The fact that you had Drew with you is great.Thank God Drew had AAA. Who,but for the grace of God,would of thought what you went through you were only an hour late to get to my house.Your other sister.
    Crys, James and Drew are amazing when help is needed.
    Jim,our brother,is great at helping. I will always remember one day when they were in town I wanted my window in the garage changed. He was right there in a blink of an eye the window was in.
    If I can say one last thing,there is nothing better than family around when you need them.


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